AFV Celebrates 25 Years, Partners with YouTube Stars

AFV partners with YouTube's Maker Studios and Shay Carl to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

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One of America’s most engrained pop-culture television shows is about to celebrate a milestone and expand even further to hook a growing millennial audience.

Seemingly the start of user-generated content before there was such a thing, America’s Funniest Home Videos will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year by partnering with some of Gen Y’s most popular YouTube stars as it premieres for a new season on Oct. 5.

To celebrate the milestone, the show will now partner with  “ShayFV,” a new, weekly 17-episode, five-minute clip show starring YouTube personality Shay “Shay Carl” Butler, along with several other YouTube stars.

Since starting in 1989, the AFV has generated more than 1 million clip submissions and awarded $13 million in prize money to date.

“As we embark on this milestone 25th year of television, I am constantly in awe of the tremendous growth of the viral video category,” AFV creator Vin Di Bona said in a statement. “I never could have imagined, when I first pitched this idea in 1989, that using viewer-generated content to entertain families would become the phenomenon it is today.”

The new initiative between Vin Di Bona Productions (producers of AFV) and Maker Studios allows Maker to manage AFV’s YouTube channels while establishing new revenue streams. Maker, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, produces and distributes content in partnership with 55,000 creators, garnering nine billion monthly views and attracting more than 550 million loyal subscribers worldwide.

America’s Funniest Home Videos was truly groundbreaking when it first came to television 25 years ago,” said Chris M. Williams, Maker Studios’ chief audience officer. “It has become part of pop culture vernacular and has, through its premise, made viral videos an integral part of our daily lives. We are thrilled to be working with Vin and his team to produce the kind of memorable content that took AFV to where it is today and look forward to expanding the profiles of some of our most beloved digital talent with the help of AFV’s passionate television audience.”

Since forging the deal with Maker, AFV’s channels, which feature exclusive clips, classic fan favorites and montages, have grown significantly and generate more than 20 million monthly views. In addition to “ShayFV,” Vin Di Bona Productions in association with Maker will create original and in-show opportunities for other digital talent who engage millennial audiences.

“ShayFV” is set to premiere on Maker.tv, Maker’s proprietary web platform, on Sunday, October 19. The series will also be available on the Shaytards YouTube channel, which currently has 2.4 million subscribers and features Shay Carl and his family’s daily adventures.

Other stars who will be joining the AFV family include comedians Jason Horton, Ceciley Jenkins and Ed Bassmaster, who will reenact some of the show’s most iconic and humorous clips in “AFV Do Overs,” airing one week before the show premiere on the AFV YouTube channel.

Other talent such as Sam Macaroni, Barely Political, Edward Vilderama, Very Good Listeners’ Brian Morgan and Brooke “Dodger” Lawson will make in-show appearances throughout the 25th anniversary season. They will also provide post show commentary and interviews that will appear on AFV’s official channel and the talent’s respective YouTube channels.