12 Angry Viewers
GenreReality television, music video
Created byAndy Schuon
Directed bySteve Paley
ProducerAdam Freeman
Running timeapprox. 22 minutes
Original networkMTV
Original releaseSeptember 22, 1997 (1997-09-22) –
1998 (1998)

12 Angry Viewers is a daily half-hour television show in the United States on MTV. In it, a public jury judged music videos. It ran from 1997 to 1998. The title is a play of title of the movies 12 Angry Men and the 1997 TV remake, which aired a month before, that covers a jury deliberation. Winning videos were then shown more often on MTV. Its first host was Jancee Dunn, with Ananda Lewis replacing her later on.[1][2]


The "12 Angry Viewers" were selected from 18 to 24-year-old MTV viewers who auditioned at MTV Studios in New York City.[3] Through the course of a week they would watch several "brand new" videos and vote at the end of the episode which was the best. On Friday the best video out of the four chosen during the week was chosen and put into "heavy rotation" on the network.[4] In actuality the 12 viewers filmed five episodes over the course of one day, after being selected from a group of walk-in auditioners who did a "test viewing" in an observed room. Some auditions were held on campuses or locations for special events such as spring break.[5][6]

There were also shows in which the viewer decided which video would get "banned" from being played on MTV. The first recipient of this honor would go to Gina G's 1996 single "Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit" in 1998. However, this video was only played on select shows such as The Grind and never saw a lot of rotation on the channel.[citation needed]


The show was on during a period when MTV was being heavily criticized for not playing as many music videos as it had in the past.[7] In an attempt to remedy this problem, 4 shows were created that centered on videos: 12 Angry Viewers, MTV Live, Say What?, and Total Request. MTV Live and MTV Total Request would later be combined into MTV Total Request Live, or simply TRL. Say What? would be turned into a Karaoke competition game show and renamed Say What? Karaoke. But 12 Angry Viewers was canceled.

MTV Russia had a version of 12 Angry Viewers called 12 злобных зрителей [ru] which started in 1999 sporadically until present with several different styles and hosts. Some season were "in which intellectuals and others debate music videos."[8]


In 2013, Louis Virtel wrote for NewNowNext that the show was #7 of MTV's 10 Most Underrated Series where members "fought over which clips ruled the roost" and "see fabulous vids by Bjork, Portishead, or Daft Punk."[9] In 2015, James Sheldon wrote for Fame10 placing it at #9 on Worst MTV Produced Shows because, "The viewers were coached to be outspoken, controversial if necessary and highly energetic. This made the show insufferable."[10]

Videos that won 12 Angry Viewers


  1. ^ "Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on September 30, 1997 · Page 83". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  2. ^ Borow, Zev (May 1998). "You Control the Lox!". SPIN. SPIN Media LLC.
  3. ^ Weiner, Jennifer (The Philadelphia Inquirer). "'12 Angry Viewers' To Pick Video For Mtv Each Week | The Spokesman-Review". www.spokesman.com. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  4. ^ Steinbach, Sharon (1997-10-11). "MTV Taps Into The Opinions Of Its Audience For 'Viewers'". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 94.
  5. ^ Filz, Julia (1998-02-19). "MTV holds Spring Break TV auditions". James Madison University The Breeze. p. 3. Retrieved 2022-04-27.
  6. ^ "N.J. Divided Over MTV Beach House". AP NEWS. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  7. ^ Ratliff, Ben (1997-09-28). "TELEVISION; The Music Channels Retool, Singing Different Tunes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  8. ^ Goldsmith, Charles (2003-07-21). "MTV Seeks Global Appeal". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  9. ^ Virtel, Louis (2013-07-22). "MTV's 10 Most Underrated Series Ever". LOGO News. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  10. ^ Sheldon, James (2015-11-19). "Worst MTV Produced Shows". Fame10. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  11. ^ Norris, Chris (April 1998). Return of the B-Boy. SPIN Media LLC. p. 97.
  12. ^ Staff reports. "Royal Crown Revue to swing at Mars Wednesday". The Herald-Times. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  13. ^ Kramer, Pamela (1999-10-31). "That Swing Thing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2022-04-28.
  14. ^ "Reviews" (PDF). Gavin: 40. 2000-04-14.

12 Angry Viewers at IMDb