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Di Bona's AFV spends quarter century in U.S. primetime.

Vin Di Bona is a 70-year-old second-generation Italian-American Hollywood producer who 25 years ago re-invented a simple TV show. Since then, it has been on the air on Disney's ABC network--and in primetime to boot.


The fact that his America's Funniest Home Videos (AFV) has aired in primetime for a quarter of a century gives it the distinction as one of the longest-running series on American television.

It all started when Di Bona watched a Japanese TV show with a segment featuring videos sent in by viewers. From that outline he created AFV through his own production company, Vin Di Bona Productions, as one hour of amusing amateur videos sent in by viewers.

So, how has AFV succeeded for 25 years proposing the same elements (unruly or amusing infants and children, animals with bizarre behavior and adults who fall) and in primetime? "Because," answered Di Bona, "the program not only attracts families, but it is one of the few that makes families watch together. Plus, 93 percent of the audience watch it live [not recorded or streamed]."

In addition to ABC network (which has transferred all exploitation rights, including international sales, to parent company Disney), older episodes of AFV are transmitted by cable TV networks, local TV stations and via the Internet. At times in the U.S, it can be the case that in the same time slot and day of the week, viewers might simultaneously see several episodes of AFV, but Di Bona explained, "They are shows from different years or with different themes."

Specifically, he added, "Programs produced five years ago go into U.S. syndication; those from five to seven years ago go on the Internet and those from 15 to 20 years ago go on cable TV."

At the international level, AFV is broadcast in 193 countries, 25 of which have added local presenters.

Finally, we talked ... Italian cuisine. Di Bona is the son of restaurant owners and often returns to his native state of Rhode Island to attend meetings of the Aurora Civic Association, an organization based in Providence, with the sole purpose of cooking for the members. At Aurora's events, assured Di Bona, "One can enjoy real Italian dishes that are not often found in restaurants outside Italy." Pictured above left are Vin Di Bona and VideoAge's Dom Serafini.

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Title Annotation:World; America's Funniest Home Videos
Comment:Di Bona's AFV spends quarter century in U.S. primetime.(World)(America's Funniest Home Videos)
Publication:Video Age International
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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