MTV Returning to Musical Roots

29th April 2016 No comments


When MTV launched in 1981 it revolutionized both television and music. By providing a visual outlet for what had previously only been an auditory form of expression, MTV became wildly influential and changed the way artists released music, how fans consumed it, and how industry-folk promoted it. Artists such as Madonna, Nirvana, Whitney Houston, and Michael Jackson were propelled, not only by their talent, but by huge MTV airplay.

Then a funny thing happened. In the late 90s-early 2000s, MTV forgot who it was and why it began. Rather than airing its beloved programs, such as 120 Minutes, Unplugged, Yo! MTV Raps, or Headbangers Ball, they veered away from music altogether.  The channel that called itself “Music Television” seemed to forget about music completely, opting instead, to show programming on pregnant teenagers, asinine automobile makeovers, celebrity pranks, and other banality.

Now MTV has had a wake-up call and are finally getting back to what matters; music. This week MTV announced their fall lineup will include several new series about music which will “make your uncle shut up about how we don’t play music anymore.”

In the company’s statement about the new programming, MTV President Sean Atkins said: “We’re on a mission to reignite MTV with everything that makes it one of the world’s most iconic brands  – its soul of music, its love of pop culture, and its unexpected, groundbreaking creative.” “What we share today is just the beginning, but it’s a strong first step in the journey and shows how aggressively we are moving to energize the extraordinary promise of this great brand.

As for the new shows, let’s take a look!

Studio 24 – A famous artist and mystery talent are paired to create a new song in 24 hours.

Unplugged – Perhaps the most exciting news of the MTV announcement is the consistent return of its most highly revered series. Unplugged was a programming staple for MTV previously and was also a benchmark for artists who knew an invitation to appear on Unplugged meant they had arrived.  In recent years Unplugged would have the occasional one-off episode but perhaps the return of a full-time program will get the show and network back on track. It may even breathe some life into the current rock scene.

Wonderland – LA-based weekly series featuring live performances from three different acts. It will focus on music but with an element of comedy, which Atkins describes being “‘SNL,’ but with the music and comedy flipped.”

Year One – A music documentary series which will draw on archival footage to explore the breakthrough year in a superstar’s career.

Now, if only they’d start playing videos ’round the clock again. Baby steps…





Share this post: