- A breakdown of MTV’s weekly schedule shows just how much the network relies on Ridiculousness
- The vast majority of its slots are dedicated to the clip show
- Read more television stories here
On August 1, 1981, the world welcomed a new era of both music and television courtesy of MTV, which teased the future it would soon usher in when The Buggle’s prophetic “Video Killed The Radio Star” became the first music video to air after the channel went live.
Over the next couple of decades, MTV would establish itself as a wildly influential tastemaker that was home to appointment viewing like Unplugged, TRL, and the Video Music Awards—an era of dominance that stands in stark contrast to the state it would devolve into following a dramatic fall from grace.
The turn of the new millennium marked the beginning of the end for MTV courtesy of two primary culprits that saw their popularity explode in the early 2000s. The first (and most obvious) was the internet, but the rise of reality television was also a major factor in the channel’s demise (which is particularly ironic when you realize The Real World was one of the major reasons the genre caught on in the first place).
MTV did manage to find some hits in the form of programs like Cribs and Pimp My Ride, but it didn’t do itself any favors in the long run by largely abandoning the “Musical Television” identity it was founded on while continuing to lean into the low-effort (and low-budget) reality shows that seem to be the only thing its airs nowadays.
That statement might seem a bit hyperbolic, but it turns out it’s not really as farfetched as you might think. I recently found myself tumbling down a rabbit hole on Twitter courtesy of an account devoted to tweeting out MTV’s weekly schedule and discovered there’s a very good reason it seems like Ridiculousness is always on.
Here's MTV schedule for the week of 04/25/2022!
— MTV Schedule (@MTVSchedule) April 25, 2022
Here's MTV schedule for the week of 04/11/2022!
— MTV Schedule (@MTVSchedule) April 12, 2022
— MTV Schedule (@MTVSchedule) March 8, 2022
Here's MTV schedule for the week of 12/27/2021
— MTV Schedule (@MTVSchedule) December 29, 2021
As you can very well see, MTV seems to have gone all-in on the internet clip show hosted by Rob Dyrdek (which has apparently spawned a staggering 856 episodes as of this writing) while occasionally turning to Catfish and a seemingly random selection of movies for some dashes of variety.
I can only assume there is someone who makes way more money than I do who is responsible for these programming decisions, and I would love to know how they got (and manage to keep) that job.