Josiah Orne Low IV
September 26, 1966
|Education||Greenwich High School|
|Alma mater||Yale University|
Tad Low (born Josiah Orne Low IV on September 26, 1966) is an American businessman and media entrepreneur. He is the creator and producer of television shows, including Pop-Up Video and Pants-Off Dance-Off. He currently helms Spin The Bottle, a multimedia content company based in New York City. Low's work has been noted in the press for its ironic sensibility, and his shows simultaneously critique and celebrate popular culture in all of its banal and sublime incarnations. The paradoxical nature of Low's aesthetic was articulated by New York magazine when it dubbed Pants-Off Dance-Off both "brilliant and lowbrow".
One of his antecedents, Seth Low, served as both the Mayor of New York and as president of Columbia University. Low is a graduate of Yale, where he was a member of The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus. He made his first television appearance with a rubber chicken on Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine in the sixth grade. In 1994, Low hosted the syndicated television show Last Call, produced by Brandon Tartikoff and MCA. Low has subsequently hosted and appeared on various television shows for MTV, VH1, CBS, NBC, and Fox. He has also contributed articles to Men's Health and The New York Times.
Low lives in New York City with his wife, Alisa Lea Ruvinsky, a managing director at JP Morgan Chase, and their children. The couple exchanged vows at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau on June 6, 2013.
Pop-Up Video first aired on VH1 in October 1996. It inserted bubbles containing trivia and snarky behind-the-scenes commentary into existing music videos. The show spawned numerous imitators and earned ten Emmy nominations. Low's inspiration for the show came from hearing a stylist friend's tales of mistreatment at the hands of a famous female pop star. As Low claims in an interview for a Canadian newspaper, "I'd be watching (this singer) being wonderful and fabulous in all these cheesy videos, while at the same time I was hearing one horrible story after another of the acts of human degradation committed by this woman." Low's fascination with this incongruity eventually culminated in the creation of "Pop-Up Video".
Video IQ debuted on the Fuse network in November 2004. One of the first interactive game shows, Video IQ gave viewers the chance to win prizes by deciphering and text-messaging the answers to rebus-style puzzles embedded in the images and lyrics of music videos. Video IQ was similar in temperament to the wry and biting Pop-Up Video. In one show, for example, the clue "Semi-retired blond pop tart" yielded the answer Britney Spears.
Subway Q&A. Low hosted and co-created this show on the Metro Channel along with Ronald Fried. Debuting in 2000, this show featured Low, along with a camera crew, coaxing subway commuters into disrupting their daily routines by, for example, holding an impromptu trial in a subway car in which riders were asked to be the jury, persuading subway passengers to try on a stranger's hat, and convincing a woman he had never met before to join him for a catered dinner on the subway platform in the middle of rush hour. Cajoling ordinary New York City subway commuters into exploring their inner performers, Subway Q&A reflected Low's desire, in the words of a New York Times reporter, to "elevate real people to celebrity". Low was awarded a New York Emmy as host and producer of Subway Q&A in 2000 and appeared on the cover of The New York Times Television Magazine.
Pants-Off Dance-Off. Low is the creator and executive producer of PODO, which debuted on the Fuse network on April 18, 2006. The highest-rated show in the Fuse network's history, PODO combines elements of a dance contest with a striptease. Each episode features five amateur contestants (aka "pancers") who disrobe while dancing in front of a screen playing their favorite music videos. The show also contains an interactive element, as home viewers have the opportunity to vote for contestants in categories such as "funniest", "most disturbing" and "best dancer" on the show's website. According to The New York Times television critic David Itzkoff, PODO not only helped garner media attention and public exposure for the Fuse network (no pun intended), but also promoted an ethos similar to the all-encompassing philosophy of Subway Q&A: "In contrast to the unattainable standards of perfections promoted by celebrity television, 'Pants-Off Dance-Off' is meant to be an inclusive experience, one that has already welcomed competitors as diverse as a 58-year-old retired schoolteacher and a woman in a unicorn mask."
Low's most recent television series include Pet-O-Rama (a skills competition for household pets), Best Places Ever I've Ever Been (a tour of travel experts' favorite unknown destinations), TXT MSG (a "Pop-Up Video"-style treatment of archival sports footage) and Photo ID (a look into the unusual lives of everyday people, through photos and anecdotes). The shows premiered in 2010 on Animal Planet, The Travel Channel, MSG Network & Verizon's FiOS, respectively.
Low disrupted the live telecast of the The TV Guide Awards on FOX on March 5, 2000 by crashing the stage and yelling "This is robbery!" after his Pop-Up Video lost to Carson Daly and MTV's Total Request Live in the Favorite Music Show category. "What is this 'Total Request Live?!,'" he shouted. "It just asks softball questions to celebrities!" He was tackled on stage and escorted off the studio lot by five men who threatened to break his arm.
|1977||Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine||Featured Comedian||CBS/Syndicated|
|1991-1993||MTV News||Correspondent & Producer||MTV|
|1991-1993||The Week In Rock||Correspondent & Producer||MTV|
|1991-1993||House of Style||Correspondent & Producer||MTV|
|1995-1996||Good Morning America||Correspondent||ABC|
|1996-2001||Pop-Up Video||Creator & Executive Producer||VH1|
|1996-1997||A Current Affair||Correspondent||Syndicated|
|1997-1998||USA Live||Correspondent||USA Network|
|1997-1998||Channel 2 News||Commentator||WCBS-TV|
|1998||Phly||Creator & Executive Producer||WAMI|
|1998||1998 UPN Alt Games||Creator, Host & Executive Producer||UPN|
|1998-2001||Subway Q&A||Host & Producer||Metro Channel|
|1999||Pop-Up Quiz||Creator & Executive Producer||VH1|
|1999-2001||Pop-Up Video UK||Creator & Executive Producer||Channel 4|
|2000||Who Wants To Be A Millionaire: VH1's Pop-Up Celebrity Edition||Executive Producer||ABC|
|2004||40 Greatest Pranks||Commentator||VH1|
|2004-2005||Video IQ||Creator & Executive Producer||Fuse|
|2006-2007||Pants-Off Dance-Off||Creator & Executive Producer||Fuse, Viva, MuchMusic|
|2007||40 Greatest Internet Superstars||Commentator||VH1|
|2009-2012||Photo ID||Creator & Executive Producer||FiOS1|
|2010||Pet-O-Rama||Creator & Executive Producer||Animal Planet|
|2010||Best Places I've Ever Been||Executive Producer||Travel Channel|
- Pop This!: The Best Pops From The Creators of VH1's Pop-Up Video. Pocket Books. 1999. ISBN 0671027247.
- "Weddings". The New York Times. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 12 June 2013.
- Dewan, Shaila (September 8, 2000). "PUBLIC LIVES; TV's Bad Boy, Underground and Underfoot". The New York Times.
- Sanders, Adrienne (Dec 14, 1998). "Wise Guys". Forbes.
- Jacobs, A.J. (Dec 19, 1997). "Pop-Up Video: The Making of VH1's Highest-Rated Show". Entertainment Weekly.
- Dewan, Shaila. "TV's Bad Boy, Underground and Underfoot" The New York Times, September 8, 2000
- Sanders, Adrienne. "Wise Guys" Forbes, December 14, 1998,
- Jacobs, A.J. "Pop-Up Culture" Entertainment Weekly, December 19, 1997
- "The Approval Matrix". New York. May 29, 2006.
- "The Approval Matrix", New York, May 29, 2006, p. 74.
- "A Classification of American Wealth". History and genealogy of the wealthy families of America. D.C Shouter and RAKEN Services. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
- Rosman, Katherine. "Pop Goes the Revolution" Brill's Content, May 1999.
- "TV Show Review: 'Last Call'" Entertainment Weekly, October 7, 1994
- "The Cure for Divorce" Men's Health, July/August 2005
- "Halloween Costume-O-Matic" The New York Times, October 28, 2011
- "The 44th Annual New York Emmy Awards - 2001 Winners" (PDF). NY Emmys.
- Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives
- Greist, Stephanie Eliando. "Firing on Music Videos With a Satiric Pop Gun" The New York Times, August 6, 1997.
- Salem, Rob. "Long live the Pop-Up revolution" Toronto Star, May 21, 2000.
- Kharif, Olga (March 1, 2005). "The New Game Machine: Your TV". Business Week Online.
- Karif, Olga "The New Game Machine: Your TV" Business Week Online, March 1, 2005.
- Barron, James (August 20, 2000). "COVER STORY; They May Not Get This In Des Moines". The New York Times (August 20-26).
- Associated Press. 'Pants-Off Dance-Off Enjoys a Popular Streak' August 14, 2006. NBC News
- official website
- Itzkoff, David. "On Fuse's 'Pants-Off Dance-Off,'Amateurs Dance and Disrobe" The New York Times, July 16, 2006.
- Animal Planet
- TV Guide
- "Starr Report", New York Post, May 24, 2010
- Starr, Michael (March 7, 2000). "Tad Tirade A 'Pop-Up' Prank". New York Post.
- Goodman, Walter (September 10, 1998). "Critic's Notebook; What Passes for News at 11pm: High, Low and Sly". The New York Times.
- "VH1 Puts Its 'Pop-Up' Brand On 'Millionaire' Rerun". Orlando Sentinel. December 20, 2000.