Does MTV use reality shows as a crutch or a stop gap measure

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TMC1982

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#1
Case in point, this recent article from Forbes that examines how MTV's current programming chief, Chris McCarthy doubled down on more reality TV after their failed experiment with scripted content. It was only four years ago, that Buzzfeed pondered when MTV was going to stop it with its so-called "reality exploitation" habits.

I don't want to turn this into another complaint about how MTV doesn't focus on music videos anymore. What I will say is that MTV used to be very experimental, offbeat and risk-taking taking with its content. I'm guessing what MTV relies on reality shows because they're cheap and more efficient to produce.
 

LinusFan303

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#5
It was Viacom's reassessment too, they stopped with making new scripted programming for CMT as well and Nashville is ending. They also seemed to stop TVLand's original scripted content and kept only 2 or 3 series they already had running. Their focus was having Paramount be the scripted (non children's) home for that. CMT and MTV went with reality series because they are cheaper, and seem to work for them. They are also kind of going back to some music based programming too. I think it's their crutch but if their scripted programming had worked to Viacom's satisfaction then it might still be doing it.
 

TMC1982

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#6
And it appears that MTV is going to continue to double down on the reality path by bringing back The Hills. I've come to the conclusion is that MTV has really been fighting a losing battle by trying so desperately hard to be a "youth" channel. MTV needs to at its core, always be a music channel. I don't necessarily mean that they need to start showing videos for most of the day again. But why not report on upcoming releases and tours, giving reviews, putting the spotlight on some new unknown groups, getting talk shows where musicians are interviewed and can give live performances, and showing concerts on occasion. In other words, even if you can't devote your time and resources to videos, what's stopping you from covering the music scene as a whole?

I say that what they have been doing is a "lost cause" because few of their reality shows from the past 20 years have kept a steady audience. Also, there's more than likely a generation that's left cable TV behind and moved onto the Internet, and most adults aren't very interested in shows like Catfish and 16 & Pregnant. Even before this, MTV was in trouble as by the early 2000s, the core of their schedule was simply a Top 10 for TRL, Real World/Road Rules/Pimp My Ride/Cribs and news.

I'm guessing that one reason why their move to scripted dramas didn't work because they were essentially offering stuff that in theory, would've been on Freeform or The CW but they didn't have enough room. MTV used to be weird and outside the box, somewhere along the way they conformed. Maybe one way that MTV could rebrand itself is to format themselves after a combination of Viceland, Funny Can Die/IFC/Comedy Central, and Palladia (now MTV Live).
 

TMC1982

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#9
Must still be making Viacom money, and as long as it does that it stays, Im surprised MTV2 still exists.
MTV2 has sadly become little more than a dumping ground for old sitcoms from the '90s-early 2000s (like especially those that aired on The WB and UPN as MTV2 wanted to be "BET-lite"), reruns of Ridiculousness and Fear Factor, as well as the occasional movie. It seems like the jump the shark moment (or when it started to lose its relevancy) so to speak for MTV2 was around the time that they changed to the two-headed dog logo. Sadly, MTV's chief competitor, Fuse has also turned into a directionless, generic late '90s-early 2000s sitcom channel.
 
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#11
As everyone said. Reality TV is cheap, and brings in viewers, and in a day and age where more and more people are moving to streaming, cable networks need all the viewers they can get. Shame too, I actually liked MTV's scripted phase, they put out some decent shows during that time.
 

LinusFan303

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#12
They even got ambitious with The Shannara Chronicles then they moved it to Spike for season 2 where it didn't fit at all. But it seems like over all they don't know really what do to with MTV reality shows seem to fill that void of justifying the channel's existence. Also they are going on nostalgia of 2000's people who remember watching the Hills , Fear Factor (though not MTV) , Jersey Shore etc. as a key to viewers too.
 

TMC1982

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#13
I guess MTV won't be doing animation anymore huh?

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From what I've gathered, MTV doesn't produce animated shows anymore because it's simply too expensive the justify given the number of viewers that the network normally commands now. Some shows never launched and many died during first season. Back when MTV still actually played music videos, they were flushed with cash but also understood that their audience would change over time. So the animation would help fill the gabs when new music videos started becoming something of a rarity. And under the eye of Fred Siebert, MTV created off-the-wall cartoons that that perfectly suited the minds of teenagers (namely Beavis & Butt-head). Ultimately, Siebert left for Hanna-Barbara/Cartoon Network and later his own production company, Frederator after MTV’s animation department was phased out (around the year 2001) for cheaper (and I mean very cheap), reality-based programming. The animated shows that in theory, would've been on MTV now pretty much go to Comedy Central or Adult Swim.
 

TMC1982

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#16
This particular article insinuates that 1998 was when MTV really started to change for the worst. That was when MTV started really going after the teens-and-younger crowd, and that's where it probably went down this course once and for all:
At the same time, MTV was getting a lot more data about who was actually watching MTV, and, turns out, it was overwhelmingly kids between the ages of 6 and 15.” This created the perfect bubblegum storm: Total Request Live, hosted by Carson Daly, debuted in 1998, focusing largely on the era's biggest hit-makers: The Spice Girls were already huge, the Backstreet Boys were finally breaking in America after conquering Europe, *NSYNC released its debut album, and a former Mouseketeer named Britney Spears would sell 9 million copies of her first single, “… Baby One More Time.” (The album with the same name would be the second best-selling of 1999, after the Backstreet Boys’ Millennium.)
I think MTV really wants to keep that teen/early 20s audience, so much so that they alienate viewers in the mid/late 20s and thirties, just because it's micro-focused on the teen/early 20s demo.
 

dmxx116

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#17
MTV Jump the Shark last night when they give the no talent and skill Kim Kardashian that MTV movie award for that dumb and useless meaningless show I'm so done with MTV.
 
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