In the age of revivals, no show seems off limits to rise from the dead. The latest show to be making a comeback is MTV’s Total Request Live. The New York Times reported on Sunday that the show will return to its home network in October.
Total Request Live, which is commonly referred to as TRL, ran from 1998 to 2008. The series featured music videos and included visits from artists that ranged from up-and-coming to household names. TRL was a staple for MTV during the network’s most profitable time. It also made host Carson Daly into the well known public figure he is today.
MTV’s new president Chris McCarthy acknowledged the decrease in ratings for the network while talking to the New York Times. The network that once focused on music now consists of reality television. McCarthy hopes that bringing back TRL will remind music fans of what MTV used to be.
A studio facing Times Square that is similar to the original and iconic TRL studio is currently under construction. “If we’re going to come back and reinvent MTV, the studio is a given,” McCarthy said. “It is the centerpiece.” He believes that the revival of TRL, as well as the new studio, will help MTV revive itself into the network it once was.
Similar to the first time TRL was on the air, each episode of the revival will run for an hour. It is expected that the new version of the series will expand to two and three hour episodes. Another difference from the series first time on the network is that Daly will not return as host and instead there will be five revolving hosts. Rapper and comedian DC Young Fly and Chicago radio host Erik Zachary are two names that are been confirmed to take over Daly’s former role.
TRL is not the only show MTV hopes will invoke nostalgia among viewers. The network’s newest reality show Siesta Key is expected to become the modern day Laguna Beach. It helps that the series is produced by the team that brought us the early 2000s reality show about high school students living in Laguna Beach, California.
McCarthy is confident that under his direction, MTV can become the thriving network it once was. “I see that math, I see the shows we are about to green-light, I see that landscape for the next few months — we’re stable,” he said. “How do I know that? I could be wrong, but I haven’t missed an estimate in the 12 years I’ve been doing TV.”
While McCarthy knows there will be skeptics of the revived TRL, he has no time to worry about them. “It’s the right route,” he assured. “When you talk to artists and they say to you, unaware of what we’re doing, can you bring back TRL? We’d be crazy not to reinvent that.”