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‘Funniest’ still laughs as ABC renews show

Vid clip skein may be placed in Friday at 8 p.m. slot

An Alphabet exec once told “America’s Funniest Home Videos” producer Vin Di Bona that his show couldn’t be killed with a stick.

He was right.

The vid clip show, which has not been announced as part of the ABC’s fall sked since 1998-99 TV season, has been given the go-ahead for a 13th season this fall, comprising at least 13 episodes.

Show, which has stuck around as a midseason utility bench player in the last few years, likely will land in the Friday at 8 p.m. slot.

Move comes after “Videos” provided some needed stability amid a slew of changes to the Alphabet sked this season.

Since November it has helped steady ABC’s Friday night ratings in the slot that had been occupied initially by “The Mole II” and then by short-lived newsmag “America 01.”

Di Bona attributes this year’s ratings success in part to the show’s time off.

“When we were doing fewer shows over the last two years, I think the show had a chance to rest,” he said, adding that the show also has had a pact with auds for more than 12 years to provide a “belly laugh.”

The familiarity factor also makes the show easily promotable.

“All you have to do is announce the show is going to be on, and everybody knows what it is. You don’t have to spend the promo time explaining what people will see,” Di Bona said.

“Videos” has been on the air in some form since it started as a regular series in January 1990 with Bob Saget as host. (A series of spex preceded the series run.)

Daisy Fuentes and John Fugelsang hosted a midseason run during the 1997-98 season and then again when it was part of the fall 1998 sked.

Show then appeared as series of specs in the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons, with a number of hosts, including Tom Bergeron.

Show returned to the sked regularly after Bergeron-hosted spex that originally were produced for a run last summer replaced “America 01.” When specs turned in solid ratings, Alphabet ordered 13 more episodes.

Bergeron will continue hosting in the 13th season.