Similar to a Cutup, a Cutdown tends to reference a single work, such as a specific movie or a specific episode from a particular television show. Unlike a Cutup, a Cutdown attempts to preserve the original story arc while occasionally introducing subversive or tuned meanings not obvious in the original work.
Cutdowns were first seen on such shows as Short Attention Span Theater, co-hosted by Jon Stewart and Patty Roseborough which ran on Comedy Central from 1989 through 1994 and was one of the first mainstream-media implementations of the derivative entertainment form that intentionally packaged “found” (external) works as the core content to the overall offering. While many traditional skit-format shows relied heavily on intentionally short nonsequitur segments, for the most part, the segments were original rather than cutdowns or derivative works from longer external sources.
The term Webisode, is content originally published to the Internet whereas a Minisode typically refers to a derivative work based on a traditional television episode.
The Minisode Network is an official Sony Pictures Television offering launched online in June 2007. The term minisode is a portmanteau combining mini and episode. Minisodes are condensed versions, or cutdowns, of previously broadcast, full-length television shows that are heavily reedited to run from four to six minutes, yet retain the main story arc of the original production. The Sony Pictures Television minisode library includes hundreds of episodes from Charlie’s Angels, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Fantasy Island, Voltron: Defender of the Universe, and many, many more.
Fan tributes to popular TV shows often show up on YouTube in the form of Minisodes including several True Blood Minisodes, the Star Wars in 60 seconds series and the Rocky and Bullwinkle Minisode series.