MTV revives Total Request Live

MTV revives Total Request Live

MTV is returning to Times Square for a new edition of its show Total Request Live. The revival is part of a plan for a ratings turnaround at the US station. 

Between 1998 and 2008, TRL’s combination of music stars, studio audience and pop videos was a mainstay of MTV's afternoon programming. The broadcast, hosted by Carson Daly until 2003, drew crowds of fans and plenty of gawkers to Times Square.

MTV plans to construct a new studio in Times Square for the revived TRL, which is set to air in October with a line-up of young presenters. The show will initially run for an hour, and there is also the potential for concerts at the iconic New York location.

“If we’re going to come back and reinvent MTV, the studio is a given,” MTV President Chris McCarthy told the New York Times. “It is the centerpiece.”

In an effort to reach young music fans, the all-new TRL will be complemented by dedicated content for Snapchat, Instagram and other social media channels.

The move represents a return to music programming for the broadcaster, whose schedules were increasingly focused on reality TV. McCarthy said there had been lobbying for a TRL revival from music artists, who were unaware that plans were already underway.

It's early days for UK broadcast plans for TRL, but it's a sign that broadcasters are seeing opportunities for TV formats that combine music and entertainment with a strong social media buzz.

MTV's blast from the blast coincides with the development of BBC One's new live, primetime music and entertainment series from Fulwell 73, which is behind James Corden’s Late Late Show and Carpool Karaoke.

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