Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen this. Yo, in honor of Friday Night Videos… I’m gonna start posting vids late night. In New York… we only had “Friday Night Videos”, “Hot Tracks” and “Video Music Box”. That was the only available visuals for music on regular T.V. It got harder when cable television became more of the norm and if you didn’t have it(like me), you was running over friends house just to see the newness. That’s how it was before things got saturated. It seems like video shows was fazed out in the last 2 years except for a few boring joints that never introduced music artists on a whole. So… this is my dedication to that. FANGGGGGGGGGGG! Let’s get business but first…. lets get into the history.

Friday Night History(Wiki’pedia):

Friday Night Videos is a music video show broadcast on the American NBC television network from July 29, 1983 to May 24, 2002, and was considered network television’s answer to MTVBelinda Carlisle was the guest host for the first episode.


Friday Night Videos actually had its roots in a show called The Midnight Special, which dated back to 1973 and, like FNV, was produced by Dick Ebersol (in conjunction with creator Burt Sugarman) and aired late Friday nights, until 1981. Ebersol chose to abandon Midnight Special when he took over an ailing Saturday Night Live, which had experienced serious ratings declines and cast problems under the leadership of Jean Doumanian. However, after several more years of struggle on SNL, Ebersol decided to try his hand yet again at a Friday night music show.

In its early years, MTV was still a phenomenon that only a minority of Americans actually could see in their homes, as there were many areas not served by cable television, and not all cable television providers offered MTV. Friday Night Videos took advantage of that fact and proved to be the next best thing for many viewers.

While it primarily showcased music videos by popular top 40 acts of the day, unlike its cable rival, Friday Night Videos tended to offer more variety, featuring artists from the genres of poprockR&B, and rap.

In the beginning, the show ran 90 minutes long, and consisted of music videos introduced by an off-camera announcer. In addition to this, classic artists of the 1960s and 1970s occasionally appeared in Hall of Fame Videos, major stars were profiled in Private Reels, and new clips made their network debuts as World Premiere Videos.

The most popular feature was Video Vote. Two videos were played back-to-back, and viewers across the country could call in and vote for one of them, using nationwide 900 numbers for a small per-call fee. The winning video faced a new challenger the following week.

Nick Michaels and Scott Muni were the off-camera announcers.

The First Year:

“Many of our viewers aren’t familiar with music videos, so we’re going to begin our first show with one of the best.” — so stated the announcer at the beginning of the first telecast.Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” was the video chosen for this honor.

During the early years, the Video Vote segment often received as many as 200,000 calls in one night. The first year ended with a final contest, pitting the videos with the most victories against each other. Callers chose ZZ Top‘s “Sharp Dressed Man” as the 1983 Video Vote Champion.

Occasionally, FNV was simulcast on radio stations, so viewers could hear the music in stereo (before stereo telecasts, and sets with stereo speakers, became commonplace). In December 1983, the show scored a ratings victory when it aired Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” as a World Premiere Video.

Late 80’s/Early 90’s:

In 1987, the show was cut from 90 minutes to an hour, and its starting time was moved back from 12:30 a.m./ET to 1:30 a.m., as a result of Late Night with David Letterman, which had become a major ratings hit by that point, adding an additional Friday broadcast at 12:30. In 1989FNV gave out its own awards, naming Michael Jackson the Greatest Video Artist of the Decade.

In early 1990, NBC sporadically ran a Saturday morning edition of FNV for viewers who missed the show hours earlier because of its late night timeslot. That fall, the network premiered a clone show on the Saturday morning line up named Saturday Morning Videos, which followed Saved by the Bell and was basically a campier version of FNV that targeted the lead-in teenage audience. It was cancelled in 1992.

In late 1990, much like what was occurring gradually on MTV, FNV began to move away from an all-video format. Regular bumper segments were added, featuring Judy Tenuta (The Goddess of Gossip), Richard Belzer (Ask the Belz), Kim Coles (Girl Talk),Tom Kenny (Music News), and James Stephens III (Rapitorials).

In 1991, live in-studio musical performances were added. Tom Kenny, meanwhile, became the regular on-screen host, while popular radio personality Frankie Crocker hosted his own feature, Frankie Crocker’s Journal, which highlighted important dates in music history. Shortly thereafter, Crocker took over as host, sharing duties with Darryl M. Bell (who was later replaced by Branford Marsalis in 1993), while continuing to host Frankie Crocker’s Journal.

Format Change:

In January 1994, after years of falling ratings and seemingly becoming more and more insignificant in the wake of the cable television boom that allowed more households to have access to MTV, the show was retooled in an attempt to stay relevant. Moving to NBC Studios in Burbank from New York, the name was shortened to Friday Night, and became less of a music video show and more of a general entertainment and variety program, featuring celebrity interviews, stand-up comedy, movie reviews, live performances, viewer polls, and comedy sketches. Subsequently, the show now only made room to air approximately two music videos per episode. The new format brought two new hosts: comedians Henry Cho and Rita Sever. In 1996, Sever took over as sole host. The old Video Vote segment, meanwhile, was resurrected and renamed “Friday Night Jukebox.”

For the host segments after 1998, Sever would be seated or standing in front of the giant videoscreen on the right side of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno set, near the guest’s entrance.

The Twilight Years:

In 2000, despite having its highest ratings in years, the show was once again reformatted by NBC for budgetary reasons. Under that title, Friday Night’s last telecast was December 29. On January 5, 2001, the show returned under the name Late Friday. Discontinuing the music and feature segments, the show now solely revolved around stand-up comedians doing their stage routines. After 65 episodes, it was replaced by Last Call with Carson Daly, which was extended to five nights a week. The cancellation marked the end of 29 years of NBC programming weekly-only shows in the overnights on Fridays.