MTV's "Total Request" Taped
Two weeks ago, MTV began taping "Total Request Live" two days a week in an effort to save money. After live shows air Monday and Wednesday afternoons, shows are then taped for the following day, AP reports.
Live-to-tape format is standard in network TV, which is how late-night shows hosted by David Letterman, Jay Leno and Jon Stewart are done. MTV has however always touted its interactivity with the audience, who vote online for their favorite videos.
TRL is the third longest-running program in the network's history. Following its September 1998 debut, it became the epicenter of the teen pop scene with the likes of Britney Spears, N'Sync, Cristina Aguilera and the Backstreet Boys.
Artists go to drop their "brand spankin' new" music, movie stars to tout their hot films and celebrities just to stay celebrities — sometimes to disastrous effect, like Mariah Carey's 1999 ice cream cart incident.
At its peak in 1999, "TRL" had 757,000 viewers a day, with 346,000 of them aged 12 to 17, according to Nielsen Media Research.
So far this year, the show — now seen at 3:30 p.m. ET — averages 351,000 viewers a day, Nielsen said. The 12-to-17-year-old audience is only 113,000, half what it was only two years ago.
Original host Carson Daly left in 2003. A rotating group of MTV VJs are hosts now: Damien Fahey, Vanessa Minnillo, Susie Castillo, Cipha Sounds, La La (Alani Vazquez) and Stephen Colletti.
MTV Networks said last month it was cutting 250 jobs and shutting down MTV World, a package of digital channels geared to Americans of Asian descent. The network said it is trying to consolidate resources at its Times Square studio, where "TRL" is filmed.
MTV however states that despite the change in production format it remains firmly committed to the show as the cornerstone of its schedule.