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Thomas W. Lynch|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||up to 3 hours per episode|
|Distributor||Turner Program Services|
|Original network||TBS / WTBS|
|Original release||June 3, 1983 - May 30, 1992|
Night Tracks is an American television series which ran from 1983 to 1992 on SuperStation WTBS (later known as TBS SuperStation) on late night weekends. It premiered on Friday, June 3, 1983 and the first music video aired was "Family Man" by Hall & Oates, from their H2O album.
Night Tracks was created and produced by Tom Lynch and Gary Biller (Lynch/Biller Productions).
Night Tracks produced shows were (in chronological order):
This was the main program, composed of two 3 hour blocks (1983-1989) of music videos; the Friday night airings (usually scheduled at 12:05 AM Eastern Time/9:05 PM Pacific Time) were swapped and repeated on Saturday nights. This was done partly to accommodate sporting events programming such as Braves Baseball on TBS and NBA on TBS that ran overtime into the Night Tracks timeslot. Night Tracks did not get the benefit of being seen in its entirety on Fridays, and had to abruptly end its broadcast just before 6:00 AM ET/3:00 AM PT. In the Spring of 1989, the Friday night broadcast cutoff was changed to 5:00 AM ET/2:00 AM PT. This meant that viewers had to wait until Saturday night to catch the entire broadcast of the second 3-hour block. In the Summer of 1990. the Friday night cut off time was changed to 5:30 AM ET/2:30 AM PT. In a few rare instances a sporting event ended early. thus giving extra time for Night Tracks, the first 3-hour block of that evening was repeated until the cut off time just before 6:00 AM ET/3:00 AM PT.
In August 1989, TBS changed the formatting of the program to two 2 hour blocks, while the remaining 2 hours each night became Night Flicks.
In the Spring of 1990, it was further reduced to two 90 minute blocks. This meant that it was possible to see the first 90-minute block again (albeit in abbreviated form just before the cut off time) on the same night.
In the spring of 1991, Night Tracks introduced "College Crush Groove", two 30 minute blocks of Alternative music videos in addition to the two regular 1 hour blocks. In August 1991 it flipped to Alternative and Rap with the subtitle moniker "The Music That Matters". However, the ratings did not significantly improve; TBS replaced more of Night Tracks' airtime with the now-renamed Nite Flix on May 15, 1992 and eventually cancelled the show; Friday, May 29, 1992 saw the final episode, albeit in an abbreviated 40 minute airing. The only program that aired on the night of Saturday, May 30, 1992 was New Alternative Express.
Unlike MTV, the format for much of Night Tracks featured Rock, Pop, Dance, Adult Contemporary, R&B, Rap, Heavy Metal, and Alternative. By the Summer of 1991, Top 40 music was on the decline while Alternative and Rap rose dramatically, resulting in the format shift that saw the show through to the end.
Following Night Tracks' success, WTBS launched a one-hour, Country Music-oriented version with different voiceover announcers (though the same Chyron font for music video identification was used). It premiered on Sunday, October 2, 1983 at 8:05 PM Eastern Time/5:05 PM Pacific Time. The show ran for 15 weeks before it was canceled in February 1984.
An hour long Top 10 (changed to Top 20 in 1990) music video show countdown that aired on Saturday nights preceding Night Tracks. It premiered on Saturday, May 19, 1984 and its chart listing was associated with Kal Rudman's Friday Morning Quarterback. The show also aired an additional BREAKER video that was predicted to hit the charts in the following weeks.
A 2-hour special that aired on a special time at 8:05 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, December 28, 1985 with top music videos and musical events of 1985 also hosted by Sandy Kenyon. (see clip at 2:31 )
An hour of top ranking music videos that aired on Friday nights preceding Night Tracks. It premiered on Friday, October 4, 1985. This brought the total time to 14 hours of music videos aired each weekend.
An hour long Top 10 Dance video block; this replaced Power Play.
An hour of Hard Rock music videos which replaced Power Play Dancin'
Power Hits was canceled in February 1990, and nothing music-related was put in its place.
A byproduct of Night Tracks, it was a 2 hour movie presentation (4 hours total for both nights) that used the Night Tracks' theme music. The name Night Flicks had originated onNight Tracks as a movie trailer commercial segment (Example: ). Over time, it replaced most of Night Tracks, and the title was changed to Nite Flix in 1991; under this name, it lasted into 1994. 
An hour long Top 10 Alternative video block, replacing Chartbusters. Its final episode aired on Saturday, May 30, 1992 (early morning Sunday, May 31 in most time zones) and officially signaled the end of the Night Tracks franchise.
This list only include permanent announcers a.k.a. the DJs of Night Tracks and not announcers filling in such as Bill Brummel and others.
The announcers faces were never seen except during a special year end show in 1991. During a typical Night Tracks show the announcers would mention artists and music videos that would be aired within the hour. They would also mention facts and information about the artists just before the videos were aired. The announcers were also heard in these segments during the show.
Following Night Tracks debut, Lynch and Biller would go on to create a musical series for children, Kids Incorporated. Today, Lynch produces mainly children's programs, such as The Secret World of Alex Mack, Caitlin's Way, Romeo!, Galidor, & The Troop.