VH1 (stylized as Vl+1, sometimes as VH-1 and originally an initialism of Video Hits One) is an American cable television network based in New York City that is owned by Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. It launched on January 1, 1985, in the old space of Turner Broadcasting System's short-lived Cable Music Channel. The original purpose of the channel was to build on the success of MTV by playing music videos, but targeting a slightly older demographic than its sister channel, focusing on the lighter, softer side of popular music.
The channel was originally created by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment, at the time a division of Warner Communications and owner of MTV. Both VH1 and its sister channel MTV are a part of Viacom Media Networks. While VH1 has played music videos in the past, its recent claim to fame has been in the area of music-related reality programming, such as Behind the Music, the I Love… series, the Celebreality block of programming, and the channel's overall focus on popular culture.
As of February 2015, approximately 92.6 million American households (79.6% of households with television) 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 Z100), Jon Bauman ("Bowzer" from Sha Na Na), Bobby Rivers, and Rita Coolidge.
Later VJs included Tim Byrd of WPIX-FM (now WFAN-FM), 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 2-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, 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: 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 11pm 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 all together. 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 and rap 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 or artist, such as career highlights, discography, biographical details, quotes, and anecdotes.
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
Founded in 1997, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating systemic change in the American public school system by restoring instrumental music programs and by raising public awareness about the importance of music as part of each child's complete education. The Foundation is a 501c3 public charity that began as a public affairs initiative of Vh1, the cable music channel.
The 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.
Since its inception in 1997, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has provided $48 million in new musical instruments to 1,800 public schools in more than 100 cities around the country, impacting the lives of over 1.8 million children. The Foundation hosts a series of special fundraising events each year, along with executive various cause marketing campaigns to mobilize people around the importance of music education.
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, 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 4 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.
Current era (2003–present)
In December 2003, the network changed its focus again, dropping "Music First" from its name, and introducing a box logo. As of January 5, 2013, the network has a new logo that closely resembles the first VH1 logo. The logo has a "plus" sign in it to represent VH1's era saying how they are about reality television, plus they still also show some music videos in the early morning. 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, and endured a 35% ratings decline over the past several years, the network began to target the pop culture nostalgia market just like its sister MTV. Ever since December 2015 no music videos have been shown. The network primarily broadcasts reality television series.
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 final installment of the series until 2014, when I Love the 2000s continued the format.
The format of these shows has been repeated for the weekly program Best Week Ever. In a sketch on Fox's MADtv envisioning the, at the time, fictitious "I Love the 00s" show, VH1 was referred to as "the bitter comics ragging on real celebrities" network. On June 22 of that years, VH1 premiered I Love the New Millennium, focusing on the years 2000–2007.
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", and "100 Greatest Kid 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 travelling 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.
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.
Other current trends
On July 1, 2007, VH1 and MHD, the high-definition music channel of MTV (now called MTV Live), simulcast live the entire Concert for Diana from London, England, on the birthday of Princess Diana, Princess of Wales.
Although VH1 has drastically reduced its emphasis on music, it does continue to play music videos (just like its sister network, MTV) from 3 a.m. until 11 a.m. ET. The overnight block was called Insomniac Music Theater until August 2005, when it was renamed Nocturnal State. As of the beginning of October 2008, Nocturnal State has been cut down to one hour, and Fresh: New Music has been supplanted by additional hours of Jump Start, thus meaning that VH1 now plays 7 hours of music daily. In 2010, VH1 retired Nocturnal State.
Music Videos continued to be branded under Jump Start until January 5, 2013 when a new logo was introduced. The name then changed to VH1 + Music and videos are primarily played between 6 A.M. to 9 A.M. Monday through Friday. Music Videos continued to be branded "Nocturnal State" and videos are primarily played between 3 A.M. to 6 A.M. Monday through Sunday. However at the start of 2016, VH1 + Music was dropped for blocks of older 1990s-2000's sitcoms, and presently the channel only carries music video programming in continuity form between shows.
VH1 Best Cruise Ever
From April 28 – 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.
VH1 also has been a big supporter of the LGBT community. Tyra Banks, along with Gay Rosenthal Productions, produced a show centered on a group of Transgender women living in Chicago. It stars Carmen Carrera, Giselle Garcia, Sidney Favors, Vi Le and Natalia Gonzalez. The 8 episode, 1 hour series aired in February 2015.
VH1 HD (launched in 2005) is a 1080i high definition simulcast of VH1, with all major providers (with the exceptions of Suddenlink and Cable One, which do not carry any Viacom networks) 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.
Like MTV and Nickelodeon before them, VH1 also launched spinoff digital networks as part of The Suite From MTV. Initially, four VH1 spinoff networks were formed. Others later joined the staple, including:
- 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.
- 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 December 28, 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 online destination, , launched in 199? (1995 or 1998?). In 200? (2003?), VH1 created VSPOT, a broadband video channel that followed the model of MTV Overdrive, containing the shows aired by VH1 and music videos. VSPOT was renamed to Video.VH1.com in late 2007.
VH1 around the world
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 Now The Slogan The Home of More.
- VH1 Denmark: The Danish version of VH1 was launched in Denmark on March 15, 2008.
- VH1 Europe: VH1 Europe is the VH1 channel broadcast in the European continent as well as Africa and the Middle East.
- 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) and Thailand, on UBC 33. 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. In India, VH1 is a 24-hour pay channel that will cater to the 13–35 age group.
- VH1 Indonesia: In Indonesia, VH1 programming also airs 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 replacing MTV Music on DTT.
- 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: Operated by ARY TV Network) Now Closed because Pakistani Government baned in Anti Islamic
- 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 has much of the same content as the main US channel. There were two sister stations in the UK: VH1 Classic (now MTV Classic) and VH2 (now closed).