Ratings: MTV’s ‘TRL’ Reboot Bombs…Badly

Published: Tuesday 3rd Oct 2017 by Rashad

In its hey-day, MTV’s daily music video countdown show – ‘TRL’ (Total Request Live) – was unquestionably the place to go to know what’s hot and what’s not in entertainment, namely in the music industry.  In fact, at its height in popularity, the series regularly pulled in 600,000-750,000 viewers a day.  Yet, as technology improved and increased the accessibility of “on-demand” media, the need for shows like ‘TRL’ took the hardest hit – a decline evidenced by its ratings by the time of its 2008 cancellation.

Fast-forward nearly 10 years later, the execs at MTV thought now – a time where on-demand media consumption is at its highest – to be the best time to revamp and reboot the show (click here to see performances and highlights).

If the premiere ratings are anything to judge by, they were wrong:

‘TRL’ Reboot Premiere Viewership:  166,000

To put that figure into perspective, it’s less than half the numbers the show was pulling when MTV decided to cancel it in the first place in 2008!  Among those who did tune in, let’s just say the reviews weren’t particularly stellar.

On the other hand (and to its credit), fate wasn’t exactly on the show’s side either as news and social media were dominated yesterday by reports of the Las Vegas terrorist attack – the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

Here’s hoping as time goes on the numbers increase.  [source]

Your thoughts?

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  1. Achooo! October 3, 2017

    Next Flop! American Idol Reboot!

    • Maya October 4, 2017

      Umm errr wth has time to sit down in front of a TV these days? LOL! Im way to busy with college and life then to be watching these fools try to be kool on an old a** format like a Tv screen! Chile Bye.. Go back to Tv hell TR boring. MeH

      • Jay October 4, 2017

        Maya you’re trying way to hard to act like you can’t do anything other then your ridiculously “busy” life. Who has time? Lots of people that know how to manage their time. Just like you, who managed to get on a BLOG and make a comment about not having time to do anything other then school and your “busy” life. “Old format like a tv screen” it’s 2017 not 3017 stop acting like we are way into the future. We don’t even have holograms at our finger tips. What we can do on a computer we can do on a smart tv. Girl bye!

      • AdrianL October 4, 2017

        “old a** format like a Tv screen”

        You sound dumb. Shut up.

      • Maya October 4, 2017

        At Jay and AdrianL You all going Hard for this failure of a reboot LMAo! OLD People up in here! LOL

  2. Rated R October 3, 2017

    Music industry needs shows like this tbh , I’m here for it let’s put less focus on raitings and more emphasis on artist promoting their art and having more musical outlets to showcase them . Let’s get to promoting art and make that popular instead of ratings telling us what’s hot for the moment . Create a trend of when your’re there you create moments .

    • Kris October 4, 2017

      If there’s no ratings, who the hell are they promoting to? Thin air…?

  3. Cool-mbian October 3, 2017

    The new Trl is a disaster.

  4. MusicLife October 3, 2017

    It no longer is a viable format of tv. Only music heads would care for it and we live in a day and age when OnDemand is the way of life and there is too much good drama and comedy on tv to want to deal with this tired format.

    And this is coming from a music head. A music head that cut the cable cord and no longer has time or money to waste on one show here and there that’s good on MTV.

    Whole station needs a revamp to pull people back in.

    • AdrianL October 4, 2017

      What does drama have to do with TRL? There were probably more dramas on TV when TRL aired the first time. Hell, it’s an afternoon show. What are you even talking about?

      This new TRL flopped because today’s music scene isn’t compelling enough for anyone to bother watching for anyone who’d be booked on the show now. No one is interested in seeing Cardi B., or whoever else is considered a “pop star” today.

  5. Theman October 3, 2017

    Well it can grow. They just need to find their footing & actually promote it. Get bigger artists/cross promote. Shows like this have nothing to do with drama/comedy shows.. It’s fresh again. So it’s really about sorting things out..

  6. Jamon October 4, 2017

    Since it bombed, y’all didn’t put Beyonce and Jay on the cover ??

    • Whoops October 4, 2017

      Why would they put Beyoncé and Jay on the cover? They weren’t on the premiere. Never been on this new TRL. How bothered do you have to be to care about TGJ using a throwback picture of Bey and Jay on the old TRL to announce the reboot that didn’t start yet. If anything it’s smart on TGJ’s part because it keeps y’all h*** talking. Positive comments. Negative comments. It doesn’t matter. Either way, issa win.

      • Jamon October 4, 2017

        Good morning.

  7. Jay October 4, 2017

    This show could have made a great comeback if they would have got REAL host especially familiar faces that are still relevant. Instead they thought they thought they had to go the other route which was to get younger kids and bring on youtube/social media people to make the show a hit just to attract the kids. Also what is the point of this show if there is not video or constant music content? I get it On Demand is how things are now but they could have made it a performance show at least. Have the fans vote to get their fav artist or band on the show.

    • eric October 4, 2017

      “Have the fans vote to get their fav artist or band on the show.”

      Good idea. Vote for who we want to see from week to week, although I don’t think too many artists will change their schedules to be on MTV right now.

  8. Jeans October 4, 2017

    Yeh, I hope American idol flops too

  9. SMH October 4, 2017

    In all fairness, the Vegas terrorist attacks took everyone’s attention. But this still would have bombed regardless, MTV hasn’t shown videos in over a decade.

  10. Navy Captain October 4, 2017

    I tried to watch but I CANNOT stand D.C. Young Fly. Also, there is no music video countdown?! Isn’t that the whole point of TRL?

    • eric October 4, 2017

      Yes. I don’t see the “total request live” piece at all.

  11. Cbeylive October 4, 2017

    It happened the same day as that Vegas shooting tho

  12. MsThing485 October 4, 2017

    This current music scene sucks. Who is trying to watch Migos and Ed Sheeran perform? They may as well cancel it again, because I for one am not going anywhere near this revamped TRL. If they care that much about music, just play videos again during the day. Then maybe a better crop of artists can eventually emerge to the point where this type of show might generate some kind of interest, but it’s too random now.

  13. TJ October 4, 2017

    I think it’ll be better with a later time spot. If they’re still coming on at 3PM central, I’d say move it up to 5, 6, or 7PM central to increase views.

  14. Fact Checker October 4, 2017

    That’s not a flop for the network either way. They aren’t paying those hosts Millions of Dollars. Regardless it’s a step in the right direction for content at MUSIC TELEVISION and as it continues to grow it will give artists another regular platform to grow their music and reach their audience. The ratings aren’t gonna match the shows peak in the beginning of its reboot nor would it be expected as music is consumed complexity differently. People will stream the performances online just like with Awards Shows and it will grow and be just fine.

  15. #TeamTinashe Stan (DaniLeigh “Summer With Friends” Is Out ???) October 4, 2017

    106 & Park > TRL
    Always. And. Forever

    I hope they keep the show up lets see what it does in the next two weeks because I think we still need a platform like this to help new artists to gain more visibility especially in R&B.

  16. Starxavi October 4, 2017

    Heres a few problems:

    1. Time Slot – The show comes on at 3:30 pm….this time slot used to work when the show was in its heyday because people especially kids were ready to consume entertainment right after school, but nowadays kids are was busier and less keen to watch MTV in general.
    2. Hosts: These hosts they chose seems like it would be good on paper, but they are all untried and lack any broadcasting skills. Just because you’re popular on vine, youtube, instagram, or snapchat does not mean you can host a television show.
    3. Musical Climate: The first TRL came about when teenie boppers and 90s kids were purchasing music and albums were going platinum and gold left and right and there were even diamond albums. Artists were pushed to perform and promote their music to gain a fan base and that just isn’t happening today.

  17. eric October 4, 2017

    I watched and I thought it was terrible. The hosts tried too hard to make it seem as though they were creating history, and they really had nothing of value to say. The guests were uninteresting, there was very little focus on music news, the set is too large and disjointed… I won’t be watching anymore. The best days were when the schedule was packed with appearances from Janet, Britney, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Mario, Aaliyah, Usher, Mandy Moore, Sisqo, B2K… that whole time period was much bigger than today’s scene. They probably had to bribe people to stand outside on Times Square this week. Carson couldn’t save it if he tried. Maybe they’d do better with a half-hour format.

  18. ERIC October 9, 2017


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