||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. (January 2011)|
|Created by||Tom Lynch and Gary Biller|
|Country of origin||USA|
|Running time||up to 3 hours per episode|
|Original channel||TBS / WTBS|
|Original run||June 3, 1983 – May 30, 1992|
Night Tracks was an American television series which ran from 1983 to 1992 on SuperStation WTBS (later known as TBS SuperStation) on late night weekends. It premiered on Friday, June 3, 1983 and the first music video aired was "Family Man" by Hall & Oates, from their H2O album.
Night Tracks was created and produced by Tom Lynch and Gary Biller (Lynch/Biller Productions).
Night Tracks produced shows were (in chronological order):
Night Tracks (1983-1992) 
It is composed of two 3 hour blocks (1983–1989) of music videos in which the Friday night airings (usually scheduled at 12:05 AM Eastern Time/9:05 PM Pacific Time) were swapped and repeated on Saturday nights. This was done partly to accommodate sporting events programming such as Braves Baseball on TBS and NBA on TBS that ran overtime into Night Tracks' schedule. Night Tracks did not get the benefit of being seen in its entirety and had to abruptly end its broadcast just before 6:00 AM ET/3:00 AM PT. In the Spring of 1989, its cut off time for the Friday night broadcast was changed to 5:00 AM ET/2:00 AM PT. This meant that viewers had to wait until Saturday night to catch the entire broadcast of the second 3 hour block. In the Summer of 1990 the Friday night cut off time was changed to 5:30 AM ET/2:30 AM PT. In a few rare instances a sporting event ended early thus produced extra time for Night Tracks so the first 3 hour block of that evening was repeated until the cut off time just before 6:00 AM ET/3:00 AM PT.
In August 1989, this was changed to two 2 hour blocks and the remaining 2 hours each night became Night Flicks which can be considered as when the show started "jumping the shark".
In the Spring of 1990, it was further reduced to two 90 minute blocks. This meant that it was possible to see the first 90 minute block again (albeit in abbreviated form just before the cut off time) on the same night.
In the Spring of 1991, Night Tracks introduced "College Crush Groove", two 30 minute blocks of Alternative music videos in addition to the two regular 1 hour blocks. In August 1991 it flipped to Alternative and Rap with the subtitle moniker "The Music That Matters". However, the ratings did not significantly improve, TBS replaced more of Night Tracks' airtime with Nite Flix on May 15, 1992 and eventually canceled the show after its Friday, May 29, 1992 final abbreviated 40 minute airing. The only program that aired on the night of Saturday, May 30, 1992 was New Alternative Express.
Unlike MTV, the format for much of Night Tracks featured Rock, Pop, Dance, Adult Contemporary, R&B, Rap, Heavy Metal, and Alternative. By the Summer of 1991, Top 40 music was on the decline while Alternative and Rap rose dramatically which was why Night Tracks changed its format.
America's Music Tracks (1983-1984) 
Following Night Tracks' success, WTBS launched a one hour Country Music version with different voiceover announcers but used the same Chyron font for music video identification. It premiered on Sunday, October 2, 1983 at 8:05 PM Eastern Time/5:05 PM Pacific Time. The show ran for 15 weeks before it was canceled in February 1984.
Chartbusters (1984-1991) 
An hour long Top 10 (changed to Top 20 in 1990) music video show countdown that aired on Saturday nights preceding Night Tracks. It premiered on Saturday, May 19, 1984 and its chart listing was associated with Kal Rudman's Friday Morning Quarterback. The show also aired an additional BREAKER video that was predicted to hit the charts in the following weeks.
Chartbusters '85 (December 28, 1985) 
A 2 hour special that aired on a special time at 8:05 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, December 28, 1985 with top music videos and musical events of 1985 also hosted by Sandy Kenyon. (see clip at 2:31 )
Power Play (1985-1988) 
An hour of top ranking music videos that aired on Friday nights preceding Night Tracks. It premiered on Friday, October 4, 1985. This brought the total time to 14 hours of music videos aired each weekend.
Power Play Dancin' (1988-1989) 
An hour long Top 10 Dance videos. (replaced Power Play)
Power Hits (1989-1990) 
An hour of Hard Rock music videos. (replaced Power Play Dancin')
Power Hits was canceled in February 1990 and nothing Night Tracks related was put in its place.
Night Flicks (1989-1991) 
A byproduct of Night Tracks, it was a 2 hour movie presentation (4 hours total for both nights) that used Night Tracks' theme music. The name Night Flicks was also previously used on Night Tracks as a movie trailer commercial segment (Example: ). (replaced most of Night Tracks, changed to Nite Flix in 1991) 
New Alternative Express (1991-1992) 
An hour long Top 10 Alternative videos. (replaced Chartbusters)
Its final episode aired on Saturday, May 30, 1992 (early morning Sunday, May 31 on most time zones) and officially signaled the end of the Night Tracks franchise.
Night Tracks voiceover announcers 
This list only include permanent announcers and not announcers filling in such as Bill Brummel and others.
- Bob Coburn (1983–1986): Currently hosting the national call in radio show Rockline.
- Joanne Erhart (1983–1989)
- ??? (America's Music Tracks) (1983–1984)
- Frazer Smith (1986–1988), (1989–1991)
- Mike Carruthers (1988–1989): Currently hosting Something You Should Know.
- Cynthia Fox (1989–1991): Currently at KLOS-FM.
- Phil ??? (1991–1992)
- Nile Fair (1991–1992)
- Heath Adams (1992)
The announcers faces were never seen except during a special year end show in 1991. During a typical Night Tracks show the announcers would mention artists and music videos that would be aired within the hour. They would also mention facts and information about the artists just before the videos were aired. The announcers were also heard in these segments during the show.
- New Video of the Week
- New Music Spotlight (changed to New Music Preview in 1989) - Highlighting a new artist to Night Tracks just before that artist's debut video is aired.
- Original Classic - A classic music video is aired with info on that artist.
- World Premiere - Occasionally Night Tracks would have the privilege of being the first to air a particular music video. The announcers would thank the people at the record company for the arrangement.
- The Inside Track - A short one question interview segment just before that artist's video is aired.
Celebrity Guest Hosts 
Following Night Tracks' debut, Lynch and Biller would go on to create a musical series for children, Kids Incorporated. Today, Lynch produces mainly children's programs, such as The Secret World of Alex Mack, Caitlin's Way and Romeo!.
See also 
- "Night Tracks" at the Internet Movie Database
- Night Tracks fan's tribute site
- WTBS Night Tracks Group (Facebook)
- Night Tracks WTBS Group (Yahoo!)
- Night Tracks bumper music at the Television Production Music Museum