||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
|Also known as||HCTV|
|Created by||Mark Monsky
John Parsons Peditto
|Presented by||Alan Frio
|Theme music composer||David Mansfield|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||2159|
|Executive producer(s)||Linda Bell Blue (1993-1995)
Peter Brennan (1990-1993)
Mitchell L. Gamson
Lisa Gregorich (1996-1999)
Marky Monsky (1989-1990)
Ron Vandor (1995-1999)
Lisa Lew (1989-1992)
|Running time||22 min|
|Production company(s)||Square 6, Inc.
Bell Blue Productions (1993-1995)
Brennan Productions (1990-1993)
Monsky Productions (1989-1990)
Gregorich Entertainment (1996-1999)
Vandor Productions (1995-1999)
Paramount Domestic Television (entire run)
|Distributor||Paramount Domestic Television|
|Original run||September 18, 1989– May 28, 1999|
Hard Copy is an American tabloid news television show that ran in syndication from 1989 to 1999. Hard Copy was aggressive in its use of questionable material on television, including gratuitous violence.
The original hosts of Hard Copy were Alan Frio and Terry Murphy; Barry Nolan joined the series in 1990 and stayed until 1998. In the show's final season, current KFMB sports director Kyle Kraska took over as host.
In the late 1980s, as investigative news shows and daytime talk shows were changing their formats and style, Hard Copy was created by Metromedia Television veterans Mark Monsky and John Parsons Peditto, who told original staffers that the idea was to "combine the stories of 20/20 with the production techniques of MTV." This would be the show's format at launch, but it was quickly abandoned due to ratings concerns. Monsky and Parsons Peditto would leave the series within the first season, and the show took on a hard tabloid format after their departure, with stories featuring outrageous content or titillation being featured much more than serious topics, along with graphics in bold and large fonts, and MTV-style camera work.
From 1990 through 1993, in its second, third and fourth seasons, the show was under the direction of executive producer and A Current Affair creator Peter Brennan and a team of Fox Television tabloid veterans that included producers Burt Kearns and Neal Travis and reporter Rafael Abramovitz. Under their control, Hard Copy evolved into the apotheosis of smart, witty and outrageous tabloid reporting.
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (January 2013)|
Hard Copy became such a staple of popular culture it was parodied on The Simpsons in the episode "Homer Badman" as Rock Bottom, a show which clearly misrepresents facts in order to create scandal. Meanwhile, the team broke news in the Cheyenne Brando, the Menendez Brothers, William Kennedy Smith, Clarence Thomas and the British Royal Family sagas, while pioneering the "mini movie" long-form story techniques in multi-episode reports on the Chappaquiddick incident, Elvis Presley, and the death of Marilyn Monroe.
1992 Elton John lawsuit
In 1992, Elton John threatened to take them to court, alleging a reporter tried to blackmail him into giving an interview by falsely claiming he had AIDS. They claimed Elton moved to Atlanta to be near an AIDS treatment centre. Elton in his lawsuit alleged extortion, slander, invasion of privacy and reckless endangerment. 
The day after the lawsuit was filed, the show ran a segment about Elton but, rather than accuse him of having HIV, praising him for the work he was doing for those affected by the disease. Elton's attorney told The Enquirer he "assume(d) the show was changed as a result of our suit". 
1996 celebrity boycott
In 1996, actor George Clooney began a public boycott of Hard Copy and its sister show Entertainment Tonight (both were produced by Paramount Domestic Television, now CBS Television Distribution) after Hard Copy violated a six-month agreement not to air segments about Clooney by airing footage of Clooney and then-girlfriend Celine Balitran on the set of his film Batman & Robin. Other celebrities supported the boycott including Whoopi Goldberg, Madonna, and Steven Spielberg.
Paramount Domestic Television (now CBS Television Distribution for syndicated shows and CBS Television Studios for network-aired shows) eventually agreed to change the way both shows obtained their news. They also agreed not to air "unauthorized footage" of celebrities or "footage that is known to have been obtained illegally."
- Alan Frio: Host (1989–1990)
- Barry Nolan: Host (1990–1998)
- Terry Murphy: Host (1989–1998)
- Kyle Kraska: Host (1998–1999)
- Jerry Penacoli: Reporter (1996–1999)
- Pat Lalama: Reporter (1996–1999)
- Edward Miller: Reporter (1996–1999)
- Doug Bruckner: Reporter
- Rafael Abramovitz: Correspondent
- Diane Dimond: Reporter
- Sylvia Villagran: Reporter
An Australian version of the series hosted by Gordon Elliott aired in the early 1990s.
- Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2007-10-17). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (9 ed.). Ballantine Books. p. 583. ISBN 0-345-49773-2.
- Woman's Day magazine 14 November 1992
- The Advertiser Adelaide South Australia, November 1992
- The Enquirer, November 1992
- Castro, Peter. Stalking Heads 46 (22). pp. 71–72. ISSN 0093-7673.
- Cruz, Clarissa (2001-12-01). "By George He's Got It". ew.com. Retrieved 13 January 2010.