Since ’97, BTM has tracked the rise and spectacular falls of 168 artists, most recently New Kids On The Block last fall. It was the network’s signature program before the Flavorrr Flaaav years. You probably haven’t seen it in a while, since new episodes are few and far between, and Pantera is the only episode in repeats (according to my Tivo). Good news: ten more episodes have been ordered, starting with Lil Wayne and Scott Weiland.
In focus groups, VH1 found that “BTM” is so deeply associated with the channel, some viewers assumed the series never left the air. The show’s storytelling model of the meteoric rise, tragic fall and sober rebirth of an artist was so distinctive that “The Simpsons” devoted a 2000 episode to parodying the show. There was also a short-lived spin-off, “Behind the Music 2,” that looked at the careers of younger favorites.
VH1 will update the show’s format for 2009, but not too much. Jim Forbes is back as the show’s narrator, though the new episodes will add more current footage to anchor the story in the present day, just as the New Kids special intercut with a live event.
“I’m leery about changing certain elements,” (VH1 executive vice president original programing) Jeff Olde said. “I think the audience will be mad if we mess with it too much.”
Good looking out, Jeff Olde. You should probably help him out by suggesting subjects for future episodes in the comments. I’m sure Kanye would say provocative things, but the best episodes usually focus on has-been acts.
First person to say Animal Collective gets a slap in the e-face.