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The VH1 Logo used since 2016, with the wordmark used since 2012
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
OwnerCBS Entertainment Group
(Paramount Global)
ParentBET Networks[1]
Sister channels
LaunchedJanuary 1, 1985; 39 years ago (1985-01-01)
ReplacedCable Music Channel
Former namesVH-1/VH-1: Video Hits One
VH1: Music First
Websitewww.vh1.com Edit this at Wikidata
Streaming media
Sling TV, Philo, YouTube TV, Vidgo TV, FuboTV, HuluInternet Protocol television

VH1 (originally an initialism for Video Hits One) is an American basic cable television network that launched on January 1, 1985, and is currently owned by the BET Networks subsidiary of Paramount Global's CBS Entertainment Group based in New York City. The network was originally owned by Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment; a division of Warner Communications, and the original owner of then-sister channel MTV at the time. It was launched in the channel space of Turner Broadcasting System's short-lived Cable Music Channel.

VH1 was originally conceived to build upon the success of MTV by playing music videos targeting a slightly older demographic focusing on the lighter, softer side of popular music.[2] Like MTV, VH1 ultimately drifted away from music and into reality television programming, albeit with a focus on music personalities and celebrities, and shows targeting African-American audiences. VH1 is best known for franchises such as Behind the Music, the I Love… series, the Celebreality block, Love & Hip Hop, and Basketball Wives.

As of December 2023, VH1 is available in approximately 67,481,000 American households;[3] down from 90.2 million in January 2016.[4]


Early history (1985–1994)[edit]

Format and VJs (1985–89)[edit]

The first VH1 logo used from 1985 to 1987 in the USA; between 1995 and 2002 in Germany and 1993–1999 in the UK and Ireland. Designed by LPG/Pon, Dale Pon and George Lois.
The second VH1 logo used from 1987 to 1994. Designed by Scott Miller. During the Christmas season the "V" would be flipped upside down to resemble a Christmas tree. This was a rare logo. Also, it is an alternate logo.

VH1's aim was to focus on the lighter, softer side of popular music,[5] including American and foreign musicians such as Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Rogers, Carly Simon, Tina Turner, Elton John, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Sting, Donna Summer, Rod Stewart, Kenny G, Michael Bolton, Anita Baker, Chicago, and Fleetwood Mac, in hopes of appealing to people aged 18 to 35, and possibly older. Also frequently featured in the network's early years were "videos" for Motown and other '60s oldies consisting of newsreel and concert footage. It was introduced on January 1, 1985, with the video performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Marvin Gaye,[5] who died a year before the network launched (the national anthem was also played at the launch of Cable Music Channel) It was programmed to fit many of the radio formats popular with adults at the time including soft rock, smooth jazz, oldies and adult contemporary.

From the start, Video Hits One was branded as an urban version of its sister/parent channel. It played more jazz and R&B artists than MTV and had a higher rotation of urban-contemporary performers.[citation needed] Its early on-camera personalities were New York radio veterans Don Imus (then of WNBC), Frankie Crocker (then program director and DJ for WBLS), Scott Shannon (of WHTZ), Jon Bauman ("Bowzer" from Sha Na Na), and Rita Coolidge.[citation needed]

Later VJs included Bobby Rivers, who joined in 1987, Tim Byrd of WPIX-FM (the current day FM rebroadcast of WFAN), a station whose eclectic ballad-and-R&B oriented format mirrored that of VH-1, Roger Rose - Actor and comedian (Ski Patrol), and Alison Steele ("The Nightbird" of WNEW-FM). Rosie O'Donnell later joined the outlet's VJ lineup.[citation needed] O'Donnell would also host a comedy show featuring several comedians each episode.[citation needed] As an added touch to make the network more like a televised radio station, the early years of the network featured jingles in their bumpers produced by JAM Creative Productions in Dallas, who had previously made jingles for radio stations worldwide.[citation needed]

The format left room for occasional ad-libs by the VJ, a godsend for emcees such as Imus and O'Donnell. In true Imus style, he used a 1985 segment of his VH-1 show to jokingly call smooth-jazz icon Sade a "grape" for her oval-shaped head.

Typical of VH1's very early programming was New Visions, a series which featured videos and in-studio performances by smooth jazz and classical and new-age bands and performers, including Spyro Gyra, Andy Narell, Mark Isham, Philip Glass,[6] and Yanni. At first many different musicians guest-hosted the program, but eventually musician/songwriter Ben Sidran became the permanent host.

New Age music videos continued to play on the channel into the 1990s. They would be seen on the Sunday morning two-hour music video block titled Sunday Brunch.

Early programming (1989–1994)[edit]

Once VH1 established itself a few years later, they catered to Top 40, adult contemporary, classic rock, and 1980s mainstream pop.[7] For a time, even country music videos aired in a one-hour block during the afternoons. They started out using MTV's famous Kabel-based credits for their music video credit tags. It was later replaced in 1991 by a larger, vertically oriented font, with the year the video was made added to the lower column that identified the label on which the album was released. In 1993, the name of the videos' director was included at the bottom of the credits.

During this time, they also had some non-music programming, such as a comedy hour hosted by Rosie O'Donnell with various amateur and veteran comedians, called Stand Up Spotlight,[8] an in-depth look at current movies called Flix,[9] and reports on good civilians and volunteers in the community, called Good News People.[10]

Every week, the Top 21 Video Countdown usually had a different guest host.[11] Occasionally, they had themed countdowns as well, such as Elvira hosting creepy videos for Halloween in 1991.[12]

Long blocks of music videos by a particular artist or band, theme, or years were also very popular in this era. One popular weekend program was called Video Rewind, in which blocks of 1980s videos from one particular year would play for an hour.[13] There was also a short-lived hour-long program called By Request in which viewers could call a 1–900 hotline number to request their videos.

Another program was "History of Music Videos A to Z",[14] which would include mini-marathons of videos mostly centered around artists based on a given alphabetical letter. During Independence Day weekends all the way to 1998, a large percentage of their library of music videos would be shown. A weeknight 11 p.m. hour-long broadcast of Madonna videos, titled The Madonna Show, aired around that era. The videos were aired without introduction by a VJ and the program was soon shortened to thirty minutes, and then scrapped altogether.

Also in 1991, a popular morning program was introduced called Hits News & Weather that ran from 7 am to 9 am ET.[15] (It later expanded to 10 am ET.) It was composed of music videos both past and present along with a 90-second update of the day's news & weather provided by All News Channel. The updates were typically shown twice an hour during the program. A box displaying the minutes past the hour was shown below the logo during the period. It was discontinued a week before the channel was re-branded in the Fall of 1994. During the week prior, classic music videos from forgotten artists/bands aired, titled Whatever Happened To...?

The channel's playlist was gradually expanding, and, by 1994, included contemporary musicians such as Ace of Base, Melissa Etheridge, Sheryl Crow, Lisa Loeb, Amy Grant, Seal, and other slightly heavier, or more alternative rock-influenced music than what it had originally played, although favorites such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Rod Stewart, Cher, Elton John, Madonna, Phil Collins, Janet Jackson, and Céline Dion still continued to receive heavy play for several more years as well. VH1 to One was a program in the Video Hits One era that was very similar to Behind The Music. It profiled artists such as Phil Collins, Michael Bolton and Paul McCartney, plus other various artists of interest at the time that were playing the network's chosen style of music at the time and their music careers. It was one of the programs that would continue into the incoming Music First era.

VH1 Corvette Give-away Sweepstakes[edit]

In order to reach a wider and younger audience, VH1 announced in late 1989 that in 1990 they would be holding a contest where the grand prize was a collection of 36 Chevrolet Corvettes, one for every model year from its introduction year of 1953, to the then current model year of 1989 (there is no model for 1983), all going to a single grand winner. All cars were to be certified as roadworthy and in "good" to "excellent" condition. The collection at the time had an estimated worth of over US$1 million. Contestants entered by calling a 1-900 number and registering, at $2 per call. VH1 received over 4 million call-in entries. The winner was a man from Long Island, New York, who immediately sold the entire collection to artist Peter Max for $500,000. Max intended to use the cars for an art project, but it never got started and the entire collection was left in an underground parking lot in New York City for over 20 years, and deteriorated into poor condition.[16][17][18][19][20]

VH1: Music First (1994–2003)[edit]

The third VH1 logo used from 1994 to 2003. The circle ring surrounding the logo was added in 1998. It was used on VH1 Classic UK from 2004 to 2010, VH1 Classic US from 2000 to 2007, and VH1 Classic Europe from 2004 to 2020.

On October 17, 1994, VH1 re-branded itself as VH1: Music First,[21][22] following a slight ratings decline in the early 1990s.[5] By 1996, VH1 was heading down the same path as its sister channel, MTV, choosing to focus more on music-related shows rather than just music videos. Additionally, the network began to expand its playlist of music videos to include more rock music.[5] Old episodes of American Bandstand could regularly be seen on the channel. By that time, the channel's ratings were beginning to fall.

Video Countdown[edit]

As part of VH-1's re-branding as "VH1: Music First" in 1994, the channel launched a new series, the VH1 Top 10 Countdown, replacing the old Top 21 Countdown, that counted down the top 10 music videos played on VH1 each week. A combination of record sales, radio airplay, video spins, message board posts, and conventional mail would decide the order of the countdown. A rotating cast of VJs picked up hosting duties for the show over the years. The series expanded from 10 to 20 music videos, becoming the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown, in 2001. In early 2015, the show was renamed The 20 and discontinued later that year.

Pop-Up Video[edit]

In Fall 1996, VH1 premiered Pop-Up Video, in which music videos were accompanied by "pop-ups" (also known as "bubbles" or "info nuggets")—small enclosed areas of the screen containing facts about the band artists, and videos such as career highlights, discography, biographical details, quotes, and anecdotes. For a time, this was VH1's highest rated show.

VH1 Storytellers[edit]

In February 1996, VH1 again hit it big with the premiere of the first of the network's flagship shows, VH1 Storytellers. The show began with a broadcast of Ray Davies, during his "Storyteller" tour, and took its name from this first show. In each hourlong episode, artists appear in front of a (mostly small and intimate) live audience, interspersing musical performances with anecdotes related to the songs' meaning, the songwriting process, audience reaction, etc. Along with Davies, the series has featured a widely diverse list of artists, including Culture Club, Stone Temple Pilots, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kanye West, Tom Waits, and Def Leppard. Meat Loaf enjoyed the show's format so much that he bought the stage decorations from VH-1 and went on to do a "Storytellers" tour in 1998/1999.[23]

Behind the Music[edit]

VH1 scored another hit in August 1997 with the debut of Behind the Music. The hour-long show features interviews and biographies of some of popular music's biggest stars qualified to be profiled on the series. The premiere episode featured Milli Vanilli. Episodes have ranged from Aaliyah to Stryper to Keith Moon, as well as others such as, Meat Loaf, Tori Amos, MC Hammer, Cher, Oasis, Steppenwolf, Fleetwood Mac, TLC, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Megadeth, Britney Spears, Selena, Petra, Pantera, and Eminem, with more episodes being produced periodically. By the late 1990s, the show began to run out of artists to profile, leading to the short-lived BTM2 program, half-hour looks into bands and artists whose popularity was rising, but not yet at its peak.


Shortly after, VH1 created a companion series, Legends (originally sponsored by AT&T), profiling artists who have made a more significant contribution to music history to qualify as "Legends" (that is, those artists who have gone beyond the category of Behind the Music biographies). The artists profiled so far have included Aerosmith; the Bee Gees; David Bowie; Johnny Cash; Eric Clapton; The Clash; George Clinton; Sam Cooke; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; The Doors; John Fogerty; Aretha Franklin; Marvin Gaye; The Grateful Dead; Guns N' Roses; Jimi Hendrix; Michael Jackson; Eminem; Elton John; Janis Joplin; B.B. King; Led Zeppelin; John Lennon; Curtis Mayfield; Nirvana; Pink Floyd; The Pretenders; Red Hot Chili Peppers; Queen; Bruce Springsteen; Tina Turner; U2; Stevie Ray Vaughan; The Who, and Neil Young.[24]

Save The Music Foundation[edit]

Founded in 1997 (until 2017) by John Sykes as VH1 Save The Music and funded by the first Divas concerts, the Save The Music Foundation became a standalone 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2008. The mission of the organization is to help students, schools, and communities reach their full potential through the power of making music. Save The Music partners with school districts and raises funds to restore music programs in public schools. Since inception, STM has donated over $60 million worth of new musical instruments, equipment, and technology to 2,201 schools in 277 school districts around the country, reaching hundreds of thousands of students.

VH1 Divas[edit]

In 1998 (until 2016), VH1 debuted the first annual VH1 Divas concert and featured the "divas" Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan, and Celine Dion, and the "special guest" Carole King.[25] The second installment of these "diva" shows was produced in 1999 featuring Whitney Houston, Tina Turner, Cher, LeAnn Rimes, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, Chaka Khan, Brandy, and special "divo" Elton John.[26] It became a huge success and was featured in the following years starring Diana Ross, Donna Summer, Destiny's Child, Kelly Clarkson, Jordin Sparks, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson, Shakira, Deborah Harry, Anastacia, Dixie Chicks, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Jessica Simpson. Also in 1999, Donna Summer who was asked to do the "diva" concert, was given her own concert special by VH1 "Donna Summer Live and More: Encore". Some female artists such as Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Cher, Chaka Khan, and Billy Joel were featured in two or more VH1 divas concerts, with Cyndi Lauper appearing the most times, having been featured in four concerts. In 2000, Diana Ross, who has been asked several times to appear on previous editions, appeared in her own edition of the special, "VH1 Divas 2000: A Tribute To Diana Ross".[27]

Movies That Rock[edit]

In 1999, VH1 aired its first original movie, a biopic on Sweetwater. Their third original movie (which aired in 2000), Two of Us, focused on a fictional meeting between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Over the next three years, they made over a dozen movies, including bio-pics on Jim Morrison and The Doors, Ricky Nelson, MC Hammer, The Monkees, Meat Loaf, and Def Leppard.

VH1 continues to air "Movies That Rock" on a regular basis, expanding to include movies not produced by VH1. The subject matter remains mostly focused on music and musicians.


In the late 1990s, VH1's music choices became more diversified and teen-oriented.[citation needed] The network would update its 1994 "Big 1" logo during this period.[citation needed] Various late-night rock shows have been shown on VH1, featuring alternative rock and metal videos from the 1980s and 1990s.[citation needed] VH1 eventually warmed up to harder rock acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Foo Fighters, the Stone Temple Pilots, and Metallica. Their new videos began being added into VH1's playlist right away.[citation needed]

Two spinoff channels, VH1 Smooth (later to be known as VH1 Classic and MTV Classic) & VH1 Country (later to be known as CMT Pure Country and CMT Music), launched on August 1, 1998.[28][29][30]

Around late 2002, VH1 began to play mainstream rap musicians.[5] The latest videos by Eminem, Nelly, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, and Eve began to be shown in VH1's rotation and even started to cut up on VH1's top 20 countdown.[citation needed] VH1 also plays music from Latin artists such as Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Enrique Iglesias, Thalía, and Shakira.[citation needed]

Other past trends[edit]

rockDocs was the title under which VH1 aired various music documentaries, both those produced by VH1 and those produced by third parties. Such documentary series produced by VH1 include "And Ya' Don't Stop", a five-part series on the history of hip-hop and rap,[31] a four-part series on the history of heavy metal, Heavy: The Story of Metal, and The Drug Years, which tells the story of different drug cultures that changed America. Films produced by other studios have also been aired as rockDocs, including Woodstock, Madonna: Truth or Dare, Tupac: Resurrection, Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!, a documentary on the Beastie Boys, and most recently Last Days of Left Eye which documented the last month of Lisa Lopes's life from the band TLC, and N.W.A.: The World's Most Dangerous Group, featuring the narration of comedian Chris Rock, which chronicled the rise and fall of N.W.A.

VH1 endured criticism for Music Behind Bars, which mainly focuses on musicians in custody. Critics have claimed prisoners, mainly those convicted of murder, should not be entitled to any exposure, especially nationally.[32]

The channel aired Where Are They Now? from 1999 to 2002. It featured former celebrities and their current professional and personal status. Each episode was dedicated to a specific genre, ranging from past child stars to Aaron Spelling's notable productions, to controversial news figures.

VH1 also aired a series of promos in 2003, featuring animated kittens from the online animation website Rathergood, lip-synching popular songs such as "I Love Rock n' Roll" written & performed by Alan Merrill of the Arrows since 1975 (US cover hit by Joan Jett in 1982), Culture Club's "Karma Chameleon" and Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle". These spots were done by London-based animator Joel Veitch.

Box logo era (2003–2013)[edit]

The fourth VH1 logo used from 2003 to 2013. VH1 Classic used the wordmark until 2016. VH1 international channels also used the logo, with the Indian version of VH1 still using the logo today.

In August 2003, the network changed its focus again, dropping "Music First" from its name, and introducing a box logo. Having saturated its Behind The Music series (and spinoff BTM2, a 30-minute version that told the stories of current chart-toppers), gotten past the point of showing music videos on a regular basis, the network began to target the pop culture nostalgia market.[5][33] Following the controversy over the murder-suicide of a contestant from Megan Wants a Millionaire, the channel toned down its reality programming.[34][35] On July 1, 2007, VH1 and MHD simulcast the entire Concert for Diana live from London, England, on the birthday of Princess Diana, Princess of Wales.[36]

VH1 would continue to air its music video blocks despite its decreasing reliance on such programming.[citation needed] Their main program block was seen from 3 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET.[citation needed] The overnight block was called Insomniac Music Theater, later renamed Nocturnal State in August 2005.[citation needed] At of the beginning of October 2008, Nocturnal State was cut down to one hour, and Fresh: New Music was supplanted by additional hours of Jump Start.[citation needed] In 2010, VH1 retired Nocturnal State.[citation needed] Music Videos continued to be branded under Jump Start until January 5, 2013.[citation needed]

I Love… series (2002–2014)[edit]

In 2002, VH1 broadcast a ten-part series entitled I Love the '80s. The series was adapted from a BBC series, first broadcast in 2000,[37] in which current entertainers and pop-culture figures offered their take on the trends, events, and personalities of another decade. The success of VH1's I Love the '80s, coupled with the growing nostalgia for ever-more-recent times, led the network to create an array of similarly themed programs. These ranged from 2003's I Love the '70s, to further variants like I Love the '80s Strikes Back, I Love the '90s, and I Love the '90s: Part Deux. More recently, VH1 premiered I Love the '80s 3-D and I Love the '70s: Volume 2. So eager was the network to capitalize on the trend while it was hot, that it devoted a series to the 2000s, despite the fact that the decade had not yet ended (I Love the New Millennium, broadcast in 2008, covered only the years 2000–2007). This was thought to be the final installment of the series until 2014, when I Love the 2000s continued the format.

The concept was broadened to include non-decade based installments, I Love the Holidays and I Love Toys. The format of these shows has also been reused for the weekly program Best Week Ever and the four-part series Black to the Future that focuses on African-American topics.

The Greatest series[edit]

VH1 also produces its The Greatest series in which a similar format is used to countdown lists like "100 Greatest Artists of Rock and Roll", "The 50 Sexiest Video Moments", "100 Greatest Songs of Rock 'N' Roll", "100 Greatest Songs from the Past 25 Years", "100 Greatest One-hit Wonders", "100 Greatest Kid Stars", and "100 Greatest Teen Stars". In 2001, Mark McGrath hosted VH1's miniseries "100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock 'N' Roll", which compiled a list of the moments in music history that changed its course and shook its foundations.[38] Recently in late December 2009, an updated series titled "100 Most Shocking Music Moments" aired on VH1.[39][40] In 2008 and early 2009, the channel premiered the "100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs", "100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs", "100 Greatest Songs of the 90s", and "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s".

40 Most Awesomely Bad[edit]

In 2004, VH1 began this mini-series category with "50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever", counting down the songs that were deemed horrible. Additional series in this group include "40 Most Awesomely Bad Dirrty Songs...Ever",[41] "40 Most Awesomely Bad Break-up Songs...Ever",[42] "40 Most Awesomely Bad #1 Songs...Ever",[43] "40 Most Awesomely Bad Metal Songs...Ever",[44] and "40 Most Awesomely Bad Love Songs".[45]


In January 2005 VH1 launched its Celebreality programming block of reality shows featuring celebrities, anchored by The Surreal Life, which mimics MTV's The Real World, instead placing celebrities from the past into a living environment.[46] The word "celebreality" is blend of the words "celebrity" and "reality" and is generally used to describe reality TV shows in which celebrities participate as subjects. The term appears to have been coined by Michael Gross, writing for The Toronto Star on May 12, 1991. In his article, entitled "Celebrity's New Face," Mr. Gross used a hyphenated form of the word ("celeb-reality") to describe the tendency of certain contemporary celebrities to downplay the traditional trappings of Hollywood glamour. "You could see the new celeb-reality on display at this year's Oscars," wrote Gross. "It is Kathy Bates and Whoopi Goldberg, not Kim Basinger and Michelle Pfeiffer. It is Jeremy Irons in black tie and the sneakers he says keep his feet on the ground. It is Kevin Costner, fighting small, important battles, winning big, but reacting with modesty and going off to party privately. The new celebrities are human first, famous second."

The next known citation of the word is by Joyce Millman, writing for The New York Times on January 5, 2003. In an article entitled, "Celebreality: The 'Stars' Are Elbowing Their Way In," Ms. Millman wrote: "Celebreality, the junk genre du jour, turns the notion of reality TV upside down. Instead of real people acting like celebrities on shows like "Survivor", "Big Brother" and "The Bachelor", celebreality gives us celebrities acting like real people on shows like "The Osbournes", "The Anna Nicole Show" and "Celebrity Boot Camp." I'm using the term "celebrity" loosely here—we're not talking about Russell Crowe, Julia Roberts and Dame Judi Dench eating bugs and scrubbing latrines. No, the celebrities of celebreality are a motlier crew, like, well, Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil, the former rap superstar M. C. Hammer and the wee ex-Michael Jackson ornament Emmanuel ("Webster") Lewis. Those three will be setting up housekeeping together on Thursday in "The Surreal Life" on WB, a celebreality spin on MTV's "Real World." Not to be outdone, ABC sends a Baldwin brother (Stephen), a supermodel (Frederique) and a former "L.A. Law" star (Corbin Bernsen) to Hawaii for "Celebrity Mole Hawaii", beginning Wednesday."

The VH1 Celebreality block has also aired shows such as:

Hip-Hop and Rock Honors[edit]

Since 2004, VH1 has showed their appreciation for hip-hop and rock music by honoring pioneers and movements. Hip-hop musicians honored include Eazy-E, LL Cool J, The Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, and Public Enemy. All of the shows have been taped in the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. On May 25, 2006, Queen, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, and Kiss were the inaugural inductees into the VH1 Rock Honors in Las Vegas. The ceremony aired on VH1 six days later. In 2007, ZZ Top, Heart, Genesis, and Ozzy Osbourne were inducted into the VH1 Rock Honors. 2008's only Rock Honors inductees were The Who.

For What It's Worth[edit]

For What It's Worth premiered on February 21, 2013, and only lasted the length of one season. The show featured hosts Gary Dell'Abate and Jon Hein appraising music and pop-culture memorabilia.[47] The first episode featured musician Jack White at Third Man Records in Nashville, Tennessee, discussing a format of vinyl record he invented called the "Triple Decker Record".[48] The show also chose Gary Sohmers, an appraiser from Antiques Roadshow, to be an expert appraiser on all six episodes.[49]

Breakfast television[edit]

Starting in 2011, VH1 has broadcast Big Morning Buzz Live, a daily morning news and pop culture talk show hosted by Carrie Keagan, Jason Dundas and VH1 music expert Jim Shearer and, later, Nick Lachey.[50][51] The show features entertainment news, celebrity interviews and musical performances.[50][51] On June 3, 2013, VH1 premiered The Gossip Table, another live daily entertainment news program featuring five entertainment columnists presenting entertainment news and gossip.[50][51] Both shows have since been cancelled.

VH1 Best Cruise Ever[edit]

From April 28 to May 2, 2011, from Tampa to Cozumel music fans could experience non-stop music performances from headliners Train, Lifehouse, Colbie Caillat, and The Script. Other bands include Alpha Rev, Civil Twilight, Mat Kearney, One eskimO, SafetySuit, Thriving Ivory, Trailer Park Ninjas, and Ryan Star. The cruise is on The Carnival Cruise Line ship Carnival Inspiration.

"Plus" logo era (2013–2022)[edit]

VH1 logo used from 2013 until 2016, font still used in the updated 2016 version of the logo.

On January 5, 2013, VH1 introduced a new logo that closely resembles their first. The logo has a "plus" sign in it, representing VH1's focus on music-related shows and events and pop culture-based reality programming.[52] The network's main video block was VH1 + Music, seen weekday mornings between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. The new Nocturnal State block aired Mondays through Sundays between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Since 2014, VH1 programming was noted to be shifting towards shows focused around African-American personalities, similar to BET and its sister networks.[53][54] On December 28, 2015, oversight of spin-off music video channel VH1 Soul was moved to BET Networks, with the channel rebranding as BET Soul.[55]

In the first quarter of 2016, VH1 announced its highest ratings in six years and it was then the fastest-growing subscription channel in that same period. Thanks to the success of shows like Love & Hip Hop, Stevie J & Joseline Go Hollywood, K. Michelle: My Life, and Mob Wives, the channel has moved ahead as a Top Five network for adults.[56] Conversely, VH1 + Music was discontinued and replaced by reruns of 1990s–2000s sitcoms shared with Paramount's other networks.[citation needed] Since then, the channel only carries music videos in continuity between shows.[citation needed] During the same year, VH1 would also revive the former CW reality competition series America's Next Top Model.[57][58][59]

VH1 has seen further shifts to its programming as part of its parent company's 2017 restructuring plan.[60] Beginning with its ninth season, Logo TV original series RuPaul's Drag Race was moved to VH1.[61] In 2019, as part of an expansion of MTV's Wild 'n Out, new episodes premiered on VH1 from July 7, 2019, to September 15, 2019.[62][63]

Shift to BET Networks (2022–present)[edit]

On November 9, 2022, it was announced that oversight of VH1 would move to BET Networks under Scott Mills.[1] The move reunited the network with BET Soul, while also splitting them from MTV and its siblings (including the formerly-named VH1 Classic and VH1 Country). On December 12, 2022, it was announced that future Drag Race seasons would move to MTV, though the Celebrity edition would remain on VH1.[64]

In March 2023, it was reported that Paramount Global was exploring the sale of a majority stake in BET Networks in order to provide additional funding to its flagship streaming service Paramount+. Tyler Perry (who owns his namesake studios), as well as Sean "Puffy" Combs (who owns Revolt TV) and Byron Allen (who owns Allen Media Group; including TheGrio, This TV, and The Weather Channel), were identified as potential suitors.[65]


Original programming currently seen on VH1 includes the Love & Hip Hop and the Basketball Wives franchises. Other notable shows and franchisees that have aired on the network include Black Ink Crew, The Impact: New York (a spinoff of BET+'s The Impact: Atlanta), RuPaul's Drag Race (which was moved over from Logo, and aired on VH1 from 2017–2022), reruns and new episodes of Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out (which originated on MTV), and Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party.[62]

Since the 2010's, and prior to its move to BET Networks, VH1's programming had shifted towards urban music genres and African-American personalities.

Sister and international networks[edit]

VH1 HD[edit]

VH1 HD (launched in 2005) is a 1080i high-definition feed, with all major providers carrying the network; as of 2016 this feed is downgraded at a provider's headend to provide the network's standard definition channel on systems.

Sister channels in the U.S.[edit]

VH1 has launched spinoff digital networks as part of The MTV Suite. Initially, four VH1 spinoff networks were formed, with another being made later on. By August 2016, all of VH1's spinoffs had been realigned with either MTV, BET, or CMT or were shuttered altogether.

  • VH1 Classic: Music videos primarily from the 1970s and 1980s, but also the 1960s and 1990s, concert footage, vintage movies, and original programming focused on adult hits, classic hits and classic rock music. Rebranded as MTV Classic on August 1, 2016, in honor of MTV's 35th anniversary.
  • VH1 MegaHits: A channel which played mostly top 40 adult contemporary videos from throughout VH1's history, from the 1980s to the early 2000s. Due to low viewership, the network was discontinued. The satellite space was utilized by corporate parent MTV Networks to launch the LGBTQ network Logo.
  • VH1 Soul: Classic and neo-soul music videos from the past and today. Rebranded as BET Soul under the editorial control of BET Networks on December 28, 2015.
  • VH1 Uno: A Spanish language channel which mostly composed of music videos of Latin pop, rock, and traditional ballads, tropical, salsa and merengue music. Discontinued February 2, 2008, by MTV Networks to expand normal distribution of MTVU beyond college campuses.[66]
  • VH1 Country: Continuous country music videos; moved under CMT's editorial control and renamed CMT Pure Country on Memorial Day 2006.


VH1's website launched in the mid-1990s. In 2003, MTV Networks VSPOT, a broadband video channel that followed the model of MTV Overdrive, containing the shows aired by VH1 and music videos. Like Overdrive, it was coolly received due to a heavy reliance on broadband and advanced web technologies. VH1 returned to a traditional-style website in late 2007.

International networks[edit]

As with other MTV channels, Paramount Global has broadcast international versions of VH1, besides VH1 India they all closed down however:

  • VH1 Adria: By the end of September 2012, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Croatia got their regional version of VH1 called VH1 Adria.[67][68] However, due to financial issues, the channel closed in January 2015 and was replaced by the feed of VH1 Europe.
  • VH1 Australia: Since March (April for Optus customers) 2004, VH1 has been available in Australia on Foxtel, Optus Television and Austar. It is also available on the SelecTv pay-TV platform. On May 1, 2010, VH1 Australia was re-branded as MTV Classic.
  • VH1 Brasil: The Portuguese-language version of VH1 was launched in Brazil on May 1, 2004. However, VH1 Soul had been available to digital cable subscribers since 2004. In 2007 VH1 Soul stopped being available in Brazil. In 2009 the version HD of VH1 was launched. It closed down on November 14, 2014.
  • VH1 Mega Hits Brazil: Replaced the Brazilian version of MTV Hits. The channel plays 24h chart hits non-stop. Closed down on July 31, 2020.
  • VH1 Christmas: A special channel that played Christmas music videos. VH1 Christmas aired on MTV Rocks in the UK and Ireland during the Christmas period annually.
  • VH1 Denmark: The Danish version of VH1 was launched in Denmark on March 15, 2008. Today the programming still consist of music videos unlike its American counterpart. This was the only international VH1 under Paramount's responsibility, since the Italian version closed in January 2024 until 1 April 2024 and it has been replaced by NickMusic.[69]
  • VH1 Europe: The Pan-European VH1 channel has broadcast in the European continent as well as Africa and the Middle East. This channel also airs in Russia and many countries of Latin America, albeit only in Russia it has the "16+" icon on the bottom-right, due to Russia's broadcasting laws. VH1 Europe was replaced with MTV 00s on August 2, 2021.
  • VH1 Export: VH1 Export is the technical name used for the version of VH1 European available in the Middle East, Africa, and the Levant territories broadcasting via satellite, exclusively from the OSN pay-TV network. In Africa (on DStv), the channel is exactly the same as VH1 European, but with different adverts. Also VH1 Export has ceased existing on August 2, 2021, and has been replaced by MTV 00s.
  • VH-1 Germany: In 1995 to 2001, a German-language version of VH-1 was broadcast, featuring more adult music than MTV, and using the original 1985 to 1987 US logo. It proved unsuccessful and eventually had to make way for a non-stop music channel aimed at teenagers called MTV2 Pop.
  • VH1 India: In December 2004, MTV India and Zee-Turner teamed up to bring VH1 to India (later owned by Viacom18). It is the only version of VH1 that currently uses the 2003 branding. It also airs MTV international shows due to MTV India only airing Indian originals.
  • VH1 Indonesia: In Indonesia, VH1 programming were aired on MTV Indonesia at 4 until 8 pm, and on local terrestrial channels such as JakTV, Jakarta, STV Bandung, TV Borobudur, Semarang, TATV, Solo, Batam TV, Batam, and Makassar TV, Makassar and also a full link channel seen on satellite PALAPA C2.
  • VH1 Italy: Launched in July 2016, which replaced MTV Music on DTT, which sold the main MTV station to Sky Italia on August 1, 2015. The channel ceased its broadcast on January 7, 2024.[70]
  • VH1 Latin America: On April 1, 2004, VH1 Latin America joined MTV and Nickelodeon Latin America targeting audiences 25–49 years old. Until then, the VH1 main channel available for Latin America was the original US version. The Spanish-language channel is tailored for the market and feature a mix of music and entertainment with local and international-recording artists, as well as original programming. VH1 Latin America closed down on October 7, 2020, being replaced by its European counterpart.
  • VH1 Pakistan: It was launched in 2008 by Viacom as a joint venture with ARY Digital Network. However, in 2009, the channel was closed due to low ratings and repeated shows. [citation needed]
  • VH1 Polska: Launched (or rather renamed) on December 1, 2005. The channel was aimed at people in Poland over 25. The channel was formerly known as "MTV Classic" and (especially in its last months) was the same as present VH1, airing the same programs for the same target group. VH1 Polska closed down in March 2020 being replaced by VH1 Europe.
  • VH1 Russia: VH1 Russia launched on December 2, 2005. It ceased broadcasting on July 1, 2010, and was replaced by the European VH1 feed.
  • VH1 UK: VH1 UK targeted 25–44 years old and had much of the same content as the main U.S. channel. From 2008 until the last few years of its existence, the channel played music videos, mostly prominently countdowns and artist playlists. However, it shifted its focus to reality and travel shows, ending up with re-runs of Are You the One? and Channel 5 's Cruising With Jane McDonald,[71] when it closed down on January 7, 2020. In addition to VH1, there were two sister stations in the UK: VH1 Classic (now MTV Classic) and VH2 (now closed).

Out of the list of VH1 channels aired worldwide, Canada has never operated a VH1 branded channel. In 1998, CHUM Limited launched MuchMoreMusic, a sister channel to MuchMusic. As MuchMoreMusic, the network aired the majority of VH1's music and reality programming. It was closed in 2016 and the channel's license was replaced by Gusto, which was renamed to CTV Life Channel in 2019.

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External links[edit]