Do you want your MTV? Well, according to the ratings, probably not. Over the last five years, MTV has gone from being the eighth-ranked ad-supported cable network for people between the ages of 18 and 49 to being 20th. The network has grown stagnant, and they haven’t had a big hit a la Jersey Shore in a lot of years. With all that in mind, new president Sean Atkins has a bold plan. Namely, they are going to put the “music” back in “Music Television.”
The network has announced a bunch of new shows, many of them scripted, and one of them a reboot of Cribs that will exist on Snapchat, but they have also announced a few music-related programs to be added to their schedule. They are bringing back Unplugged, the classic acoustic performance show, there is a hip-hop competition show produced by Mark Burnett, and they have a new show called Wonderland, a live music series set in LA that is their first such show in 20 years or so.
“Music is our muse, our spirit animal. And it’s a great muse to have. So we’re leaning into it,” said Atkins, in discussing this decision. While that may have been true for many years, music has not really been a big part of MTV for a while. However, for people who remember the old days of MTV, this is likely to generate interest, if not outright excitement. Over on the web side of things, MTV News has been getting a reboot, as well, with the hiring of a lot of new writers, many of them formally of ESPN’s shuttered Grantland, and they have started a podcast network, as well.
If we can be certain of one thing, it’s that MTV is not going gentle into that good night. If they need to bring Cribs back on Snapchat to make that happen, so be it.