Sex, cities, sock puppets, superheroes, and short skirts: 24 hours of 1998 TV

The TV of 1998 feels more like the end of something than the beginning. Dawson’s Creek and Will & Grace were pointing to a new direction for their respective networks, but pioneering comedies like Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, Living Single, and Mr. Show were closing down. Jimmy Smits was making his NYPD Blue…

Let’s imagine what could possibly make the relaunched TRL work

Following massive layoffs to MTV News’ editorial staff and a harrowing intonation of that most feared phrase in online journalism—that is, “pivot to video”—MTV has set its sights on a relaunched TRL. For a generation of viewers, TRL was a cultural juggernaut, a sort of preteen water-cooler show that in large part…

MTV to broadcast new daily live show from the old TRL studio

MTV is getting a big reboot, and though it’s not quite returning to the old music video days—and it probably never will—a new Adweek profile of network president Chris McCarthy reveals that it will be going back to the old Total Request Live days, at least. It’s not bringing that specific show back, mind you, but it…

Read This: The struggle between nü-metal and pop on MTV’s TRL

For adults of a certain age, MTV’s TRL (or Total Request Live to those of us of an even more certain age) was a television event that was both musical tastemaker and locus around which a teen could define her musical identity. Budding snobs could align themselves against it, pop lovers could be validated by it, and,…