Thursday, February 11, 2010

MTV: No Longer Music Television

We’re obviously feeling a bit nostalgic for the ‘80s today. Must be the John Hughes memorial interview that set us off. But we just caught wind of yet another sign that our youth has perhaps faded for good. MTV has dropped the “Music Television” from it’s logo creating a stumpy unfinished M where the heart of the network used to be.

Now, many of you younger readers might not remember the days when MTV used to show music videos. You know, back when video killed the radio star. Don’t get us wrong we owe a great debt of gratitude for the once fledgling rock and roll channel for moving into series TV. Our first internship during college was on MTV’s first prime time show, “The Big ___ Show.” The ___ in the title would change nightly with "humorous" concepts like "The Big and Tall Men's Show" and "The Big Organ Photo Show" (yes, the latter featured large pictures of spleens and kidney throughout the half hour).

Shockingly the series lasted just six weeks and had three hosts who each took over the program for two weeks – VJ Kevin Seal, Weird Al Yankovic, and Yahoo Serious (who was in the states to promote the opening of his film “Young Einstein”). And musical acts like XTC (we had to scour New York to find honey roasted peanuts for Andy Partridge) and Julian Lennon (we had to scour the studio to find Julian).

The series was a flop but MTV had other projects in the works including “Remote Control” which launched the careers of Denis Leary and Adam Sandler. If you google “The Big ___ Show” you’ll get no info. It’s somehow disappeared from the network’s history. But without it, we’d argue there would be no Speidi on “The Hills” or Snookie on “The Jersey Shore.” We’re not proud of that part, we’re just stating the facts.

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