They say history and popular trends repeat themselves around every 20 years, so it’s probably right time for MTV to bring back Total Request Live. Yes, it really has been almost two decades since the Harry Potter and X-Men film franchises first began, and since Eminem, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, ‘N Sync and other pop artists ruled the airwaves. And a lot of those actors and musicians you can remember from that time period, first made it big on a little countdown show called TRL.
TRL first began in the fall of 1998 with host Carson Daly introducing the day’s top 10 music videos from a small, dimly lit set in New York City. Yet soon the show’s popularity incrased, and it was moved to MTV studios in Times Square, where it remained until ending in 2008. Over time, TRL became the network’s flagship program, receiving hundreds of thousands of viewers each day to see interviews with the world’s biggest stars and watch fans vote for the most requested music videos.
And now it’s coming back. MTV president Chris McCarthy has confirmed to the New York Times that TRL is set to return in October. However, Daly (who actually left the show in 2003) will be replaced by five VJs hosting alongside rapper and comedian DC Young Fly and Chicago radio personality Erik Zachary. Like its predecessor, the new version will air daily and take place in a newly revamped studio in Times Square that is currently under construction.
Back when TRL was still a thing, Twitter, Facebook and social media were first starting out. Votes then were counted by email, text and calling in to the show. Today it’s a whole different world out there, as there is no end to where fans can watch music videos and stay up-to-date on the latest news. Yet voting shows like The Voice, American Idol, and Dancing with the Stars are still ratings winners, so a new TRL could find a home on MTV as the network tries to turn its ratings around and get back into music.
Sticking with his plan to update MTV for a new generation and win back viewers, McCarthy also mentions in the interview that the MTV Video Music Awards‘ coveted ‘Moon Man’ trophy (given to each of the winners) will now be known as a ‘Moon Person,’ which also follows the awards ceremony’s recent push for gender neutral voting categories. This year’s event with the new changes will be hosted by Katy Perry on August 27.
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