MTV is going to bring back ‘Total Request Live’ in attempt to recapture the magic (and ratings) of its glory days.
Chris McCarthy, the network president, made the announcement in a profile featured in the New York Times.
Mr. McCarthy, 42, was looking at the space that used to house “Total Request Live,” the MTV afternoon show from 1998 to 2008 that helped make the host, Carson Daly, a star and was a must-stop destination for musicians, Times Square gawkers and advertisers eager to reach a young audience.
That was then. Ratings at MTV in the last five years have nose-dived, turnaround strategies have failed and the cable network’s parent company, Viacom, has watched its stock go into free fall.
So, what’s a media executive to do?
Apparently, bring back “TRL.”
Mr. McCarthy said “TRL” would return in October, and a massive studio facing Times Square was under construction in the hope of capturing the old magic.
“If we’re going to come back and reinvent MTV, the studio is a given,” he said. “It is the centerpiece.”
It is also the centerpiece in what Mr. McCarthy believes is the beginning of MTV’s comeback. Though many observers say that is a long shot, there have been encouraging signs in recent weeks.
Could this be what MTV needs to turn things around?