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US and UK versions of TBS’s “Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan” respectively celebrate their 28th and 27th anniversaries!

2017.06.08
Having been renewed for new seasons, “America's Funniest Home Videos” (AFV) in the US and “You’ve Been Framed” (YBF) in the UK are respectively celebrating their 28th and 27th anniversaries this year. Highly successful in their markets for over a quarter-century, both programs are local versions of the hit TBS variety program “Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan,” which ran in Japan from January 1986 to March 1992.

AFV began its long US run in 1989 on major US terrestrial network ABC. In 2006, AFV entered its 17th season and became the longest-running entertainment program in the then over 60-year history of the network. With the renewal of the program and the format license agreement between TBS and ABC for another season, AFV will continue to extend this already impressive record. In the US terrestrial market, broadcasters compete fiercely for viewers, and 28 years on the air is truly an exceptional milestone.

Soon after the launch of AFV in the US, YBF got its start in the UK. In 1990, it began airing on ITV, the country’s largest private terrestrial TV network. YBF has been on air for 29 seasons and Season 30 is currently in production.

In 2012, AFV celebrated its 500th episode in prime time. In the history of US television, only three other prime time programs have reached the 500-episode milestone: “Gunsmoke,” “Lassie,” and “The Simpsons.” YBF has also attained the rare 500-episode milestone. Both programs are extremely popular and enjoy close to 100 percent name recognition among television viewers in their markets.

AFV producer Vin Di Bona has won four Emmy Awards, as well as a George Foster Peabody Award, one of the most coveted honors in the US broadcasting industry. In 2007, Di Bona earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2009, AFV became a permanent part of the entertainment collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

In 2013, the Wit (World Information Tracking) selected “Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan” for The Wit's Top 50 Series, a list of 50 television series since 1963 that had contributed to the history of television and had a global impact. The Wit created the list to celebrate the 50th anniversary of MIPTV, the world's largest TV market, which is held every year in in Cannes, France.

For both AFV and YBF, TBS partners with its exclusive format and variety program agent, Bellon Entertainment. TBS and Bellon introduced AFV to global audiences in 1988, and the program stands as the most successful Japanese format* to date. AFV and YBF are produced using only local staff and cast, with original Japanese original clips having aired on occasion.

* A program format is the concept, production know-how, and other creative elements of a quiz show, variety program, reality program or other type of television program. TBS has been a powerhouse in the development and sales of program formats, entering the market before many other major players in Japan and around the world. The history of TBS format sales began in 1980 with the sale of the “Waku Waku Animal Land” format in South Korea. Since then, working with its format sales partner Bellon Entertainment, TBS has sold over 200 formats in over 160 countries around the world. Several thousand program episodes have been produced based on TBS formats, and many of the programs have become popular local series in their respective countries. Famous TBS formats include “Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan (“America’s Funniest Home Videos” in the US and “You’ve Been Framed!” in the UK )”, which has been sold to around 100 countries; “Happy Family Plan (“The Moment of Truth” in the UK)”, which has been sold to around 60 countries; and “Takeshi’s Castle (“MXC” in the US) and “SASUKE (“Ninja Warrior”)”, both of which have been sold in over 150 countries and territories.

■ About Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS)
With over 50 years of experience licensing programming overseas, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, Inc. (TBS) has distributed programs of all genres – dramas, anime, documentaries, formats, movies – totaling several tens of thousands of hours of programming in over 160 countries worldwide and has firmly established its presence as a major content provider in the global arena. TBS is one of the most innovative broadcasters in creating variety formats, having licensed nearly 200 localized versions with several thousand episodes being produced including global hits like America’s Funniest Home Videos, Takeshi’s Castle/MXC, Sasuke/Ninja Warrior, etc. Looking ahead, TBS aims to further raise its profile overseas by expanding sales around the world of TBS hit shows and take advantage of new opportunities in the digital market place.

US and UK versions of TBS’s “Fun TV with Kato-chan and Ken-chan” respectively celebrate their 28th and 27th anniversaries!