VH1 (originally an initialism of Video Hits One) is an American pay television network based in New York City owned by ViacomCBS. It was originally created by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and the original owner of MTV, and launched on January 1, 1985, in the former space of Turner Broadcasting System's short-lived Cable Music Channel.
|Launched||January 1, 1985|
|Owned by||ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks (ViacomCBS)|
|Picture format||1080i HDTV|
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
|Slogan||We complete you|
|Headquarters||New York, New York, U.S.|
|Formerly called||VH-1/VH-1: Video Hits One|
VH1: Music First
|Replaced||Cable Music Channel|
|Orby TV||Channel 287|
|Dish Network||Channel 162|
|DirecTV Caribbean||Channel 262|
|Verizon FiOS||Channel 217 (SD)|
Channel 717 (HD)
|AT&T U-verse||Channel 518 (SD)|
Channel 1518 (HD)
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
|Philo (company)||Internet Protocol television|
|Part of a series on|
MTV in the United States
|Programs on MTV|
|Censorship on MTV|
|Viacom Media Networks|
The original purpose of the channel was to build upon the success of MTV by playing music videos targeting a slightly older demographic than its sister channel, focusing on the lighter, softer side of popular music. Like MTV, VH1 ultimately drifted into reality television programming, albeit with a focus on music personalities and celebrities, and shows targeting female audiences. VH1 is best known for franchises such as Behind the Music, the I Love… series, the Celebreality block, and Love & Hip Hop.
As of January 2016, approximately 90.2 million US households receive VH1.
Early history (1985–1994)
Format and VJs (1985–89)
VH1's aim was to focus on the lighter, softer side of popular music, including such musicians as Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, Carly Simon, Tina Turner, Elton John, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Sting, Donna Summer, Rod Stewart, Kenny G, Michael Bolton, Anita Baker, Chicago and Fleetwood Mac, in hopes of appealing to people aged 18 to 35, and possibly older. Also frequently featured in the network's early years were "videos" for Motown and other 60s oldies consisting of newsreel and concert footage. It was introduced on January 1, 1985, with the video performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Marvin Gaye.
From the start, Video Hits One was branded as an urban version of its sister/parent channel. It played more jazz and R&B artists than MTV and had a higher rotation of urban-contemporary performers. Its early on-camera personalities were New York radio veterans Don Imus (then of WNBC), Frankie Crocker (then program director and DJ for WBLS), Scott Shannon (of WHTZ), Jon Bauman ("Bowzer" from Sha Na Na), Bobby Rivers, and Rita Coolidge.
Later VJs included Tim Byrd of WPIX-FM (the current day FM rebroadcast of WFAN), a station whose eclectic ballad-and-R&B oriented format mirrored that of VH-1, and Alison Steele ("The Nightbird" of WNEW-FM). Rosie O'Donnell later joined the outlet's veejay lineup. O'Donnell would also host a comedy show featuring various comedians each episode. As an added touch to make the network more like a televised radio station, the early years of the network featured jingles in their bumpers produced by JAM Creative Productions in Dallas, who had previously made jingles for radio stations worldwide.
The format left room for occasional ad-libs by the VJ, a godsend for emcees such as Imus and O'Donnell. In true Imus style, he used a 1985 segment of his VH-1 show to jokingly call smooth-jazz icon Sade Adu a "grape" for her oval-shaped head.
Typical of VH1's very early programming was New Visions, a series which featured videos and in-studio performances by smooth jazz and classical and new-age bands and performers, including Spyro Gyra, Andy Narell, Mark Isham, Philip Glass, and Yanni. At first many different musicians guest-hosted the program, but eventually musician/songwriter Ben Sidran became the permanent host.
New Age music videos continued to play on the channel into the 1990s. They would be seen on the Sunday morning two-hour music video block titled Sunday Brunch.
Early programming (1989–1994)
Once VH1 established itself a few years later, they catered to Top 40, adult contemporary, classic rock, and 1980s mainstream pop. For a time, even country music videos aired in a one-hour block during the afternoons. They started out using MTV's famous Kabel typeface font for their music video credit tags. It was later replaced in 1991 by a larger font, with the year the video was made added to the lower column that identified the label on which the album was released. In 1993, the name of the videos' director was included at the bottom of the credits.
During this time, they also had some non-music programming, such as a comedy hour hosted by Rosie O'Donnell with various amateur and veteran comedians, called Stand Up Spotlight, an in-depth look at current movies called Flix, and reports on good civilians and volunteers in the community, called Good News People.
Long blocks of music videos by a particular artist or band, theme, or years were also very popular in this era. One popular weekend program was called Video Rewind, in which blocks of 1980s videos from one particular year would play for an hour. There was also a short-lived hour-long program called By Request in which viewers could call a 1–900 hotline number to request their videos.
Also in 1991, a popular morning program was introduced called Hits News & Weather that ran from 7 AM to 9 AM ET. (It later expanded to 10 AM ET.) It consisted of music videos both past and present along with a 90-second update of the day's news & weather provided by All News Channel. The updates were typically shown twice an hour during the program. A box displaying the minutes past the hour was shown below the logo during the period. It was discontinued a week before the channel was re-branded in the Spring of 1994. During the week prior, classic music videos from forgotten artists/bands aired, titled Whatever Happened To...?
The channel's playlist was gradually expanding, and, by 1994, included contemporary musicians such as Ace of Base, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Amy Grant, Seal, and other slightly heavier, or more alternative rock-influenced music than what it had originally played, although favorites such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Cher, Elton John, Madonna, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson, and Céline Dion still continued to receive heavy play for several more years as well. VH1 to One was a program in the Video Hits One days that was very similar to Behind The Music. It profiled artists such as Phil Colins, Michael Bolton and Paul McCartney. Plus other various artists of interest at the time that were playing the network's chosen style of music at the time and their music careers
VH1 Corvette Give-away Sweepstakes
In order to reach a wider and younger audience, VH1 announced in late 1989 that in 1990 they would be holding a contest where the grand prize was a collection of 36 Chevrolet Corvettes, one for every model year from its introduction year of 1953, to the then current model year of 1989 (there is no model for 1983), all going to a single grand winner. All cars were to be certified as roadworthy and in "good" to "excellent" condition. The collection at the time had an estimated worth of over US$1 million. Contestants entered by calling a 900 number and registering, at $2 per call. VH1 received over 4 million call-in entries. The winner was a man from Long Island, New York, who immediately sold the entire collection to artist Peter Max for $500,000. Max intended to use the cars for an art project, but it never got started and the entire collection was left in an underground parking lot in New York City for over 20 years, and deteriorated into poor condition.
VH1: Music First (1994–2003)
In May 1994, VH1 re-branded itself as VH1: Music First, following a slight ratings decline in the early 1990s. They began airing "History of Music Videos A to Z" during the July 4 weekend from 1994 to 1998 where they would show a large percentage of their library of music videos, which would include mini-marathons of videos by artists with a large number of videos. The success of A to Z led to a weeknight 11 p.m. hour-long broadcast of Madonna videos, titled The Madonna Show. The videos were aired without introduction by a VJ and the program was soon shortened to thirty minutes, and then scrapped altogether. By 1996, VH1 was heading down the same path as its sister channel, MTV, choosing to focus more on music-related shows than on music videos. Additionally, the network began to expand its playlist of music videos to include more rock music. Old episodes of American Bandstand could regularly be seen on the channel. By that time, the channel's ratings were beginning to fall.
As part of VH-1's re-branding as "VH1: Music First" in 1994, the channel launched a new series, the VH1 Top 10 Countdown, that counted down the top ten music videos played on VH1 each week. A combination of record sales, radio airplay, video spins, message board posts, and conventional mail would decide the order of the countdown. A rotating cast of VJs picked up hosting duties for the show over the years. The series expanded from ten to twenty music videos, becoming the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, in 2001. The show was renamed The 20 in early 2015, and ended later that year.
In the fall of 1996, VH1 premiered Pop-Up Video, in which music videos were accompanied by "pop-ups" (also known as "bubbles" or "info nuggets")—small enclosed areas of the screen containing facts about the band artists, and videos such as career highlights, discography, biographical details, quotes, and anecdotes. For a time, this was VH1's highest rated show.
In February 1996, VH1 again hit it big with the premiere of the first of the network's flagship shows, VH1 Storytellers. The show started with a broadcast of Ray Davies, during his "Storyteller" tour, and took its name from this first show. In each hourlong episode, artists appear in front of a (mostly small and intimate) live audience, interspersing musical performances with anecdotes related to the songs' meaning, the songwriting process, audience reaction, etc. Along with Davies, the series has featured a widely diverse list of artists, including Culture Club, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, Kanye West, Tom Waits, and Def Leppard. Meat Loaf enjoyed the show's format so much that he bought the stage decorations from VH-1 and went on to do a "Storytellers" tour in 1998/1999.
Behind the Music
VH1 scored another hit in August 1997 with the debut of Behind the Music. The hourlong show features interviews and biographies of some of popular music's biggest stars qualified to be profiled on the series. The premiere episode featured Milli Vanilli. Episodes have ranged from Aaliyah to Stryper to Queen, as well as others such as, Meat Loaf, Tori Amos, MC Hammer, Cher, Oasis, Steppenwolf, Fleetwood Mac, TLC, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Megadeth, Britney Spears, Selena, Petra, Pantera, and Eminem, with more episodes being produced periodically. By the late 1990s, the show began to run out of artists to profile, leading to the short-lived BTM2 program, half-hour looks into bands and artists whose popularity was rising, but not yet at its peak.
Shortly after, VH1 created a companion series, Legends (originally sponsored by AT&T), profiling artists who have made a more significant contribution to music history to qualify as "Legends" (that is, those artists who have gone beyond the category of Behind the Music biographies). The artists profiled so far have included Aerosmith; the Bee Gees; David Bowie; Johnny Cash; Eric Clapton; The Clash; George Clinton; Sam Cooke; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; The Doors; John Fogerty; Aretha Franklin; Marvin Gaye; The Grateful Dead; Guns N' Roses; Jimi Hendrix; Michael Jackson; Eminem; Elton John; Janis Joplin; B. B. King; Led Zeppelin; John Lennon; Curtis Mayfield; Nirvana; Pink Floyd; The Pretenders; Red Hot Chili Peppers; Queen; Bruce Springsteen; Tina Turner; U2; Stevie Ray Vaughan; The Who, and Neil Young.
VH1 Save The Music Foundation
The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education programs in America's public schools, and raising awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. Founded in 1997, VH1 Save The Music was the first organization in existence dedicated to restoring music programs in America's schools. For nearly 20 years, the foundation has donated over $53 million worth of new musical instruments to 2,024 public schools in 247 school districts around the country to date—impacting the lives of more than three million public school students. Learn about the foundation's Play it Forward campaign in celebration of its 20th anniversary here: on.vh1.com/playitforward
VH1 Save The Music Foundation's 2012 Ambassador class includes Gavin Rossdale, Jordin Sparks, Vanessa Carlton, Lupe Fiasco, Katy Perry, Chris Daughtry, Matthew Morrison, and AJ Mclean, joining Alumni Ambassadors including: Kelly Clarkson, John Mayer, Natasha Bedingfield, John Legend, The Fray, Colbie Caillat, Tamia, Ne-Yo, and Nick Lachey, among many other musicians, singers, athletes and celebrities dedicated to the cause. VH1 Save The Music Ambassadors help raise awareness and deliver key messages about the importance of music education in a young person's life, as well as help raise funds to further the Foundation's mission to restore instrumental music education programs in U.S. public elementary and middle schools. It won a Peabody Award in 1999.
In 1998, VH1 debuted the first annual VH1 Divas concert and featured the "divas" Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan, and Celine Dion, and the "special guest" Carole King. The second installment of these "diva" shows was produced in 1999 featuring Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Cher, LeAnn Rimes, Mary J. Blige, Faith Hill, Chaka Khan, Brandy, and special "divo" Elton John. It became a huge success and was featured in the following years starring Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Destiny's Child, Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Shakira, Deborah Harry, Anastacia, Dixie Chicks, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Jessica Simpson. Also in 1999, Donna Summer who was asked to do the "diva" concert, was given her own concert special by VH1 "Donna Summer Live and More: Encore". Some artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Cher, Chaka Khan, and Faith Hill were featured in two or more VH1 divas concerts, with Cyndi Lauper appearing the most times, having been featured in four concerts.
Movies That Rock
In 1999, VH1 aired its first original movie, a bio-pic on Sweetwater. Their third original movie (which aired in 2000), Two of Us, focused on a fictional meeting between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Over the next three years, they made over a dozen movies, including bio-pics on Jim Morrison and The Doors, Ricky Nelson, MC Hammer, The Monkees, Meat Loaf, and Def Leppard.
VH1 continues to air "Movies That Rock" on a regular basis, expanding to include movies not produced by VH1. The subject matter remains mostly focused on music and musicians.
In the late 1990s, VH1 continued to get more diverse and teen-based with its music selection, and with that, the network updated its 1994 "Big 1" logo. Various late-night rock shows have been shown on VH1, featuring alternative rock and metal videos from the 1980s and 1990s. VH1 eventually warmed up to harder rock acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Foo Fighters, the Stone Temple Pilots, and Metallica. Their new videos began being added into VH1's playlist right away.
Around late 2002, VH1 even began to play mainstream rap musicians. The latest videos by Eminem, Nelly, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, and Eve began to be shown in VH1's rotation and even started to crop up on VH1's top 20 countdown. VH1 also plays music from Latin artists such as Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, Thalía, and Shakira.
Other past trends
rockDocs was the title under which VH1 aired various music documentaries, both those produced by VH1 and those produced by third parties. Such documentary series produced by VH1 include "And Ya' Don't Stop", a five-part series on the history of hip-hop and rap, a four-part series on the history of heavy metal, Heavy: The Story of Metal, and The Drug Years, which tells the story of various drug cultures that changed America. Films produced by other studios have also been aired as rockDocs, including Woodstock, Madonna: Truth or Dare, Tupac: Resurrection, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!, a documentary on the Beastie Boys, and most recently Last Days of Left Eye which documented the last month of Lisa Lopes's life from the band TLC, and N.W.A.: The World's Most Dangerous Group, featuring the narration of comedian Chris Rock, which chronicled the rise and fall of N.W.A.
VH1 endured criticism for Music Behind Bars, which mainly focuses on musicians in custody. Critics have claimed prisoners, mainly those convicted of murder, should not be entitled to any exposure, especially nationally.
The channel aired Where Are They Now? from 1999 to 2002. It featured former celebrities and their current professional and personal status. Each episode was dedicated to a specific genre, ranging from past child stars to Aaron Spelling's notable productions, to controversial news figures.
VH1 also aired a series of spots in 2003, featuring animated kittens from the online animation website Rathergood, lipsyncing popular songs such as Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n' Roll", Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon" and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle". These spots were done by British animator Joel Veitch.
Box logo era (2003–2013)
In August 2003, the network changed its focus again, dropping "Music First" from its name, and introducing a box logo. Having saturated its Behind The Music series (and spinoff BTM2, a 30-minute version that told the stories of current chart-toppers), gotten past the point of showing music videos on a regular basis, the network began to target the pop culture nostalgia market. Following the controversy over the murder-suicide of a contestant from Megan Wants a Millionaire, the channel toned down its reality programming. On July 1, 2007, VH1 and MHD simulcast the entire Concert for Diana live from London, England, on the birthday of Princess Diana, Princess of Wales.
VH1 would continue to air its music video blocks despite its decreasing reliance on such programming. Their main program block was seen from 3 a.m to 11 a.m ET. The overnight block was called Insomniac Music Theater, later renamed Nocturnal State in August 2005. At of the beginning of October 2008, Nocturnal State was cut down to one hour, and Fresh: New Music was supplanted by additional hours of Jump Start. In 2010, VH1 retired Nocturnal State. Music Videos continued to be branded under Jump Start until January 5, 2013.
I Love… series (2002–2014)
In 2002, VH1 broadcast a ten-part series entitled I Love the '80s. The series was adapted from a BBC series, first broadcast in 2000, in which current entertainers and pop-culture figures offered their take on the trends, events, and personalities of another decade. The success of VH1's I Love the '80s, coupled with the growing nostalgia for ever-more-recent times, led the network to create a parade of similarly themed programs. These ranged from 2003's I Love the '70s, to further variants like I Love the '80s Strikes Back, I Love the '90s, and I Love the '90s: Part Deux. More recently, VH1 premiered I Love the '80s 3-D and I Love the '70s: Volume 2. So eager was the network to capitalize on the trend while it was hot, that it devoted a series to the 2000s, despite the fact that the decade had not yet ended (I Love the New Millennium, broadcast in 2008, covered only the years 2000–2007). This was thought to be the final installment of the series until 2014, when I Love the 2000s continued the format.
The Greatest series
VH1 also produces its The Greatest series in which a similar format is used to countdown lists like "100 Greatest Artists of Rock and Roll", "The 50 Sexiest Video Moments", "100 Greatest Songs of Rock 'N' Roll", "100 Greatest Songs from the Past 25 Years", "100 Greatest One-hit Wonders", "100 Greatest Kid Stars", and "100 Greatest Teen Stars". In 2001, Mark McGrath hosted VH1's miniseries "100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock 'N' Roll", which compiled a list of the moments in music history that changed its course and shook its foundations. Recently in late December 2009, an updated series titled "100 Most Shocking Music Moments" aired on VH1. In 2008 and early 2009, the channel premiered the "100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs", "100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs", "100 Greatest Songs of the 90s", and "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s".
40 Most Awesomely Bad
In 2004, VH1 began this mini-series category with "50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever". Additional series in this group include "40 Most Awesomely Bad Dirrty Songs...Ever", "40 Most Awesomely Bad Break-up Songs...Ever", "40 Most Awesomely Bad #1 Songs...Ever", "40 Most Awesomely Bad Metal Songs...Ever", and "40 Most Awesomely Bad Love Songs".
In January 2005 VH1 launched its Celebreality programming block of reality shows featuring celebrities, anchored by The Surreal Life, which mimics MTV's The Real World, instead placing celebrities from the past into a living environment. The word "celebreality" is a portmanteau combining the words "celebrity" and "reality" and is generally used to describe reality TV shows in which celebrities participate as subjects. The term appears to have been coined by Michael Gross, writing for The Toronto Star on May 12, 1991. In his article, entitled "Celebrity's New Face," Mr. Gross used a hyphenated form of the word ("celeb-reality") to describe the tendency of certain contemporary celebrities to downplay the traditional trappings of Hollywood glamour. "You could see the new celeb-reality on display at this year's Oscars," wrote Gross. "It is Kathy Bates and Whoopi Goldberg, not Kim Basinger and Michelle Pfeiffer. It is Jeremy Irons in black tie and the sneakers he says keep his feet on the ground. It is Kevin Costner, fighting small, important battles, winning big, but reacting with modesty and going off to party privately. The new celebrities are human first, famous second."
The next known citation of the word is by Joyce Millman, writing for The New York Times on January 5, 2003. In an article entitled, "Celebreality: The 'Stars' Are Elbowing Their Way In," Ms. Millman wrote: "Celebreality, the junk genre du jour, turns the notion of reality TV upside down. Instead of real people acting like celebrities on shows like "Survivor", "Big Brother" and "The Bachelor", celebreality gives us celebrities acting like real people on shows like "The Osbournes", "The Anna Nicole Show" and "Celebrity Boot Camp." I'm using the term "celebrity" loosely here—we're not talking about Russell Crowe, Julia Roberts and Dame Judi Dench eating bugs and scrubbing latrines. No, the celebrities of celebreality are a motlier crew, like, well, Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil, the former rap superstar M. C. Hammer and the wee ex-Michael Jackson ornament Emmanuel ("Webster") Lewis. Those three will be setting up housekeeping together on Thursday in "The Surreal Life" on WB, a celebreality spin on MTV's "Real World." Not to be outdone, ABC sends a Baldwin brother (Stephen), a supermodel (Frederique) and a former "L.A. Law" star (Corbin Bernsen) to Hawaii for "Celebrity Mole Hawaii", beginning Wednesday."
The VH1 Celebreality block has also aired shows such as:
- 2003: Surviving Nugent sent eight individuals to Ted Nugent's house to compete in various games and activities. One of the contestants was future reality show star Tila Tequila.
- 2005–2007: Hogan Knows Best is Hulk Hogan's reality show.
- 2005–2010: Celebrity Fit Club is a show where celebrities get in shape.
- 2005: Strange Love is a spin-off of The Surreal Life, following the relationship between Brigitte Nielsen and Flavor Flav.
- 2005–2008: My Fair Brady is another spin-off from The Surreal Life, which follows the relationship of Christopher Knight, who played Peter Brady on The Brady Bunch, and Adrianne Curry, who won the first season of America's Next Top Model.
- 2005-2006: Breaking Bonaduce covers the therapy and life of Danny Bonaduce.
- 2006–2007: Celebrity Paranormal Project features celebrities placed in haunted locations to explore and perform tasks.
- 2006–2008: Flavor of Love is a spin-off of Strange Love, where Flavor Flav tries to find love.
- 2007–2009: I Love New York, New York Goes to Hollywood, and New York Goes to Work feature Tiffany "New York" Pollard, from Flavor of Love.
- 2007: Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School is a spin-off of Flavor of Love
- 2007–2009: Rock of Love features Bret Michaels searching for love.
- 2007: Ego Trip's The (White) Rapper Show is a reality contest hosted by MC Serch.
- 2007–2008: The Salt-N-Pepa Show is a reality series following the 1990s rap duo Salt-N-Pepa.
- 2008–2009: Rock of Love: Charm School is a spin-off of Rock of Love with Bret Michaels
- 2008–2010: I Love Money is a spin-off of Flavor of Love, I Love New York, Real Chance of Love, and Rock of Love with Bret Michaels.
- 2008: ¡Viva Hollywood! featured Hispanic actors competing for a chance to star in a telenovela, hosted by Carlos Ponce and María Conchita Alonso.
- 2008: Ego Trip's Miss Rap Supreme is another reality contest hosted by MC Serch.
- 2008–2009: Real Chance of Love is a spin-off of I Love New York and I Love Money.
- 2008–2012: Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, which chronicled a group of celebrities as they're treated for alcohol and drug addiction by Dr. Drew Pinsky and his staff at the Pasadena Recovery Center in Pasadena, California.
- 2008: Glam God with Vivica A. Fox is a reality show with red carpet diva Vivica A. Fox.
- 2008: The Cho Show is a reality sitcom following the antics of comedian Margaret Cho.
- 2009: Daisy of Love features Daisy de la Hoya, the runner-up of Rock of Love 2, in her own dating show spin-off.
- 2009: My Antonio is a reality series based on Antonio Sabato Jr.'s search for love.
- 2009: Charm School with Ricki Lake is a spin-off of Rock of Love Bus with Bret Michaels and Real Chance of Love.
- 2009: Megan Wants a Millionaire features Megan Hauserman from Rock of Love 2, I Love Money, and Rock of Love: Charm School in her own reality dating spin-off. The program was canceled in mid-August 2009, a third of the way through its run, due to show contestant Ryan Jenkins's involvement in the murder of Jasmine Fiore.
- 2010: The Price of Beauty is a reality/documentary show featuring singer Jessica Simpson traveling the world.
Hip-Hop and Rock Honors
Since 2004, VH1 has showed their appreciation for hip-hop and rock music by honoring pioneers and movements. Hip-hop musicians honored include Eazy-E, LL Cool J, The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, and Public Enemy. All of the shows have been taped in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. On May 25, 2006, Queen, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, and Kiss were the inaugural inductees into the VH1 Rock Honors in Las Vegas. The ceremony aired on VH1 six days later. In 2007, ZZ Top, Heart, Genesis, and Ozzy Osbourne were inducted into the VH1 Rock Honors. 2008's sole Rock Honors inductees were The Who.
For What It's Worth
For What It's Worth premiered on February 21, 2013, and only lasted the length of one season. The show featured hosts Gary Dell'Abate and Jon Hein appraising music and pop-culture memorabilia. The first episode featured musician Jack White at Third Man Records in Nashville, Tennessee, discussing a format of vinyl record he invented called the "Triple Decker Record". The show also chose Gary Sohmers, an appraiser from Antiques Roadshow, to be an expert appraiser on all six episodes.
Starting in 2011, VH1 has broadcast Big Morning Buzz Live, a daily morning news and pop culture talk show hosted by Carrie Keagan, Jason Dundas and VH1 music expert Jim Shearer and, later, Nick Lachey. The show features entertainment news, celebrity interviews and musical performances. On June 3, 2013, VH1 premiered The Gossip Table, another live daily entertainment news program featuring five entertainment columnists presenting entertainment news and gossip. Both shows have since been cancelled.
VH1 Best Cruise Ever
From April 28 to May 2, 2011, from Tampa to Cozumel music fans could experience non-stop music performances from headliners Train, Lifehouse, Colbie Caillat, and The Script. Other bands include Alpha Rev, Civil Twilight, Mat Kearney, One eskimO, SafetySuit, Thriving Ivory, Trailer Park Ninjas, and Ryan Star. The cruise is on The Carnival Cruise Line ship Carnival Inspiration.
Current era (2013–present)
On January 5, 2013, VH1 introduced a new logo that closely resembles their first. The logo has a "plus" sign in it, representing VH1's focus on music-related shows and events and pop culture-based reality programming. The network's main video block was VH1 + Music, seen weekday mornings between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. The new Nocturnal State block aired Mondays through Sundays between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.
In the first quarter of 2016, VH1 announced its highest ratings in six years and it was then the fastest-growing subscription channel in that same period. Thanks to the success of shows like Love & Hip Hop, Stevie J & Joseline Go Hollywood, K. Michelle: My Life, and Mob Wives, the channel has moved ahead as a Top Five network for adults. Conversely, VH1 + Music was dropped and replaced by reruns of 1990s–2000s sitcoms shared with Viacom's other networks. Since then, the channel only carries music videos in continuity between shows.
VH1 has seen shifts to its programming as part of Viacom's 2017 restructuring plan. Beginning with its ninth season, Logo TV original series RuPaul's Drag Race was moved to VH1. In 2019, as part of an expansion of MTV's Wild 'n Out, new episodes premiered on VH1 from July 7, 2019 to September 15, 2019.
Original programming currently seen on VH1 include the Love & Hip Hop, Black Ink Crew, and Basketball Wives franchises. Other notable shows include RuPaul's Drag Race (which was moved over from Logo in 2017), reruns and new episodes (as of July 2019) of Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out (which originated on MTV), and Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party. VH1's current programming is noted to predominantly focus on urban music genres and lean towards African American personalities, similar to BET.
Sister and international networks
VH1 HD (launched in 2005) is a 1080i high definition feed, with all major providers carrying the network; as of 2016 this feed is downgraded at a provider's headend to provide the network's standard definition channel on systems.
Sister channels in the U.S.
VH1 has launched spinoff digital networks as part of The Suite From MTV. Initially, four VH1 spinoff networks were formed, with another being made later on. By August 2016, all of VH1's spinoffs had been realigned with either MTV, BET, or CMT or were shuttered altogether.
- VH1 Classic: Music videos primarily from the 1970s and 1980s, but also the 1960s and 1990s, concert footage, movies, and original programming centered on adult hits, classic hits and classic rock music. Rebranded as MTV Classic on August 1, 2016.
- VH1 MegaHits: A channel which played mostly top 40 adult contemporary videos from throughout VH1's history, from the 1980s to the early years of the 21st century. Due to low viewership, the network was discontinued. The satellite space was utilized by corporate parent MTV Networks to launch the LGBTQ network Logo.
- VH1 Soul: Classic and neo-soul music videos from yesterday and today. Rebranded as BET Soul under the editorial control of BET Networks on 28 December 2015.
- VH1 Uno: A Spanish language channel which mostly consisted of music videos of Latin pop, rock, and traditional ballads, tropical, salsa and merengue music. Discontinued February 2, 2008 by MTV Networks to expand normal distribution of mtvU beyond college campuses.
- VH1 Country: Continuous country music videos; moved under CMT's editorial control and renamed CMT Pure Country on Memorial Day 2006.
VH1's website, launched in the late 1990s. In 2003, MTV Networks VSPOT, a broadband video channel that followed the model of MTV Overdrive, containing the shows aired by VH1 and music videos. Like Overdrive, it was coolly received due to a heavy reliance on broadband and advanced web technologies. VH1 returned to a traditional-style website in late 2007.
As with other MTV channels, MTV Networks broadcasts international versions of VH1:
- VH1 Adria: By the end of September 2012, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Croatia got their regional version of VH1 called VH1 Adria. However, due to financial problems, the channel closed in January 2015 and was replaced by the feed of VH1 Europe.
- VH1 Australia: Since March (April for Optus customers) 2004, VH1 has been available in Australia on Foxtel, Optus Television and Austar. It is also available on the SelecTv pay TV platform. On May 1, 2010, VH1 Australia was re-branded as MTV Classic.
- VH1 Brasil: The Portuguese-language version of VH1 was launched in Brazil on May 1, 2004. However, VH1 Soul had been available to digital cable subscribers since 2004. In 2007 VH1 Soul stopped being available in Brazil. In 2009 the version HD of VH1 was launched.
- VH1 Mega Hits Brazil: Replaced the Brazilian version of MTV Hits. The channel plays 24h chart hits non-stop.
- VH1 Caribbean: Founded on April 14, 2004, VH1 Caribbean also known as VH1 Puerto, is a music television channel from Viacom International Media Networks, based on the American channel of the same name. This version of VH1 is very different from its American counterpart, since it has never ceased to be a proper music channel, playing a wide variety of music programs on a daily or weekly basis. VH1 Caribbean is in 2013 the only major music channel in Caribbean and North Central America still broadcasting in the 4:3 ratio while others broadcast in 16:9 widescreen. VH1 Caribbean has also Change logo same as the original U.S. channel has adopted a new logo since 2013. It appeared for the first time in Latin America in 2004 and the version airing was subsequently distributed across the whole of the Caribbean Islands. However, its current pan-Caribbean feed was officially launched in 2006, hence becoming a separate service from the Latin-aimed channel VH1 Latin America
- VH1 Christmas: A special channel that plays Christmas music videos. VH1 Christmas airs on MTV Rocks in the UK and Ireland during the Christmas period annually.
- VH1 Denmark: The Danish version of VH1 was launched in Denmark on March 15, 2008.
- VH1 Europe: The Pan-European VH1 channel broadcast in the European continent as well as Africa and the Middle East. This channel also airs in Russia, albeit it has the "16+" icon on the bottom-right, due to Russia's broadcasting laws.
- VH1 Export: VH1 Export is the technical name used for the version of VH1 European available in the Middle East, Africa, and the Levant territories broadcasting via satellite, exclusively from the OSN pay-TV network. In Africa (on DStv), the channel is exactly the same as VH1 European, but with different adverts.
- VH-1 Germany: In 1995 to 2001, a German-language version of VH-1 was broadcast, featuring more adult music than MTV, and using the original 1985 to 1987 US logo. It proved unsuccessful and eventually had to make way for a non-stop music channel aimed at teenagers called MTV2 Pop. However, VH1 has not really disappeared from German television, since it is still available in its pan-European version.
- VH1 India: In December 2004, MTV India and Zee-Turner teamed up to bring VH1 to India (later owned by Viacom18). It is the only version of VH1 that currently uses the 2003 branding.
- VH1 Indonesia: In Indonesia, VH1 programming were aired on MTV Indonesia at 4 until 8 pm, and on local terrestrial channels such as Jak-TV, Jakarta, STV Bandung, TV Borobudur, Semarang, TATV, Solo, and Makassar TV, Makassar (UHF21) and also a full link channel seen on satellite PALAPA C2.
- VH1 Italy: Launched in July 2016, which replaced MTV Music on DTT, which sold the main MTV station to Sky Italia on August 1, 2015.
- VH1 Latin America: On April 1, 2004, VH1 Latin America joined MTV and Nickelodeon Latin America targeting audiences 25–49 years old. Until then, the VH1 main channel available for Latin America was the original US version. The Spanish-language channel is tailored for the market and feature a mix of music and entertainment with local and international-recording artists, as well as original programming.
- VH1 Pakistan: It was launched in 2008 by Viacom as a joint venture with ARY Digital Network. However, in 2009, the channel was closed due to low ratings and repeated shows.
- VH1 Polska: Launched (or rather renamed) on December 1, 2005. The channel is aimed at people in Poland over 25. The channel was formerly known as "MTV Classic" and (especially in its last months) was the same as present VH1, airing the same programs for the same target group.
- VH1 Russia: VH1 Russia launched on December 2, 2005. It ceased broadcasting on July 1, 2010 and was replaced by the European VH1 feed.
- VH1 UK: VH1 UK targets 25–44 years old, and previously had much of the same content as the main U.S. channel. Since 2008, the channel now only plays music videos, most prominently countdowns and artist playlists. There were two sister stations in the UK: VH1 Classic (now MTV Classic) and VH2 (now closed).
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