MTV is pushing back on a report that the network plans to cancel its rebooted TRL franchise. In fact, MTV says it’ll actually be dedicating more airtime and resources to the series going forward.
Earlier today, TMZ reported that MTV had pulled the plug on TRL, citing internal emails from the network. However, in a subsequent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, MTV president Chris McCarthy disputed the report and revealed that the network plans to expand the franchise.
“It’s thriving. We’re expanding the franchise and will have three TRLs by summer,” McCarthy announced. “TRL has delivered incredible growth on linear and we’ve experienced two to three times the growth in our video streams and TRL is big piece of it — and that’s why we’re expanding it; we want more.”
McCarthy noted that show’s currently on hiatus and will return on April 9th. The franchise’s new arms include a morning show, Total Request A.M., which THR describes as “a curated Spotify list of sorts,” and an evening version, Total Request Late-Night, which has been piloting on the network since mid-February. The former will apparently feature a traditional video countdown in addition to live performances, and is scheduled to premiere this summer. The latter will be pegged to MTV series like Jersey Shore and other late-night programs, and will presumably function similarly to Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live, but with a greater emphasis on music.
“We’re expanding to target different demographics and dayparts,” McCarthy explained, confirming that “all three [versions of TRL] will be airing by June.”
He added, “We have no plans of not having TRL on our linear network; there won’t be a time when we don’t have it on. The show has been killing it for us.”