|Created by||Mark Monsky
John Parsons Peditto
|Presented by||Alan Frio
|Theme music composer||David Mansfield|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||10|
|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)||Paramount Domestic Television|
|Distributor||Paramount Domestic Television|
|Original release||September 18, 1989– September 10, 1999|
Hard Copy was 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, when he and Murphy departed. In the show's final season, Kyle Kraska took over as the sole host.
Hard Copy was produced and distributed by Paramount Domestic Television and, for much of its time on air, was often aired with its sister show, the Hollywood news program Entertainment Tonight as part of an hour-long programming block sold to local stations.
Hard Copy was a tabloid show that aired footage and news about celebrities and other non-famous people. Also featured were interviews with various newsmakers.
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 John but, rather than accuse him of having HIV, praising him for the work he was doing for those affected by the disease. John's attorney told The Enquirer he "assume(d) the show was changed as a result of our suit".
1994 The Simpsons episode
On November 27, 1994, FOX aired an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Homer Badman". When Homer takes babysitter Ashley Grant home from babysitting their kids, he is assumed to commit sexual harassment though in reality he is trying to eat a rare piece of gummi candy. The entire incident devolves into a media frenzy complete with a stand off. To make matters worse, Dennis Franz voiced himself playing Homer in a TV movie.
As a result, Homer takes part in a Hard Copy like show called Rock Bottom. However, the show distorts Homer's case and it takes Public Television and aid from Groundskeeper Willie, who was filming in the area, at the time of the incident, to clear Homer's name. The episode ended with Rock Bottom giving a series of corrections.
1996 celebrity boycott
In 1996, actor George Clooney began a public boycott of both Hard Copy and Paramount's celebrity news show Entertainment Tonight 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 eventually agreed to modify the way that both shows gathered information for their stories. 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)
- Remy Blumenfeld: London Correspondent (1991–1996)
- 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): 71–72. ISSN 0093-7673.
- Cruz, Clarissa (2001-12-01). "By George He's Got It". ew.com. Retrieved 13 January 2010.