It’s no secret that MTV’s 2017 reboot of ‘TRL’ has been a miss with critics and viewers.
As reported here, the daily series premiered to a staggering 166,000 viewers on October 2nd. To put that into context, that figure is less than half of the viewership that led it to its 2008 cancellation. While some blamed the unfortunate Las Vegas terrorist attack (which also happened on Oct. 2) for the cause of the low ratings, others pointed to the show’s new format, hosts, time slot, and so much more.
Whatever the cause, ‘TRL’s ratings have only declined since its premiere. As of Friday (October 13th), only 123,000 tuned in.
Despite the discouraging figures, execs at MTV – namely its president, Chris McCarthy – are “incredibly optimistic” about its future. Read about this and more from his telling sit-down with Billboard inside:
Billboard: The reviews for the premiere were mixed. Can you speak to that?
CM: From our perspective, our goal was to bring younger voices back, more music and drive video and social views. Our metric for success isn’t necessarily the critics’ reviews; it’s the audience. And from that perspective, we far exceeded the numbers.
Up on the linear screen itself, we’re up almost 100 percent with teens and that’s just in week one. From our video views, so everything off-linear, we are up over 30 percent, which week-on-week, the last time we saw that kind of growth was the VMAs….
Can you tell me about how you changed the format of your music countdowns?
CM: You know probably better than anybody that the music world has changed and the idea of a countdown has changed. New Music Friday hits and Drake could have 10 of the top 10, most of which don’t have videos. So the way that we’re playing with countdowns is changing, and that’s what we’ve been experimenting with each day.
So whether that’s a New Music Friday countdown or whether that’s a Throwback Thursday countdown or whether that’s an artist-curated countdown, we’ve been playing with different models and we’ll continue to evolve that until we get it right.
Billboard: Are you optimistic about TRL going forward?
CM: Incredibly optimistic. It’s brought a whole new energy back into the building from a staff perspective. It’s brought a ton of artists back into the building, that we have even more shows and ideas and content that we’re talking with them about.
Read the interview in its entirety by clicking here.