In an effort to reinvent the network and bring ratings back up, MTV has announced that it will be bringing back Total Request Live (TRL). MTV President Chris McCarthy made the announcement in a New York Times profile feature.
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.