Remember when music videos used to play on television? Of course you do, because nostalgic internet users talk about it all the time, often with wistful sighs.
Recently, a graphic floated around on Twitter showing the programming slate for MTV’s current television shows. Which show dominated damn near every damn broadcast time slot? Ridiculousness, a TV series showcasing “ridiculous” viral videos (usually stunt fails and mishaps) circulating on the internet.
It’s clearly a popular-ass show, but those of us who grew up in the peak MTV era always have to ask—what the fuck happened to the ‘M’ in MTV? (Editor’s note: *sighs wistfully*)
Well, it looks like there’s some journey toward back the channel’s music roots...as well as on its counterpart, VH1. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Paramount+ (the legacy film studio’s streaming platform) will be reviving classics from the 1980s/1990s such as Behind the Music, Yo! MTV Raps and Unplugged (the latter of which, to my surprise, is still currently airing—K-Pop sensation BTS has an episode!). Hell, it looks like it’ll even be rebooting shows from the original reality show era, such as Road Rules, which will join the previously announced reunion special, The Real World Homecoming: New York.
THR breaks down the history behind all of these revived shows:
Behind the Music, which ran from 1997-2014, was once VH1's signature franchise. The new version will still feature deep-dive profiles of artists and bands (including remastered versions of prior installments) with an updated visual style.
Yo! MTV Raps was the first hip hop-focused show on MTV, running from 1988-95 with initial host Fab Five Freddy and later Doctor Dré and Ed Lover. Hosts for the new show haven’t been named yet.
Unplugged, featuring stripped-down performances by top artists, debuted on MTV in 1989 and has continued off and on into the present. The most recent edition, featuring K-Pop superstars BTS, aired on Tuesday.
Like its predecessor, which ran from 1995-2007, Road Rules will feature contestants traveling from place to place in an RV, with clues, odd jobs and money-earning missions guiding the way. The Challenge: All Stars will bring together 22 players from the original Real World and Road Rules for a chance to test their skills (and ability to form and keep relationships) and win $500,000.
Apparently, this move is part of “a broader strategy at Paramount+ parent ViacomCBS to mine its IP library for updates of well-known titles.”
“We are thrilled to re-invent some of our most storied and impactful music franchises, including Behind the Music and Yo! MTV Raps, for Paramount+,” Bruce Gilmer, president of music, music talent, programming & events at ViacomCBS said in a statement.
Of course, now I’m wondering what a current version of these nostalgic shows will look like, with a new generation of music artists? Will we get the actual deep-dive of the significance behind Bobby Shmurda’s cap in an episode of Behind the Music? Will Drake thoroughly explain why he has a heart etched in his haircut in an episode of Yo! MTV Raps? Will Chloe x Halle ride in on real-life unicorns while singing the acoustic versions of their songs on an episode of Unplugged?
I’m joking about all of those, by the way—OR AM I?! Find out next time on MTV and VH1...