Mad TV (stylized as MADtv) is an American comedy sketch television series originally inspired by Mad magazine. The show featured animated Spy vs. Spy and Don Martin cartoon shorts as well as images of Alfred E. Neuman in earlier seasons, although the sketch comedy rarely if ever had any relation to the magazine's content. Its first TV broadcast was on October 14, 1995. The one-hour show first-ran on Saturday nights on Fox, and was in syndication on Comedy Central. In Australia, the show screens on satellite and cable TV channel The Comedy Channel and in late-night timeslots on free-to-air broadcaster the Nine Network and its affiliates.
Mad TV was created by Fax Bahr and Adam Small. The series was originally produced by Bahr/Small Productions and Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment (QDE). After Bahr and Small left the series at the end of the third season (they were later credited as "executive consultants"), the series was handled by QDE and distributed by WB Television Distribution (its parent company Time Warner Entertainment owns Mad magazine through its DC Comics subsidiary). The series was directed by Bruce Leddy (196 episodes), as well as David Grossman, and Amanda Bearse.
On November 12, 2008, Fox announced that Mad TV's 14th season would be its last. David Salzman said that he would be exploring the continuation of the show on another channel; possibly cable. In early 2009, the show was moved to air after Talkshow with Spike Feresten, the show that normally followed Mad TV, as a test, before being moved back. The series finale aired on May 16, 2009. The show was nominated for 35 Emmy awards, winning five, and was succeeded by an unrelated animated sketch comedy series (intended for a children/preteen audience), MAD, that aired on Cartoon Network from 2010 to 2013.
On December 11, 2015, it was reported that the series would be returning for a one-hour special on The CW to celebrate the series' 20th anniversary; the special aired on January 12, 2016. A large portion of the original cast returned.
On April 11, 2016, The CW announced that it was reviving the show for an 8-episode season to air in primetime. The season premiered on July 26, 2016 and concluded on September 27, 2016. The series is currently on hiatus, as The CW has not renewed/cancelled the series for another season.