Tele-Tuesday: MTV’s Joining the Party

On August 1, 1981, Music Television (also known as MTV) launched with the music video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, and was immediately a breakthrough success.  MTV changed pop culture forever, and even created what we know as VJs (vee-jay or video jockey) today.

By the 1990s, the network began to drift away from the music videos, and started airing original broadcasts such as Road Rules and The Real World, animations including Beavis and Butthead and Celebrity Deathmatch, and even a few popular game shows like Remote Control and Singled Out – the show that putJenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra on the map.

By 2000, rarely could we flip channels to MTV and actually watch a music video.  Instead, we’d find The Osbournes, and watch Ozzy and Sharon wrangle their children and many small dogs around their house in Los Angeles; or we’d watch Ashton Kutcher play pranks on celebrities on Punk’d; and, sometimes we’d even watch Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica so that we could laugh at just how silly that girl can be.

Since then, MTV has continued to launch more and more reality shows: Laguna Beach, NEXT, My Super Sweet 16, and the craziest of them all, Jersey Shore.  And, who could forget one of the biggest hits of all MTV programming – Jackass?

Where would society be today without Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Ryan (R.I.P.), and Wee-Man?

This summer, MTV gained positive attention with the premier of its supernatural hit Teen Wolf.  Some of us even refer to Teen Wolf as the summer’s The Vampire Diaries – and that’s a huge compliment.

Will MTV be able to do it again with Death Valley, the new half hour horror-comedy premiering later this month?

Death Valley follows the Undead Task Force (UTF) as they protect the San Fernando Valley from the recent outbreak of zombies, vampires, and werewolves.   The UTF, a special division within the LAPD, is tasked with the responsibility of containing or destroying as many of the walking dead as possible, while a film crew follows them documenting each encounter.

Viewers will recognize a few familiar faces on the UTF squad including: Captain Frank Dashell (Bryan Callen from The Hangover); the traditional cop, Joe Stubeck (Charlie Sanders from Funny or Die Presents); the wanna-be-actor Billy Pierce (Bryce Johnson from Pretty Little Liars); the rookie Kirsten Landry (Caity Lotz from Mad Men); the sharp-shooter, Carla Rinaldi (Tania Raymonde from Lost); and, the one who loves to fight, John-John Johnson (Texas Battle from The Bold and the Beautiful).

The trailer looks hilarious and leads us to believe the show will have plenty of gore.  What more could we ask for when watching zombies, vampires, and werewolves?

Zombies, Vampires, and Werewolves – Oh, My!

Death Valley premieres on MTV Monday, August 29th at 10:30/9:30pm CDT.

Will you watch Death Valley?  Or do you prefer that MTV stop trying to compete with the regular network broadcasting channels and go back to playing more music videos?  What’s the first music video you remember watching on MTV? What’s your favorite program of all time on MTV? Do you even watch MTV anymore? I’d love to hear from you! 

26 Replies to “Tele-Tuesday: MTV’s Joining the Party”

  1. I doubt I’ll watch Death Valley. I stopped thinking of MTV as music television a long time ago. Sometimes I wonder why artists even make videos any more. My favorite MTV show was Beavis and Butthead. Looking forward to its reboot!

  2. At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old curmudgeon, I bewailed the fact that MTV turned into reality tv, and never watched it–even to leaving the room when my teenagers did! I am excited that they are going the AMC route to do non-reality original programming. Do I miss the music videos? Yes, but I’ll gladly take the good original programming instead.

    1. Hey, Nancy! We can watch Death Valley together….I loved Teen Wolf. Did you check it out? I am proud to say that I don’t watch any of the MTV reality programs with the exception of the Road Rules/Real World challenges – sorta like The Amazing Race w/physical competitions and endurance more than anything else. I can’t get enough and I’m slowly but surely converting my guy!

  3. I think this series actually looks really good. If the chemistry between the officers is as good as it appears on the trailer, I think this would be a hit. I love the reverse take on it. Seeing it through the eyes of the film crew and the officers, rather than just someone being in love with them. I’ve gotten a little sick of that. This show looks really good. I’m setting my DVR!

  4. I never watch MTV anymore. So I had no idea about Death Valley. I’m watching so many things already, that I don’t have time to add much more to the list.

    I didn’t realize MTV had so many reality shows. I can’t stress enough how much I DESPISE reality shows. I mean, really, really hate. LOL

  5. Wow, what a flashback into the past! Your post brought back so many memories. I don’t remember the first MTV video I watched. When it first came out, I had a newborn and a one-year-old, so I didn’t pay attention to MTV for years. My son was a huge Beavis & Butthead fan. When I started a YA novel, I watched Road Rules and Real World. Lots of good stuff, drama, backstabbing, drunken shennanigans! I also like to watch Made. I haven’t watched much of MTV the past few years, but Death Valley looks good. And that was a great trailer. Great post, Tiffany.

    1. Hey, Lynn! I could definitely see watching RR/RR as excellent writing material – talk about constant conflict! I get my weekly dose when I watch the RR/RR challenge. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I caught a few episodes of Punked and thought it was hysterical but I associate MTV with the music. I used to while away HOURS watching music videos in middle and high school. The first one I really remember was “Eye of the Tiger” and “She’s a Beauty.” I loved the rock videos and adored the Madonna videos.

    And I wanted to look half as cute in overalls as the gals from Bananarama (Cruel Summer) and Dexy’s Midnight Runner (Come On, Eileen). Oh, to still have that much time on my hands….

    1. I definitely miss the music videos; there were years that I didn’t even tune into MTV because of all the junk programming they aired.

      My favorite videos are Thriller and anything Aerosmith – especially “Walk This Way” with Run DMC. Did I just age myself? 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!

  7. I’m one of those archaic people who doesn’t have cable tv or satellite. I thought videos were cool when they first came out. If you notice the style of this video, it doesn’t visually attack you like a photographic M60. Anyway, since I have rarely watched MTV, I don’t feel qualified to have an opinion. But I will say this. I miss the radio stars and programs of my childhood. We had great programs like Mysteryhouse Theater. They had stuff on there that would make Stephen King run for his mommie, and sometimes, we even had to turn it off. The fact is that there is nothing that can come out of Hollywood that is as scary as our own imaginations.

    Love your blog, Tiffany. 🙂

    1. I sometimes wonder why radio programs from the past haven’t resurfaced – everything else has. This sounds like something satellite radio should look into. I’d love to listen to a scary story while driving on a dark two-lane Texas road out in the middle of nowhere (besides my books on disc that I already have). Thanks for stopping by, Piper!

      1. We so need to do that. We’d probably end up scaring each other so badly we’d have to pull off at a store and hide there…until they kicked us out.

  8. Bring back the music videos! The first music video I saw was Night Ranger’s “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me.” When I was growing up, MTV was a great channel to turn on for 3 minutes and one video or 3 hours and umpteen videos. The VJs were interesting as well. These days, most of my peers consider it the trash channel, and many do not want their kids watching it. I can’t imagine why MTV abandoned its unique niche oach to offer something that plenty of other channels can do. I still enjoy music videos; watched one from Adele today! (Dang, that girl can sing!)

    Albeit, I haven’t seen MTV’s Teen Wolf. Then again, I didn’t see Teen Wolf when Michael J. Fox starred, so what do I know?

    1. Julie, I can’t really disagree that MTV has been a bit trashy over the years (since dropping the actual music videos from regular rotation), but I am hoping that the signs of these new original series helps the channel rebound in a positive light. Thanks for stopping by!

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