MTV looks to reignite brand with music and more

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MTV’s music heyday is behind us, but the network is looking to reach a new one. The network announced new programming today, with MTV President Sean Atkins highlighting its “mission to reignite” the brand. As part of the process, viewers can expect more live music and music-inspired programming, including Wonderland, and new weekly performance series.

Atkins named music, pop culture, and creativity as three of its key features, and all of them seem to play into the network’s plan moving forward. There’s a lot in the pipeline. In addition to Wonderland, the first show of its kind on MTV in almost two decades, MTV Unplugged is getting revamped (ah, the acoustic memories!). In addition, Mark Burnett, executive producer of The Voice, is working on a music competition series, and Scooter Braun Films has agreed to develop Studio 24, which will pair well known musicians with “mystery” talents and challenge them to create a song together. Beyond that, a documentary series called Year One is also in the works, and it will look at breakthrough years in the careers of established performers.

“What we share today is just the beginning, but it’s a strong first step in the journey and shows how aggressively we are moving to energize the extraordinary promise of this great brand,” said Atkins in a press release.

Beyond the music angle, MTV is partnering on projects with big name like Dwayne Johnson, Drew Barrymore, Zac Efon, John Legend, and more. They’ll create a variety of content for viewers, including talk shows, scripted series, and documentaries. It’s a mixed bag, to say the least, but it seems like the network is determined to figure out what resonates with audiences.

In an interview with Variety, Atkins described MTV’s current situation as “the story of a major network sort of having a stumbling block,” but he seems confident that it will find its way back, starting with “put[ting] the ‘M’ back in MTV.”


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