In 2006, 25/7's producers Jon Melichar and Jim Piddock conceived their new television magazine program as a strategy for addressing the myriad salient stories which circumvent the radar of bona fide mainstream media outlets.
Early in 2007, Melichar and Piddock approached Dallas-based Executive Producer Stewart Cohen, who immediately recognized the ground-breaking potential of 25/7's mandate, assertively announcing that "No existing phrase can describe the new series' configuration, and any attempt to gauge demographic appeal based on comparisons with traditional public affairs programming is a spurious prospect."
As a production and research team was assembled, Piddock emphasized the show's doctrine: "Audiences must experience the stories in the pit of their stomachs, without inducing cramps or nausea. The narrative must take the viewers by the throat, without causing strangulation or tracheal injury. If all they're talking about is how good my hair looked, then we have failed." And Melichar predicted high ratings if 25/7, "packaged stories as Hollywood packages fiction. Big crash, big explosion, big profit."
25/7 first aired on April 1, 2008, and the response from critics and audiences was unprecedented. A vital and sensitive nerve had clearly been touched. Cohen's intuition was immediately validated and, as ratings soared and new markets multiplied, Piddock and the other correspondents became international crusaders, introspective guides through social turmoil, and insightful probers of the human psyche.
But, amidst the maelstrom of instant success, tragedy suddenly hit. The show's original host, Michael Hunt, was unexpectedly stricken by the rapid-spreading flesh-eating disease necrotizing fascilitis after incurring a minor lesion in a Bangkok steam room. Hunt miraculously survived the ordeal but died in a traffic accident on his way back from the hospital to his hotel. The whole 25/7 team, and the show's ever-increasing fan base, were in a state of shock and mourning.
Later that week, however, Cohen and Piddock were serving as judges at the annual "Dame Edna Everage Impersonation Tribute" in Sydney, Australia, and happened upon the talents of Josh Adamson. They immediately flew him to London for a screen test and Adamson took over hosting duties a week later for the award-winning 25/7 special on the "Maryland Tourettes Shakespeare Festival." As Melichar told the press after the show aired: "The loss of Mike Hunt has left a gaping hole that can never be filled. But Josh has already proven he can hold his own, however stiff the competition."
It wasn't long though before the show became embroiled in major controversy. In November 2008 after 25/7 aired another one-hour special called "To Catch A Predator Catcher" in Europe, Asia, and Australia, a major US TV network filed for a legal injunction to prevent the show airing in America. In the special, Piddock, posing as an online sex predator, responded to the advances of a middle-aged male tv producer, posing as a 13-year-old girl, in an internet chat room. Bringing his own camera crew and a team of FBI agents to the "Sting House," Piddock engineered a historic videographic Mexican standoff, with two competing camera crews simultaneously emerging from hiding to expose each other and the FBI team, backing Piddock up, exchanging gunfire with local police, backing the network producer up.
25/7 immediately filed a countersuit against the injunction, and the network in question filed a suit against the countersuit, which was then followed by a counter-counter-countersuit by Cohen, Melichar, and Piddock. In an ironic instance of reality imitating TV, the case is currently locked in a jurisprudential Mexican standoff, with the American television-viewing public being the losers until it is settled.
Meanwhile, 25/7 continues to go from strength to strength across the world, with audience ratings breaking new records and its critical acclaim reflected by the show winning 14 Schwanzlutscher statues at the 2008 "Cul D'Or" Awards. All of which means nothing to the makers of the show, who are simply intent on continuing to "go one step further to bring you the stories you need to know."