MTV going back to roots with weekly live music series

MTV is trying to put the music back in music television.

The cable network that popularized the music video plans to air its first weekly live music series in almost 20 years, as well as a music competition series from “Survivor” producer Mark Burnett and a new version of the “MTV Unplugged” performance series. MTV executives announced the plans Thursday at a presentation for advertisers in New York.

“We are re-asserting our DNA,” Sean Atkins, president of the network, said in an interview. “MTV has to be the network that gives voice to youth and gives artists a voice to speak to youth. Music is our muse.”

This renewed focus on music is a key part of Viacom’s efforts to revitalize one of the most recognizable brands in modern pop culture, and lure a new generation of young viewers who have replaced “Total Request Live” with YouTube and Snapchat. With more competition and fewer fresh hits, MTV has hemorrhaged viewers in recent years.

Prime-time viewership is down about 4 percent this season, after a double-digit decline a year earlier, as young people turn to online video for more of their entertainment. The ratings decline, along with viewer losses at Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, has made Viacom vulnerable in negotiations with pay-TV providers like Dish Network Corp., which has pressured the media company to rein in prices or face the threat of a blackout. The two companies announced a new long-term deal Thursday.

MTV will announce 14 new series during the presentation, the most in network history, and almost all of them have ties to music and pop culture. For “Wonderland,” the weekly music show, MTV will stage concerts at a loft in downtown Los Angeles that can accommodate multiple bands and comedy acts, inviting in the same youth who used to flock to New York’s Times Square for “TRL” and to beaches for MTV’s spring break festivities.

Bloomberg News

Talk to us

More in Life

Daniella Beccaria / for The Herald

15-month-old Kantu attempts to climb a pumpkin at Stocker Farms in Snohomish on Sunday, September 20th, 2015. Stocker Farms offers a U-pick patch, farm animals and a corn maze.
Best pumpkin patch in Snohomish County

You voted, we tallied, here are the results.

Everett comedian Taylor Clark performs stand-up in 2023 at The Triple Door in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Mike Bryk)
Comedian Taylor Clark to film first special Friday in Everett

The skateboarding funny-man will record an hour of his stand-up at the Historic Everett Theater.

Local musician Alex Johnston, whose newest album "Daylight Fooldream" pairs with short film he made with help from his partner Mikaela Henderson, sits with his morning coffee on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at Narrative Coffee in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Folktronica musician shoots 37-minute visual album on iPhone in Everett

Alex Johnston, 31, describes his music as ”if Coldplay and Bon Iver had a love child.”

Flowering knotweed Persicaria amplexicaulis firetail in the morning light.
Save for one infamous variety, fleece flowers are easy to fall in love with

This long-blooming, easy-to-grow perennial comes in many desirable varieties. But watch out: One is an invasive knotweed.

A view of King Street Station in Seattle, Washington from an Amtrak Cascades train to Portland, Oregon from Everett, Washington on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Ride the rails on Amtrak Cascades from Everett to Portland

Make new friends and let Amtrak do the driving on this 5-hour trip past sea, city and forest.

From left, Elora Coble, Carol Richmond, David Hayes, Karli Reinbold, Giovanna Cossalter Walters, Landon Whitbread in a scene from Edmonds Driftwood Players' production of "Murder on the Orient Express." (Dale Sutton / Magic Photography)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Edmonds Driftwood Players opens its 65th season with Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express.”

Some collectibles are found in nature; some imitate them. If it weren’t for the attached figure, this Royal Dux porcelain vase might pass for a real conch shell.
This shell-shaped vase would make a fine souvenir of summer fun

It may not be a real shell, but this art nouveau piece could still evoke fond memories of days at the beach.

Arlington Garden Club celebrating its 90th anniversary

The club has monthly programs for north Snohomish County gardeners and awards scholarships to area students.

Spouses Franchesca and Don Simpson talk about their baby girl’s “chubby cheeks” and “button nose” as Kelly Fox RDMS RVT performs a live-view 3D ultrasound on the expecting mother Saturday, August 26, 2023, at Wonder Baby Ultrasound Studio in Everett, Washington. The Simpsons are expecting their first child in October. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Glamour shots in utero? Everett studio offers HD ultrasound keepsakes

For curious parents, these glimpses are exciting, but not medically endorsed.

Most Read