July 25, 1993 |
Boy enters classroom, turns to face classmates, begins to raise hand slowly. Kids sitting in rows cower and shield faces. Soundtrack and pulsing strobe suggest automatic weapon fire. Blood spatters kids' foreheads, hands, shirt-fronts. Heavy metal soundtrack grinds to silence and the TV screen goes black - followed by a commercial for McDonald's Big Mac. A violent TV episode? By any measure. Will it be labeled as such when the networks' new policy goes into effect this fall? No. Why?
May 21, 1992 |
The Real World looks as though it may develop into the best original series that MTV has ever aired. Tonight's premiere of this real-life soap opera looks exceptionally promising. The music channel decided to pick out seven young people, ages 19 to 25, and give them free room and board in a Manhattan loft for 13 weeks. Their experiences, singly and together, will be edited into 13 half-hour episodes, beginning at 10 tonight on MTV. (The first two episodes will be shown back-to- back.
March 28, 1991 |
When ESPN lost the rights to broadcast the early NCAA Tournament games, it appeared that Dick Vitale no longer would be conducting his all-day television marathons, predicting the winners and the losers and the PTPers (that's Prime Time Players, for the uninitiated) and generally running his infamous mouth throughout the proceedings. Wrong. March Madness has come and Dick Vitale has been, as usual, inescapable. It was a given that he would do an NCAA highlight show, a few round-table discussions, maybe a guest appearance here and there.
July 3, 2005 |
If Live Aid helped launch MTV as a media powerhouse two decades ago, Live 8 not only dethroned the music channel yesterday but made it seem quaintly old-fashioned. The Internet left cable in the dust. To put it bluntly, MTV sank and AOL soared. More than five million people logged onto the Web to watch the concerts, with 175,000 simultaneous streams at any one time, making it "by far the biggest Internet event in history," AOL vice president Ruth Sarfaty said. It's easy to see why. AOL offered, for free, streaming video from concert stages in Philadelphia; Paris; London; Berlin; Barrie, Ontario; and Rome, with brief side trips to Johannesburg.
September 12, 1990 |
The last words printed on the television screen during MTV's Sex in the '90s special are, "Was it good for you?" The answer from this viewer is: Pretty good, but I didn't feel the earth move. Sex in the '90s, billed as a survey of sex in America from the 1950s to the 1990s, will begin at 10 tonight on MTV. It was produced by Lauren Lazin, narrated by Kurt Loder, and co-written by Lazin and Loder. A sizable slice of this hour sounds like nonsense, as when Michelle Pfeiffer says, "I never think of myself as a sex symbol," just before she's shown lolling and curling atop a piano while singing "Makin' Whoopee" in The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
March 9, 1992 |
Lee Masters, renowned for revitalizing MTV, is making comparable progress in turning the old money-losing Movietime cable TV channel into a profitable network called E! Movietime, whose content consisted almost entirely of promotional movie material, was born July 31, 1987, and died May 31, 1990. It was reborn the next day as E! Entertainment Television, with its presidential chair occupied by Masters, who in three years of running MTV created the music channel's first regular series and added rap music to its playlist.
August 1, 1991 |
LATE '40S: Introduction of video jukeboxes. These three-minute movies called soundies featured acts like Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. 1967: Groups such as Steppenwolf and The Kinks make rock promos in lieu of touring. Few care. 1975: Queen makes an elaborate clip for "Bohemian Rhapsody," and gets it played on BBC. The song soars to No. 1. Video as a promotional device is born. 1979: Devo constructs brilliant clips parodying conformity. Seen only by alienated artists in New York clubs.
September 22, 1997 |
Say you have an addytood. Don't like this video, don't like that video. Too much drums, too little bass, and the lead singer looks like she just stepped in something unpleasant. Until now, you'd have to content yourself with muttering imprecations at the screen, or hoping that the late, lamented Beavis and Butt-head would say it for you. But no more! Starting tonight at 6:30, you, a member of the Great Unwashed, can be on MTV, rating the videos as one of Twelve Angry Viewers. It works like this: Twelve viewers will be empaneled at the beginning of each week.
June 6, 2002 |
THE WORLD is your oyster when you're re-upping a hit series and no one knows that better than IT Guy Ozzy Osbourne. But requiring MTV suits to sign the contract in blood?!? Hey, that's where Tattle draws the line! Still, according to London's Mirror, the bat chompin' rocker and his wife, Sharon, made the bizarro request. Previously, the New York Times reported, the couple had demanded a new house and psychotherapy for their potpourri of pets. For life. (Cue the rolling of eyes.
August 10, 1999 |
Chris Prynoski wanted to keep it real. The MTV animator wasn't looking for plots or characters when he dreamed up Downtown, the cable channel's latest prime-time 'toon, which shows its second episode tonight at 10:30. Instead, Prynoski, 27, who has worked on the MTV hits Beavis & Butt-head and Daria, hit the street corners and pocket parks of New York's East Village with a tape recorder, looking for the true voices of teens and twentysomethings. He had pitched MTV execs "a show about a bunch of kids hanging out. " The suits got excited.