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Can Web Clip TV Shows Make a Comeback?

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There hasn’t been much luck in building TV shows around web clips. Bombs like Online Nation and Web Junk practically killed the category, and we haven’t seen any attempts to bring the format back — that is, until now. Both Comedy Central and G4 have thrown their viral video hats into the ring to see if they can revive the genre.

First up is Comedy Central’s Tosh.0. The intro is lifted straight from E!’s The Soup (funny, considering its competition — more on that in a minute). Host Daniel Tosh stands in front of a green screen and makes jokes about vid clips and other stuff from the web. I was all prepared to hate it, but I’ll admit, Tosh is pretty entertaining, and I laughed out loud uncontrollably a few times.

Tosh.0 Thurs June 4th, 10pm / 9c
Crush Fetishes and Bikini Models
Daniel Tosh Helen Keller Jokes Single Ladies Dance Video

Thankfully, the entire show isn’t just riffs on clips. In the “Web Redemption” segment, Tosh visits the Afro Ninja, whose ill-fated spill while performing a back flip is in the pantheon of viral videos. Tosh puts a human face on Ninja (real name: Mark Allen Hicks), and gives him a second shot at finishing that flopped flip.

Tosh.0 Thurs June 4th, 10pm / 9c
Preview – Afro Ninja: Redemption
Daniel Tosh Helen Keller Jokes Single Ladies Dance Video

If you were thinking — hey, one web video clips show just isn’t enough for me, I need more — then you’re in luck, because gamer-focused channel G4 launched Web Soup, a spin-off of the aforementioned Soup franchise. (Both G4 and E! are owned by Comcast.) The show stars comedian Chris Hardwick (of MTV’s Singled Out from a loooong time ago) and presumably follows the same format that has made the original The Soup a cult fave. We say “presumably” because we missed the debut last night, and G4 hasn’t posted video from the show online, and it’s not showing up when we try to set a recording on our (Comcast) DVR. Frown emoticon. UPDATE: G4 sent us a copy and it is just like The Soup — host, green screen, joke, in-studio bits.


Will web video clip shows fare better this time around? Only Nielsen and cable network executives can tell. Perhaps these kinds of show have a better shot since web video is now more a part of our culture, so it’s appeal can broaden beyond fringe audiences. We’ll be tuning in to find out.

2 Responses to “Can Web Clip TV Shows Make a Comeback?”

  1. There’s nothing inherently wrong with “viral video” shows. They just seem to suffer in execution. Web Junk with Patrice O’Neal was hilarious because he was charismatic and his reactions to videos were priceless. With Jim Breuer, however, the show fell apart. The two things necessary to make one of those shows work are excellent hosts (ala Tosh) and brilliant execution (see Chance for Redemption).

    I think you’ve miscounted the number of viral video shows. There’s G4’s Web Soup, Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, MTV’s DJ & The Fro, and finally My Network’s World’s Funniest Moments, which features clips from my employer,

    While I do believe that viral video shows can be successful, I think the number of shows built around viral videos may be too great, given the relatively small amount of content that is actually worth looking at or talking about.