Music television: an ambitious idea turned reality in the early 80s thanks to the folks at Viacom.
MTV‘s premise of bringing videos to prominence brought about a refreshing shift to how we obtained our music. This progressive step raised the channel’s popularity exponentially and helped make it the medium’s quasi-official hub in the years to follow. These days, that hasn’t been the case as reality shows have seized the focus away from what was MTV’s cash cow, a move that arguably tarnished the channel’s once near spotless finish. Within the past few weeks, the bewildering station announced a slew of new music programming coming later this year. Can it be that they’ve finally received the memo? Yes indeed, my friends.
The first of these programs is Wonderland, a weekly music show that’ll highlight today’s emerging acts alongside their upcoming comedic counterparts on stage. They’re not stopping there, oh no. Producer Mark Burnett is set to oversee a new hip-hop music competition series where the winner gets a one-way ticket into the industry. While both shows (including a host of others) are as ambitious as they are inventive, the best part of this renaissance is the return of MTV’s flagship series, MTV Unplugged.
Alongside their other newfangled programs, this melodic reanimation means that millennials can experience what those of us in the 80s and 90s did. Older generations can relive the channel’s glory days. Rivals like VH1 could become inspired by the tactic and emulate it, providing that nostalgia others could be pining for. MTV is returning to its roots, and that’s music to our ears.