TRL, MTV’s disastrous reboot of its Y2K-era hit Total Request Live, is reportedly going off the air. TMZ reports that the series is being cancelled after five-plus months of terrible reviews and even worse ratings.
The live in-studio afternoon broadcast was set to begin its next run of episodes on 4/9 after going on hiatus in February, but an internal memo obtained by TMZ explains the production will “pivot to short form content that will be featured on social and digital platforms.” In other words, (1) MTV has found yet another way to pivot to video and (2) essentially the network is giving up the pretense that TRL exists as anything other than a viral content factory.
The first handful of TRL episodes last fall were a triumphal failure that abandoned the original series’ signature video countdown, maintained its parade of celebrity guests, and somehow doubled down on its most vapid qualities. I haven’t watched it since then, but when our correspondent Kelly Conaboy attended a taping well into the new TRL’s second month, it sounded like the quality level had not improved. Frankly, it’s amazing the reboot lasted as long as it did.
Hey, at least this shitshow was responsible for getting Brockhampton on MTV.
UPDATE: MTV has issued a statement clarifying that TRL is being reworked but not cancelled. “TRL has been a huge success for us and we’re expanding the franchise with daily late night and morning shows this summer,” says a spokesperson for the channel.