Dance Moms Season 6 Episode 3 Assignments Synonyms

The 2016-17 TV season is over, so here’s our annual list of summer premiere dates for new series and new seasons of returning shows. The list covers more than 300 broadcast, cable and streaming programs bowing from late May through mid-September and some high-profile one-off programs. Please send any additions or adjustments to We’ll update the post regularly as more dates are revealed.

May 24:
Dirty Dancing (ABC, new telefilm)
Bakers vs. Fakers (Food Network, Season 2)
Speed Is the New Black (Velocity, new docuseries)
Moltissimo (Viceland, Season 2)

May 25:
The Red Nose Day Special (NBC, new special)
Beat Shazam (Fox, new game show series)
Love Connection (Fox, game show revival)
Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta (WE tv, new unscripted series)

May 26:
Bloodline (Netflix, Season 3; final season)
Delicious (Acorn TV, Season 1; U.S. premiere)

May 28:
Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro (Food Network, Season 25)
Expedition Mungo (Animal Planet, new docuseries)

May 29:
Still Star-Crossed (ABC, new drama series)
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (The CW, Season 5)
America: Promised Land (History, new miniseries)
800 Words (Acorn TV, Season 2; U.S. premiere)

May 30:
America’s Got Talent (NBC, Season 12)
World of Dance (NBC, new dancing competition series; moved from May 8)
House of Cards (Netflix, Season 5)
Animal Kingdom (TNT, Season 2)
Fear Factor (MTV, reality competition series revival)
Man Fire Food (Cooking Channel, Season 6)
Chopped Junior: Champions (Food Network, new cooking competition limited series)
Good Bones (HGTV, Season 2)
Going Cambo (go90, new unscripted series)

May 31:
The Carmichael Show (NBC, Season 2)
MasterChef (Fox, Season 8)
The F Word with Gordon Ramsay (Fox, new cooking competition series)
Big Star Little Star (USA Network, new game show series)
Kingdom (Audience Network, Season 3)
Lucha Underground (El Rey Network, Season 3)
Brother vs. Brother (HGTV, Season 5)

June 1:
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night (ABC, Season 10; airs after each game of the NBA Finals)
Nashville (CMT, Season 5B)
NashChat (CMT, Season 1B)
Beach Bites with Katie Lee (Cooking Channel, Season 2)
Bringing Up Bates (Up TV, Season6)
Bajillion Dollar Propertie$ (Seeso, Season 3)
Jonathan Creek (BritBox, Season 5; U.S. premiere)

June 2:
American Ninja Warrior (NBC, Season 6)
Flaked (Netflix, Season 2)
Inspector Gadget (Netflix, Season 3)
70th annual Peabody Awards (PBS/Fusion, awards special)
Earthworks (Viceland, new miniseries)
Beyond Reasonable Doubt (HLN, new true-crime series)
My Lottery Dream Home (HGTV, Season 2)
Date My Dad (Up TV, new comedy series)
A Little Too Farr (go90, new unscripted series)

June 3:
In an Instant (ABC, Season 3)
Billy Dilley’s Super-Duper Subterranean Summer (Disney Channel, new animated kids series)
Copycat Killers (Reelz, Season 2)
House Hunters Renovation (HGTV, Season 5)

June 4:
Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly (NBC, new newsmagazine series)
I’m Dying Up Here (Showtime, new comedy series)
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC, Season 3)
Food Network Star (Food Network, Season 11)
Xtreme Waterparks (Travel Channel, Season 7)
Beach Hunters (HGTV, new docuseries)
Mexico Life (HGTV, Season 2)
Decker: Unsealed (Adult Swim, Season 2)
The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton (Fox News Channel, new political series)

June 5:
Shadowhunters (Freeform, Season 2B)
Stitchers (Freeform, Season 3)
Daytime Divas (VH1, new comedy series)
Incredible Edible America with the Dunhams(Food Network, new docu series)
The Heart Guy (Acorn TV, new drama series; U.S. premiere)
Count Arthur Strong (Acorn TV, Season 3)

June 6:
The Jim Jefferies Show (Comedy Central, new late-night comedy series)
Tosh.0 (Comedy Central, Season 9B)
Ink Master: Shop Wars (Spike, Season 9)
Devil’s Canyon (Discovery, new docuseries)
States of Undress (Viceland, Season 2)
The Profit (CNBC, Season 5)
I Am Homicide (Investigation Discovery, Season 2)
Tutankhamun (BritBox, new miniseries)

June 7:
2017 CMT Music Awards (CMT, awards special)
Little Women: Atlanta: Monie Gets Married (Lifetime, new unscripted series)
Nashville Flipped (DIY, Season 2)
Nightcap (Pop, Season 2)

June 8:
Queen of the South (USA Network, Season 2)
Man at Arms (El Rey Network, new docuseries)
Sin City Justice (Investigation Discovery, new docuseries)
American Boyband (Viceland, new docuseries)
King of the Road (Viceland, Season 2)
Party Legends (Viceland, Season 2)

June 9:
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix, Season 5)
My Only Love Song (Netflix, new drama series)
Dark Matter (Syfy, Season 3)
Wynonna Earp (Syfy, Season 2)
The Bureau (Sundance Now, Season 3; U.S. premiere)
Now the Discussion (Sundance Now, new aftershow series)

June 10:
Orphan Black (BBC America, Season 5; final season)
For Better or Worse (OWN, Season 6; final season)
Oprah’s Master Class (OWN, Season 6 sneak peek)
Idiotsitter (Comedy Central, Season 2, Episodes 1-4)
My Big Bollywood Wedding (Smithsonian Channel, new docuseries)
Tiny House Nation (FYI, Season 5)
Zombie House Flipping (FYI, Season 2)

June 11:
Celebrity Family Feud (ABC, Season 3)
Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC, new game show series)
The $100,000 Pyramid (ABC, Season 2)
American Grit (Fox, Season 2)
The 70th annual Tony Awards (CBS, awards special)
Claws (TNT, new dramedy series)
Barnwood Builders (DIY, Season 5)
The Big Fat Truth (Z Living, new unscripted series)

June 12:
American Ninja Warrior (NBC, Season 6)
Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge (NBC, Season 2)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, Cycle 14)
Superhuman (Fox, new competition series)
The Putin Interviews (Showtime, new miniseries)
Complex Closets (go90, new unscripted series)

June 13:
Face Off (Syfy, Season 12)

June 14:
To Tell the Truth (ABC, Season 2B)
Blood Drive (Syfy, new drama series)
Homestead Rescue (Discovery, Season 2)
Alaskan Bush People (Discovery, Season 7)
Amazing Monkeys (Smithsonian Channel, new documentary series)
Emogenius (GSN, new game show series)

June 15:
The Tunnel: Sabotage (PBS, Season 2)
Alone (History, Season 4)

June 16:
The Ranch (Netflix, Season 3)
World of Winx (Netflix, Season 2)
Remember Me (PBS, new drama series)
The Great British Baking Show (PBS, Season 4)

June 17:
Turn: Washington’s Spies (AMC, Season 4; final season)
Idiotsitter (Comedy Central, Season 2, Episodes 5-7)
Ghost Adventures (Travel Channel, Season 15)

June 18:
America’s War on Drugs (History, new limited series)
Grantchester (PBS, Season 3)
My Mother and Other Strangers (PBS, Season 1; U.S. premiere)
Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level(Comedy Central, new stand-up comedy series)
Legends of Chamberlain Heights (Comedy Central, Season 2)

June 19:
Marvel’s Avengers: Secret Wars (Disney XD, Season 4)
Reno, Set, Go! (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
All Work and No Play (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
The Houseguest  (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
Loch Ness (Acorn TV, new drama series)
Inside No.9 (BritBox, Season 2 and 3; U.S. premieres)

June 20:
Wrecked (TBS, Season 2)
Queen Sugar (OWN, Season 2)
The Haves and Have Nots (OWN, Season 5)
The Story of China (PBS, new miniseries)
El Señor de los Cielos (Telemundo, Season 5 )
Play by Play (go90, new comedy series)

June 21:
Little Big Shots: Forever Young (NBC, new talent competition series)
America’s War on Drugs (History, new limited documentary series)
Lip Sync Battle (Spike, Season 3B)
Outrageous Acts of Danger (Science Channel, new docuseries)
Outrageous Acts of Science (Science Channel, Season 8)

June 22:
Hollywood Game Night (NBC, Season 5)
The Wall (NBC, Season 2)
The Night Shift (NBC, Season 4)
Boy Band (ABC, new singing competition series)
The Gong Show (ABC, talent competition series revival)
The Mist (Spike, new drama series)
How It’s Made: American Made (Science Channel, new docuseries)
Escape the Night (YouTube Red, Season 2)

June 23:
What Would You Do? (ABC, Season 12)
GLOW (Netflix, new comedy series)
Free Rein (Netflix, new drama series)
Playing House (USA Network, Season 3)
Top Secret Swimming Holes (Travel Channel, new docuseries)
BIG3 (FS1, new sports league)

June 24:
Bizaardvark (Disney Channel, Season 2)

June 25:
Preacher (AMC, Season 2; moves to regular time slot on June 26)
Power (Starz, Season 4)
Hotel Transylvania: The Series (Disney Channel, new animated series)
Prime Suspect; Tennison (PBS, new drama series)
90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? (TLC, Season 2)
BET Awards ’17 (BET, live special)

June 26:
POV (PBS, Season 30)
Street Outlaws: New Orleans (Discovery, Season 2)
Making It Work (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
Double Trouble (Discovery Family, new docuseries)

June 27:
Tales (BET, new anthology series)
I Am Jazz (TLC, Season 3)
League of Gentlemen (BritBox, Season 2 and 3; U.S. premieres)

June 28:
Big Brother (CBS, Cycle 19)
Hood Adjacent with James Davis (Comedy Central, new comedy series)
Younger (TV Land, Season 3)
Broadchurch (BBC America, Season 3; final season)
Hair Goddess (TLC, new unscripted series)
Jay Leno’s Garage (CNBC, Season 3)
Cleverman (SundanceTV, Season 2)
Huang’s World (Viceland, Season 2)

June 29:
Zoo (CBS, Season 3)
Battle of the Network Stars (ABC, celebrity competition series revival)
Love Thy Neighbor (OWN, Season 4B premiere; final season)
WAGS Miami (E!, Season 2)
Gay for Play Game Show Starring RuPaul (Logo, Season 2)

June 30:
Masters of Illusion (The CW, Season 6)
Gypsy (Netflix, new drama series)
Little Witch Academia (Netflix, new animated series)
Killjoys (Syfy, Season 3)
All or Nothing (Amazon Prime, Season 2)
Danger & Eggs (Amazon Prime, new animated series)
El Jardín de Bronce (HBO Latino, new drama series)

July 1:
From Darkness (Britbox, Season 1; U.S. premiere)

July 2:
Bar Rescue (Spike, Season 5B)
America in Color (Smithsonian Channel, new documentary miniseries)
First Ladies Revealed (Smithsonian Channel, new documentary limited series)

July 3:
Tiny Paradise (HGTV, new docuseries)
Insta Family (Discovery Family, new docuseries)

July 5:
Snowfall (FX, new drama series)
Harry and Larry: Pros Who Help (BabyFirst TV, new animated kids series)
Playtime with Al (BabyFirst TV, new animated kids series)

July 6:
Life of Kylie (E!, new unscripted series)
Bossip on WE tv (WE tv, new showbiz gossip series)

July 7:
On Assignment with Richard Engel (MSNBC, new newmagazine show, Season 2)
The Lion Guard (Disney Junior, Season 2)
Louisiana Flip N Move (DIY, Season 2)

July 9:
Candy Crush (CBS, new game show series)
The Defiant Ones (HBO, new documentary limited series)
One Night Only: Alec Baldwin (Spike, new comedy tribute special)
Famously Single (E!, Season 2)
Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar (AXS, Season 2)

July 10:
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW, Season 4)
Will (TNT, new drama series)
Kate Plus 8 (TLC, Season 6)
Funny How? (Viceland, new documentary limited series)
Ghosts of Shepherdstown (Investigation Discovery, Season 2)
Past Due (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
Room to Grow (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
Dessert Games (Food Network, new cooking competition series)
Texas Cake House (Food Network, new dociseries)
Blueprint (go90, new documentary series)

July 11:
American Ripper (History, new limited docuseries)
The Fosters (Freeform, Season 5)
The Bold Type (Freeform, new drama series)
OutDaughtered (TLC, Season 2B)
Rattled (TLC, Season 2)
You Can Do Better (TruTV, Season 2)
Adam Ruins Everything(TruTV, Season 2)
Still the King (CMT, Season 2)
Rustic Renovation (DIY, new docuseries)
Fluffy’s Food Adventures (Fuse, new food travelogue series)
The Hollywood Puppet Sh!t Show (Fuse, new comedy series)
Iron Resurrection (Velocity, Season 2)
In the Cut (Bounce, Season 3)
Mum (Britbox, Season 1; U.S. premiere)

July 12:
Salvation (CBS, new drama series)
Suits (USA Network, Season 7)
I’m Sorry (TruTV, new comedy series)
Listed Sisters (HGTV, Season 2)
Property Brothers: Buying & Selling (HGTV, Season 7)
Cheap Eats (Cooking Channel, Season 3)
Murder by Numbers (Investigation Discovery, new true-crime series)
Amazing Space (DIY, new docuseries)
The 2017 ESPYs (ESPN, awards special)

July 13:
Hooten & the Lady (The CW, new action-adventure series)
SafeWord (MTV, new comedy game show series)
Impractical Jokers (TruTV, Season 6B)
Flulanthropy (Seeso, new hybrid comedy series)

July 14:
Friends From College (Netflix, new comedy series)

July 15:
Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies (CNN, Season 2)
The Vanilla Ice Project (DIY, Season 3)
You Can’t Turn That Into a House (DIY, new docuseries)

July 16:
Game of Thrones (HBO, Season 7)
The Strain (FX, Season 4; final season)
Human Prey (Animal Planet, new docuseries)
Island Hunters (HGTV, Season 3)

July 17:
Loaded (AMC, new dramedy series)
Polaris: Player Select (Disney XD, new video clips series)
The Coroner: I Speak for the Dead (Investigation Discovery, Season 2)
Gone to the Dogs (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
Midsomers Murders (Acorn TV, Season 19B)

July 18:
Being Mary Jane (BET, Season 4B)
Shooter (USA Network, Season 2)
The Challenge XXX: Dirty 30 (MTV, Season 30)

July 20:
Public Enemy (Sundance Now, Season 1; U.S. premiere)
Flip or Flop Atlanta (HGTV, new docuseries)
Desert Flippers (HGTV, Season 2)
Bad Blood (Investigation Discovery, Season 2)
Road to Race Day (go90, new docuseries)

July 21:
Ozark (Netflix, new drama series)
Last Chance U (Netflix, Season 2)
Raven’s Home (Disney Channel, new sequel comedy series)
Choccywoccydoodah (Cooking Channel, new cooking series)
Something’s Killing Me (HLN, new investigative series)

July 22:
Cold Justice (Oxygen, true-crime series revival)
Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio (Spike, new documentary series)
Blazing Team (Discovery Family, Season 2)

July 23:
Insecure (HBO, Season 2)
Ballers (HBO, Season 3)
Shark Week (Discovery, Season 3o)
Shark After Dark (Discovery, Season 5)
Beachfront Bargain Hunt (HGTV, Season 16)

July 24:
Midnight, Texas (NBC, new drama series)
Somewhere Between (ABC, new drama series)
People of Earth (TBS, Season 2)
The Beat with Ari Melber (MSNBC, new nightly news show)
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood (VH1, Season 4)
Gone (Investigation Discovery, new true-crime series)
Father’s Day (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
The Churchills (Acorn TV, miniseries; U.S. premiere)

July 25:
Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel, Season 10)
Sorry Not Sorry (go90, new sketch comedy series)
Norm Macdonald Live (YouTube, Season 3)

July 26:
Little Women LA: Couples Retreat (Lifetime, new unscripted series)
So Sharp (Lifetime, new unscripted series)
Signed (VH1, new music competition series)

July 27:
Date Night Live (Lifetime, new dating series)
HarmonQuest (Seeso, Season 2)

July 28:
Room 104 (HBO, new comedy anthology series)
The Last Tycoon (Amazon Prime, new drama series)
Treehouse Masters (Animal Planet, Season 9)

July 29:
The Kitty Kelley Filmes (Reelz, new celebrity-profile series)
Scandal Made Me Famous (Reelz, Season 2)

July 30:
Teen Wolf (MTV, Season 6B; final season)
The Hunt with John Walsh (HLN, Season 4; new network)
Top Gear America (BBC America, new docuseries)
The Lost Tapes: Son of Sam (Smithsonian Channel, new documentary limited series)

July 31:
CBSN: On Assignment (CBS/CBSN, new news series)
Intervention (A&E, Season 15)
Rick and Morty (Adult Swim, Season 3)
Siesta Key (MTV, new unscripted series)
Empty Nesters (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
House Hunters Family (HGTV, new docuseries)

August 1:
Manhunt: Unabomber (Discovery, new anthology series)
Dance Moms (Lifetime, Season 7B)
Chopped Grill Masters (Food Network, Season 4)
In the Dark (BritBox, new drama series)

August 2:
The Sinner (USA, new drama series)
Naked and Afraid (Discovery, Season 8)
The Lowe Files (A&E, new docuseries)
Being P.J. Fleck (ESPN, new docuseries)
Marty Smith’s America (ESPN, new docuseries)
RMD Garage (Velocity, new docuseries)
Swedish Dicks (Pop, new comedy series)

August 3:
The Guest Book (TBS, new comedy series)
Darkness (Discovery, new survival competition series)
Mysteries at the Museum (Travel Channel, Season 13)
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (CMT, Season 12)
I Love Kellie Pickler (CMT, Season 3)
What Would Diplo Do? (Viceland, new comedy series)
Nuts + Bolts (Viceland, new docuseries)
The Chris Gethard Show (TruTV, Season 3; new network)

August 4:
Comrade Detective (Amazon Prime, new drama series)
Million Dollar Matchmaker (WE tv, Season 2)

August 5:
Pit Bulls & Parolees (Animal Planet, Season 9; moved from July 29)
The Dead Files (Travel Channel, Season 7)
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (Discovery Family, Season 7B)

August 6:
Ray Donovan (Showtime, Season 5)
90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days (TLC, Season 2)
Chesapeake Shores (Hallmark Channel, Season 2)
Residente (Viceland, new documentary limited series)

August 7:
Carspotting (Discovery, new docuseries)
Man vs. Food (Travel Channel, Season 5; docuseries revival)
Escaping Polygamy (A&E, Season 3)
Snap Decision (GSN/syndication, new cooking series)
Culinary Genius (syndication, new cooking series)
The Last Shot (Viceland, new documentary series; moved from August 8)
DIY Network Ultimate Retreat (DIY, Season 2)
Daddy & Me (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
Vera (Acorn TV, Season 7)

August 8:
Difficult People (Hulu, Season 3)
Hard Knocks (HBO, Season 12)
Last Chance High (Viceland, new documentary series; moved from July 17)
Carpool Karaoke: The Series (Apple Music, new unscripted series)

August 9:
The Story of Diana (ABC, new miniseries)
Wahlburgers (A&E, Season 8)
Mr. Mercedes (Audience Network, new drama series)
Swedish Dicks, Private Investigators (Pop, new comedy series)

August 10:
Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update (NBC, new limited comedy series)
First in Human (Discovery, new documentary series)
Transparent: The Lost Sessions (Funny or Die, new comedy limited series)

August 11:
Atypical (Netflix, new comedy series)
State Plate (INSP, Season 2)

August 12:
Rescue Dog to Super Dog (Animal Planet, new docuseries)
Baroness von Sketch Show (IFC, new sketch comedy series)

August 13:
Get Shorty (Epix, new comedy series)
Caribbean Life (HGTV, Season 9)
Guy’s Family Road Trip (Food Network, new travelogue series sneak peek)

August 14:
Bachelor in Paradise (ABC, Season 4; moved from August 8)
Baller Wives (VH1, new unscripted series)
Incredible Edible America with the Dunhams
(Food Network, new docuseries)
I Hart Food(Food Network, new docuseries)

August 15:
Greenleaf (OWN, Season 2B)
The Murder of Laci Peterson (A&E, new true-crime limited series)
Growing Up Supermodel (Lifetime, new unscripted series)
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (A&E, Season 2)
Divided (GSN, Season 2)
Haunted Towns (Destination America, new docuseries)

August 16:
Marlon (NBC, new comedy series)
The Fantasy Show (ESPN, new sports series)
MTV Undressed (MTV, new unscripted dating series)
’90s House (VH1, new unscripted series)

August 17:
Naked: SNCTM (Showtime, new docuseries)
Project Runway (Lifetime, Season 16)
Flipping Out (Bravo, Season 10)
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Bravo, Season 4)
Tiny House, Big Living (DIY, Season 5)

August 18:
Marvel’s The Defenders (Netflix, new miniseries)
Guy’s Family Road Trip (Food Network, new travelogue series; time slot premiere)

August 19:
Halt and Catch Fire (AMC, Season 4; final season)
Marvel’s Spider-Man (Disney XD, new animated series)
The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway (Oxygen, new true-crime limited series)
People Just Do Nothing (Viceland, Season 4)

August 20:
Episodes (Showtime, Season 5; final season)
Dice (Showtime, Season 2)
The Last Ship (TNT, Season 4)
Endeavour (PBS, Season 4)
Guy’s Grocery Games: Superstars (Food Network, new competition limited series; moved from August 27)
The Great Food Truck Race (Food Network, Season 8)
Food Paradise (Travel Channel, Season 11)
Caribbean Pirate Treasure (Travel Channel, new docuseries)

August 21:
Safety First (Discovery Family, new docuseries)
The Good Karma Hospital (Acorn TV, new drama series)

August 22:
Game Face (Syfy, new reality competition series)
Artbound Presents Studio A (KCET, new documentary series)

August 26:
The Planets (Science Channel, new docuseries)

August 23:
Broad City (Comedy Central, Season 4)
Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition (Food Network, Season 11)

August 24:
WAGS LA (E!, Season 3)
Kiss of Death (Investigation Discovery, new true-crime series)
There’s… Johnny! (Seeso, new comedy series)

August 25:
Disjointed (Netflix, new comedy series)
The Tick (Amazon Prime, Season 1B)
Love Blows (WE tv, new unscripted series)
Heston’s Fantastical Food (Cooking Channel, new docuseries)

August 26:
Mysteries of the Missing (Science Channel, new docuseries)

August 27:
Drew Peterson: An American Murder Mystery (Investigation Discovery, new miniseries)

August 28:
Fresh Start (Discovery Family, new docuseries)

August 29:
Black Love (OWN, new docuseries)

August 30:
Garage Rehab (Discovery, new docuseries)
Misfit Garage (Discovery, Season 5)
Good Game (YouTube Red, new comedy series)
Virtually Dating (Facebook Watch, new unscripted dating series)
We Need to Talk (ATTN:, new dating advice series)

August 31:
Guilty Rich (Investigation Discovery, new true-crime series)
Cold Feet (BritBox, Season 7; U.S. premiere)

September 1:
Narcos (Netflix, Season 3)
American Masters (PBS, Season 31)
The Ruth Rendell Mysteries: The Next Chapters (BrtiBox, Seasons 1-3)

September 3:
The Bobby and Demaris Show (Food Network, new unscripted series)
The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Cooking Channel, Season 7; new network)
Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall (Investigation Discovery, Season 5)
Mighty Cruise Ships (Smithsonian Channel, Season 2)
Mighty Trains (Smithsonian Channel, new docuseries)
The X Factor UK (AXS, Season 14)

September 4:
Diesel Brothers (Discovery, Season 3)
Gear Dogs (Discovery, new docuseries)
Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. (A&E Network, new miniseries; moved from June 28)
My Super Sweet 16 (MTV, Season 10)
Road to 9/11 (Smithsonian Channel, new miniseries)
Epicly Later’d (Viceland, new docuseries)
Game of Homes (Discovery Family, Season 2)

September 5:
American Horror Story: Cult (FX, Season 7)
Steve (syndication, new daytime talk show strip)
The Chew (ABC, Season 7)
Below Deck (Bravo, Season 5)
Grave Mysteries (Investigation Discovery, new true-crime series)
Killer Instinct (Investigation Discovery, Season 3)
First Things First with Chris Carter and Nick Wright (FS1, new daytime sports talk strip)
Explosion Jones (go90, new animated short series)

September 6:
You’re the Worst (FXX, Season 4)
Eric & Jessie (E!, Season 3)
Total Bellas (E!, Season 2)
StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson (National Geographic Channel, Season 4)
First Things First with Cris Carter and Nick Wright (FS1, new sports talk series)

September 8:
EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live (ABC/CBS/ Fox/NBC, public service special)
BoJack Horseman (Netflix, Season 4)
Spirit Riding Free (Netflix, Season 2)
Fire Chasers (Netflix, new docuseries)
One Mississippi (Amazon Prime, Season 2)
Con Man (Syfy, new shortform drama series)
MTV Unplugged (MTV, concert series revival)
Third Rail with OZY (PBS, new current-affairs series)
Broke and Famous (Reelz, new docuseries)
US Weekly’s Famous Feuds (Reelz, new docuseries)
Wild Castles (Smithsonian Earth, new docuseries)

September 9:
Copycat Killers (Reelz, Season 2)

September 10:
The Orville (Fox, new drama series; moves to regular time slot on September 21)
Outlander (Starz, Season 3)
Fear the Walking Dead (AMC, Season 3B)
The Deuce (HBO, Season 2)
Top of the Lake: China Girl (SundanceTV, Season 2)
Sunday NFL Countdown (ESPN, new season)
Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories (Adult Swim, Season 2)

September 11:
Monday Night Football (ESPN, Season 48)
Home & Family (Hallmark Channel, Season 6)
Counting On (TLC, Season 4)
Meet the Putmans (TLC, new unscripted series)
Sunday NFL Countdown (ESPN, new season)
I Am Frankie (Nickelodeon, new comedy series)

September 12:
The Mindy Project (Hulu, Season 6; final season)
Frontline (PBS, Season 37)
Chrisley Knows Best (USA Network, Season 5B)
According to Chrisley (USA Network, new aftershow series)
Big Freedia Bounces Back (Fuse, Season 6)

September 13:
South Park (Comedy Central, Season 21; moved from August 23)
Broad City (Comedy Central, Season 4)
Comedy Knockout (TruTV, Season 2B)
In the Vault (go90, new drama series)

September 14:
Better Things (FX, Season 2)
Riviera (Sundance Now, new drama series)
American Beauty Star (Lifetime, new beauty competition series)
Bong Appétit (Viceland, Season 2)

September 15:
Live from Lincoln Center (PBS, Season 42)
American Vandal (Netflix, new comedy series)
Kindred Spirits (TLC, Season 2)
Evil Things (TLC, new docuseries)
How It Really Happened With Hill Harper (HLN, Season 2)

September TBA:
Celebrity Animal Encounters (Facebook Watch, new docuseries)

This article is about the main MTV channel. For other channels related to MTV, see List of MTV channels. For other uses, see MTV (disambiguation).

MTV (originally an initialism of Music Television) is an American cable and satellite televisionchannel owned by Viacom Media Networks (a division of Viacom) and headquartered in New York City.

Launched on August 1, 1981,[2] the channel originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs).[3] At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students. MTV has toned down its music video programming significantly in recent years, and its programming now consists mainly of original reality, comedy and drama programming and some off-network syndicated programs and films, with limited music video programming in off-peak time periods. It has also become involved in promoting left-wing political issues and progressive social causes. The network received criticism towards this change of focus, both by certain segments of its audience and musicians. MTV's influence on its audience, including issues involving censorship and social activism, has also been a subject of debate for several years.

In recent years, MTV had struggled with the secular decline of music-related cable media. Its ratings had been said to be failing systematically, as younger viewers increasingly shift towards digital media, with yearly ratings drops as high as 29%; thus there was doubt of the lasting relevance of MTV towards young audiences.[4][5][6] In April 2016, MTV announced it would start to return to its original music roots with the reintroduction of the classic MTV series MTV Unplugged. After nine years off air, TRL returned on October 2, 2017.[7]

MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the US and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent, with approximately 90.6 million American households in the United States receiving MTV as of January 2016.[8]


Previous concepts (1964–1977)[edit]

See also: Music video § History and development

Several earlier concepts for music video-based television programming had been around since the early 1960s. The Beatles had used music videos to promote their records starting in the mid-1960s. The creative use of music videos within their 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, particularly the performance of the song "Can't Buy Me Love", led MTV later on June 26, 1999, to honor the film's director Richard Lester with an award for "basically inventing the music video".[9]

In his book The Mason Williams FCC Rapport, author Mason Williams states that he pitched an idea to CBS for a television program that featured "video-radio", where disc jockeys would play avant-garde art pieces set to music. CBS rejected the idea, but Williams premiered his own musical composition "Classical Gas" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he was head writer. In 1970, Philadelphia-based disc jockeyBob Whitney created The Now Explosion, a television series filmed in Atlanta and broadcast in syndication to other local television stations throughout the United States. The series featured promotional clips from various popular artists, but was canceled by its distributor in 1971. Several music programs originating outside of the US, including Australia's Countdown and the United Kingdom's Top of the Pops, which had initially aired music videos in lieu of performances from artists who were not available to perform live, began to feature them regularly by the mid-1970s.

In 1974, Gary Van Haas, vice president of Televak Corporation, introduced a concept to distribute a music video channel to record stores across the United States, and promoted the channel, named Music Video TV, to distributors and retailers in a May 1974 issue of Billboard.[10][11] The channel, which featured video disc jockeys, signed a deal with US Cable in 1978 to expand its audience from retail to cable television. The service was no longer active by the time MTV launched in 1981.

Pre-history (1977–1981)[edit]

In 1977, Warner Cable a division of Warner Communications and the precursor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment launched the first two-way interactive cable television system named QUBE in Columbus, Ohio. The QUBE system offered many specialized channels. One of these specialized channels was Sight on Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs. With the interactive QUBE service, viewers could vote for their favorite songs and artists.

The original programming format of MTV was created by media executive Robert W. Pittman, who later became president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MTV Networks.[12] Pittman had test-driven the music format by producing and hosting a 15-minute show, Album Tracks, on New York City television station WNBC-TV in the late 1970s.

Pittman's boss Warner-Amex executive vice president John Lack had shepherded PopClips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format in the late 1970s.[13] The inspiration for PopClips came from a similar program on New Zealand's TVNZ network named Radio with Pictures, which premiered in 1976. The concept itself had been in the works since 1966, when major record companies began supplying the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation with promotional music clips to play on the air at no charge. Few artists made the long trip to New Zealand to appear live.


Further information: First music videos aired on MTV

On Saturday, August 1, 1981, at 12:01 am Eastern Time,[14][15] MTV launched with the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll," spoken by John Lack and played over footage of the first Space Shuttle launch countdown of Columbia (which took place earlier that year) and of the launch of Apollo 11. Those words were immediately followed by the original MTV theme song, a crunching rock tune composed by Jonathan Elias and John Petersen, playing over the American flag changed to show MTV's logo changing into various textures and designs. MTV producers Alan Goodman and Fred Seibert used this public domain footage as a concept;[16] Seibert said that they had originally planned to use Neil Armstrong's "One small step" quote, but lawyers said that Armstrong owned his name and likeness and that he had refused, so the quote was replaced with a beeping sound.[17] A shortened version of the shuttle launch ID ran at the top of every hour in various forms, from MTV's first day until it was pulled in early 1986 in the wake of the Challenger disaster.[18]

The first music video shown on MTV was The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star", originally only available to homes in New Jersey.[19] This was followed by the video for Pat Benatar's "You Better Run". Sporadically, the screen would go black when an employee at MTV inserted a tape into a VCR.[20] MTV's lower third graphics that appeared near the beginning and end of music videos would eventually use the recognizable Kabel typeface for about 25 years. But these graphics differed on MTV's first day of broadcast; they were set in a different typeface and included information such as the year and record label name.

As programming chief, Robert W. Pittman recruited and managed a team for the launch that included Tom Freston (who succeeded Pittman as CEO of MTV Networks), Fred Seibert, John Sykes, Carolyn Baker (original head of talent and acquisition),[21] Marshall Cohen (original head of research),[22] Gail Sparrow (of talent and acquisition), Sue Steinberg (executive producer),[23] Julian Goldberg, Steve Lawrence, Geoff Bolton; studio producers and MTV News writers/associate producers Liz Nealon, Nancy LaPook and Robin Zorn; Steve Casey (creator of the name "MTV" and its first program director),[24] Marcy Brafman, Ronald E. "Buzz" Brindle, and Robert Morton. Kenneth M. Miller is credited as being the first technical director to officially launch MTV from its New York City-based network operations facility.[24]

MTV's effect was immediate in areas where the new music video channel was carried. Within two months, record stores in areas where MTV was available were selling music that local radio stations were not playing, such as Men at Work, Bow Wow Wow and the Human League.[25] MTV sparked the Second British Invasion, with British acts, who had been accustomed to using music videos for half a decade, featuring heavily on the channel.[26][27]

Original VJs and format (1981–1994)[edit]

Further information: List of MTV VJs

The original purpose of MTV was to be "music television", playing music videos 24 hours a day and seven days a week, guided by on-air personalities known as VJs, or video jockeys. The original slogans of the channel were "You'll never look at music the same way again", and "On cable. In stereo."

MTV's earliest format was modeled after AOR (album-oriented rock) radio; MTV would transition to mimic a full Top 40 station in 1984. Fresh-faced young men and women were hired to host the channel's programming and to introduce music videos that were being played. The term VJ was coined, which was a play on the initialism DJ (disc jockey). Many VJs eventually became celebrities in their own right. The original five MTV VJs in 1981 were Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, J.J. Jackson and Martha Quinn.[28]

The VJs would record intro and outro voiceovers before broadcast, along with music news, interviews, concert dates and promotions. These segments would appear to air live and debut across the MTV program schedule 24 hours a day and seven days a week, although the segments themselves were pre-taped within a regular work week at MTV's studios.[29]

The early music videos that made up the bulk of MTV's programming in the 1980s were promotional videos (or "promos", a term that originated in the United Kingdom) that record companies had commissioned for international use or concert clips from any available sources.

Rock bands and performers of the 1980s who had airplay on MTV ranged from new wave to hard rock or heavy metal bands[30] such as Adam Ant, Bryan Adams, Blondie, Eurythmics,[31]Culture Club,[32]Mötley Crüe, Split Enz, Prince, Ultravox, Duran Duran,[33]Van Halen,[34]Bon Jovi, RATT,[35]Def Leppard,[36]The Police, and The Cars. The channel also rotated the music videos of "Weird Al" Yankovic, who made a career out of parodying other artists' videos.[37] MTV also aired several specials by "Weird Al" in the 1980s and 1990s under the title Al TV.

MTV also played classic rock acts from the 1980s and earlier decades, including David Bowie, Dire Straits (whose 1985 song and video "Money for Nothing" both referenced MTV and also included the slogan "I want my MTV" in its lyrics), Journey, Rush, Linda Ronstadt, Genesis, Billy Squier, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Moody Blues, John Mellencamp, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Billy Joel, Robert Palmer, Rod Stewart, The Who, and ZZ Top; newly solo acts such as Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, David Lee Roth, and Pete Townshend; supergroup acts such as Asia, The Power Station, Yes, The Firm, and Traveling Wilburys, as well as forgotten acts such as Michael Stanley Band, Shoes, Blotto, Ph.D., Rockpile, Bootcamp, Silicon Teens and Taxxi. The hard rock band Kiss publicly appeared without their trademark makeup for the first time on MTV in 1983. The first country-music video aired on MTV was "Angel of the Morning" by Juice Newton, which first aired on MTV in 1981.

During the early days of the channel, MTV would occasionally let other stars take over the channel within an hour as "guest VJs"; these guests included musicians such as Adam Ant, Billy Idol, Phil Collins, Simon LeBon, and Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, Tina Turner; and comedians such as Eddie Murphy, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, and Steven Wright; as they chose their favorite music videos.

The 1983 film Flashdance was the first film in which its promoters excerpted musical segments from it and supplied them to MTV as music videos, which the channel then aired in regular rotation.[38]

In addition to bringing lesser-known artists into view, MTV was instrumental in adding to the booming eighties dance wave. Videos' budgets increased, and artists began to add fully choreographed dance sections. Michael Jackson's music became synonymous with dance. In addition to learning the lyrics, fans also learned his choreography so they could dance along. Madonna capitalized on dance in her videos, using classically trained jazz and break-dancers. Along with extensive costuming and make-up, Duran Duran used tribal elements, pulled from Dunham technique, in "The Wild Boys", and Kate Bush used a modern dance duet in "Running Up That Hill". MTV brought more than music into public view, it added to the ever-growing resurgence of dance in the early 1980s that has carried through to today.

In 1984, more record companies and artists began making video clips for their music than in the past, realizing the popularity of MTV and the growing medium. In keeping with the influx of videos, MTV announced changes to its playlists in the November 3, 1984, issue of Billboard magazine, that would take effect the following week. The playlist categories would be expanded to seven, from three (light, medium, heavy); including New, Light, Breakout, Medium, Active, Heavy and Power. This would ensure artists with hit records on the charts would be get the exposure they deserved, with Medium being a home for the established hits still on the climb up to the top 10; and Heavy being a home for the big hits – without the bells and whistles – just the exposure they commanded.[39]

In 1985, MTV spearheaded a safe-sex initiative as a response to the AIDS epidemic that continues to influence sexual health currently. In this light, MTV pushed teens to pay more attention to safe-sex because they were most likely more willing to hear this message from MTV than their parents. This showed that MTV was not always influencing youth negatively. Even though in other aspects, MTV was provocative, they had this campaign to showcase their positive influence on youths and safe sex – a campaign that still is alive today: "Its Your Sex Life".[40]

Breaking the "color barrier" (1981–1983)[edit]

During MTV's first few years on the air, very few black artists were included in rotation on the channel. The select few who were in MTV's rotation were Michael Jackson, Prince, Eddy Grant, Donna Summer, Joan Armatrading, Musical Youth, and Herbie Hancock. The very first people of color to perform on MTV was the British band The Specials, which featured an integrated line-up of white and black musicians and vocalists. The Specials' video "Rat Race" was played as the 58th video on the station's first day of broadcasting.[41]

MTV rejected other black artists' videos, such as Rick James' "Super Freak", because they did not fit the channel's carefully selected album-oriented rock format at the time. The exclusion enraged James; he publicly advocated the addition of more black artists' videos on the channel. Rock legend David Bowie also questioned MTV's lack of black artists during an on-air interview with VJ Mark Goodman in 1983.[42] MTV's original head of talent and acquisition, Carolyn B. Baker, who was black, had questioned why the definition of music had to be so narrow, as had a few others outside the network. "The party line at MTV was that we weren't playing black music because of the 'research'", said Baker years later. "But the research was based on ignorance ... we were young, we were cutting edge. We didn't have to be on the cutting edge of racism." Nevertheless, it was Baker who had personally rejected Rick James' video for Super Freak "because there were half-naked women in it, and it was a piece of crap. As a black woman, I did not want that representing my people as the first black video on MTV."[43]

The network's director of music programming, Buzz Brindle, told an interviewer in 2006, "MTV was originally designed to be a rock music channel. It was difficult for MTV to find African American artists whose music fit the channel's format that leaned toward rock at the outset." Writers Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum noted that the channel "aired videos by plenty of white artists who didn't play rock." Andrew Goodwin later wrote, "[MTV] denied racism, on the grounds that it merely followed the rules of the rock business."[44] MTV senior executive vice president Les Garland complained decades later, "The worst thing was that 'racism' bullshit ... there were hardly any videos being made by black artists. Record companies weren't funding them. They never got charged with racism." However, critics of that defense pointed out that record companies were not funding videos for black artists because they knew that they would have difficulty persuading MTV to play them.[45]

Before 1983, Michael Jackson also struggled to receive airtime on MTV.[46] To resolve the struggle and finally "break the color barrier", the president of CBS Records at the time, Walter Yetnikoff, denounced MTV in a strong, profane statement, threatening to take away MTV's ability to play any of the record label's music videos.[46][47] However, Les Garland, then acquisitions head, said he decided to air Jackson's "Billie Jean" video without pressure from CBS.[42] This was contradicted by CBS head of Business Affairs David Benjamin in Vanity Fair.[17]

According to The Austin Chronicle, Jackson's video for the song "Billie Jean" was "the video that broke the color barrier, even though the channel itself was responsible for erecting that barrier in the first place."[48] But change was not immediate. "Billie Jean" was not added to MTV's "medium rotation" playlist (two to three airings per day) until after it had already reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the final week of March, it was in "heavy rotation", one week before the MTV debut of Jackson's "Beat It" video. Prince's "Little Red Corvette" joined both videos in heavy rotation at the end of April. At the beginning of June "Electric Avenue" by Eddy Grant, would join "Billie Jean" which was still in heavy rotation until mid June. At the end of August "She Works Hard for the Money" by Donna Summer was in heavy rotation on the channel. Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" and Lionel Richie's "All Night Long" would be placed in heavy rotation at the end of October and the beginning of November respectively. In final week of November Donna Summer's "Unconditional Love" would be in heavy rotation. When Jackson's elaborate video for "Thriller" was released late in the year, which raised the ambition bar for what a video could be, the network's support for it was total; subsequently more pop and R&B videos were played on MTV.[49]

Regardless of the timeline, many black artists had their videos played in "heavy" rotation the following year (1984). Along with Herbie Hancock, Prince, Donna Summer, other black artists such as Billy Ocean, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Lionel Richie, Ray Parker Jr, Rockwell, The Pointer Sisters, The Jacksons, Sheila E and Deniece Williams all had videos played in heavy rotation on MTV.

Eventually, videos from the emerging genre of rap and hip hop would also begin to enter rotation on MTV. A majority of the rap artists appearing on MTV in the mid-1980s' such as Run-DMC, The Fat Boys, Whodini, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys, were from the EastCoast.

Video Music Awards (1984–present)[edit]

Main article: MTV Video Music Awards

In 1984, the channel produced its first MTV Video Music Awards show, or VMAs. The first award show, in 1984, was punctuated by a live performance by Madonna of "Like A Virgin". The statuettes that are handed out at the Video Music Awards are of the MTV moonman, the channel's original image from its first broadcast in 1981. Presently, the Video Music Awards are MTV's most watched annual event.[50]

Special, annual events (1986–present)[edit]

Further information: List of MTV special events

MTV began its annual Spring Break coverage in 1986, setting up temporary operations in Daytona Beach, Florida, for a week in March, broadcasting live eight hours per day. "Spring break is a youth culture event", MTV's vice president Doug Herzog said at the time. "We wanted to be part of it for that reason. It makes good sense for us to come down and go live from the center of it, because obviously the people there are the kinds of people who watch MTV."[51] The channel's coverage featured numerous live performances from artists and bands on location. The annual tradition would continue into the 2000s, when it would become de-emphasized and handed off to mtvU, the spin-off channel of MTV targeted at college campuses.

The channel would later expand its beach-themed events to the summer, dedicating most of each summer season to broadcasting live from a beach house at various locations away from New York City, eventually leading to channel-wide branding throughout the summer in the 1990s and early 2000s such as Motel California, Summer Share, Isle of MTV, SoCal Summer, Summer in the Keys, and Shore Thing. MTV VJs would host blocks of music videos, interview artists and bands, and introduce live performances and other programs from the beach house location each summer.[52] In the 2000s, as the channel reduced its airtime for music videos and eliminated much of its in-house programming, its annual summer-long events came to an end.

MTV would also hold week-long music events that would take over the presentation of the channel. Examples from the 1990s and 2000s include All Access Week, a week in the summer dedicated to live concerts and festivals; Spankin' New Music Week, a week in the fall dedicated to brand new music videos; and week-long specials that culminated in a particular live event, such as Wanna be a VJ and the Video Music Awards.[53]

At the end of each year, MTV takes advantage of its home location in New York City to broadcast live coverage on New Year's Eve in Times Square. Several live music performances are featured alongside interviews with artists and bands that were influential throughout the year. For many years from the 1980s to the 2000s, the channel upheld a tradition of having a band perform a cover song at midnight immediately following the beginning of the new year.[54]

Live concert broadcasts (1985–2005)[edit]

Throughout its history, MTV has covered global benefit concert series live. For most of July 13, 1985, MTV showed the Live Aid concerts, held in London and Philadelphia and organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for famine relief in Ethiopia. While the ABC network showed only selected highlights during primetime, MTV broadcast 16 hours of coverage.[55]

Along with VH1, MTV broadcast the Live 8 concerts, a series of concerts set in the G8 states and South Africa, on July 2, 2005.[56] Live 8 preceded the 31st G8 summit and the 20th anniversary of Live Aid. MTV drew heavy criticism for its coverage of Live 8. The network cut to commercials, VJ commentary, or other performances during performances. Complaints surfaced on the Internet over MTV interrupting the reunion of Pink Floyd.[57] In response, MTV president Van Toeffler stated that he wanted to broadcast highlights from every venue of Live 8 on MTV and VH1, and clarified that network hosts talked over performances only in transition to commercials, informative segments or other musical performances.[58] Toeffler acknowledged that "MTV should not have placed such a high priority on showing so many acts, at the expense of airing complete sets by key artists."[57] He also blamed the Pink Floyd interruption on a mandatory cable affiliate break.[58] MTV averaged 1.4 million viewers for its original July 2 broadcast of Live 8.[57] Consequently, MTV and VH1 aired five hours of uninterrupted Live 8 coverage on July 9, with each channel airing different blocks of artists.[59]

Formatted music series (1986–2008)[edit]

Further information: List of MTV music programs

MTV had debuted Dial MTV in 1986, a daily top ten music video countdown show for which viewers could call the toll-free telephone number 1-800-DIAL-MTV to request a music video. The show would be replaced by MTV Most Wanted in 1991, which ran until 1996, and later saw a spiritual successor in Total Request Live. The phone number remained in use for video requests until 2006.

Also in 1986, the channel introduced 120 Minutes, a show that would feature low-rotation, alternative rock and other "underground" videos for the next 14 years on MTV and three additional years on sister channel MTV2. The program then became known as Subterranean on MTV2. Eight years later, on July 31, 2011, 120 Minutes was resurrected with Matt Pinfield taking over hosting duties once again and airing monthly on MTV2.

Another late night music video show was added in 1987, Headbangers Ball, which featured heavy metal music and news. Before its abrupt cancellation in 1995, it featured several hosts including Riki Rachtman and Adam Curry. A weekly block of music videos with the name Headbangers Ball aired from 2003 to 2011 on sister channel MTV2, before spending an additional two years as a web-only series on MTV2's website, until Headbangers Ball was discontinued once again in 2013.

In 1988, MTV debuted Yo! MTV Raps, a hip hop/rap formatted program. The program continued until August 1995. It was renamed to simply Yo! and aired as a one-hour program from 1995 to 1999. The concept was reintroduced as Direct Effect in 2000, which became Sucker Free in 2006 and was cancelled in 2008, after briefly celebrating the 20th anniversary of Yo! MTV Raps throughout the months of April and May 2008. Despite its cancellation on MTV, a weekly countdown of hip hop videos known as Sucker Free still airs on MTV2 through the present day.

In 1989, MTV began to premiere music-based specials such as MTV Unplugged, an acoustic performance show, which has featured dozens of acts as its guests and has remained active in numerous iterations on various platforms for over 20 years.

To further cater to the growing success of R&B, MTV introduced the weekly Fade to Black in the summer of 1991, which was hosted by Al B. Sure!. The show would be reformatted into the better known MTV Jams the following year, which incorporated mainstream hip-hop into the playlist. Bill Bellamy would become the new and ongoing host. The show became so successful it spawned its own Most Wanted spinoff titled Most Wanted Jams.

Rise of the directors (1990–1993)[edit]

By the early 1990s, MTV was playing a combination of pop-friendly hard rock acts, chart-topping metal and hard rock acts such as Metallica, Nirvana and Guns N' Roses, pop singers such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, 2 Unlimited, and New Kids on the Block, and R&B groups such as New Edition, En Vogue, Bell Biv Devoe, SWV, Tony Toni Tone, TLC and Boyz II Men, while introducing hit rappers Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer. MTV progressively increased its airing of hip hop acts, such as LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Salt-n-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Onyx, MC Lyte, and Sir-Mix-A-Lot, and by 1993, the channel added West Coast rappers previously associated with gangsta rap, with a less pop-friendly sound, such as Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube, Warren G, Ice-T, Dr. Dre, Tone Loc, and Snoop Doggy Dogg.

To accompany the new sounds, a new form of music videos came about: more creative, funny, artistic, experimental, and technically accomplished than those in the 1980s. Several noted film directors got their start creating music videos. After pressure from the Music Video Production Association, MTV began listing the names of the videos' directors at the bottom of the credits by December 1992. As a result, MTV's viewers became familiar with the names of Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, David Fincher, Mary Lambert, Samuel Bayer, Matt Mahurin, Mark Romanek, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Anton Corbijn, Mark Pellington, Tarsem, Hype Williams, Jake Scott, Jonathan Glazer, Marcus Nispel, F. Gary Gray, Jim Yukich, Russell Mulcahy, Steve Barron, Marty Callner, and Michael Bay, among others.

As the PBS series Frontline[60] explored, MTV was a driving force that catapulted music videos to a mainstream audience, turning music videos into an art form as well as a marketing machine that became beneficial to artists. Danny Goldberg, chairman and CEO of Artemis Records, said the following about the art of music videos: "I know when I worked with Nirvana, Kurt Cobain cared as much about the videos as he did about the records. He wrote the scripts for them, he was in the editing room, and they were part of his art. And I think they stand up as part of his art, and I think that's true of the great artists today. Not every artist is a great artist and not every video is a good video, but in general having it available as a tool, to me, adds to the business. And I wish there had been music videos in the heyday of The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. I think they would've added to their creative contribution, not subtracted from it."[61]

Alternative is mainstream (1991–1997)[edit]

Nirvana led a sweeping transition into the rise of alternative rock music on MTV in 1991 with their video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit". By late 1991 going into 1992, MTV began frequently airing videos from their heavily promoted "Buzz Bin", such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Nine Inch Nails, Tori Amos, PM Dawn, Arrested Development, Björk, and Gin Blossoms. MTV increased rotation of its weekly alternative music program 120 Minutes and added the daily Alternative Nation to play videos of these and other underground music acts. Subsequently, grunge and alternative rock had a rise in mainstream tastes, while 1980s-style glam bands and traditional rockers were phased out, with some exceptions such as Aerosmith and Tom Petty. Older acts such as R.E.M. and U2 remained relevant by making their music more experimental or unexpected.

They also played lots of hard rock acts such as Pantera, Death and other heavy/death metal acts at the time period.

In 1993, more hit alternative rock acts were on heavy rotation, such as Stone Temple Pilots, Soul Asylum, Rage Against the Machine, Marilyn Manson, Tool, Beck, Therapy?, Radiohead, and The Smashing Pumpkins. Other hit acts such as Weezer, Collective Soul, Blind Melon, The Cranberries, Bush, and Silverchair would follow in the next couple of years. Alternative bands that appeared on Beavis and Butt-Head included White Zombie.

By the next few years, 1994 through 1997, MTV began promoting new power pop acts, most successfully Green Day and The Offspring, and ska-rock acts such as No Doubt, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Sublime. Pop singers were added to the rotation with success as long as they were considered "alternative," such as Alanis Morissette, Jewel, Fiona Apple, and Sarah McLachlan.

Electronica and pop (1997–1999)[edit]

By 1997, MTV focused heavily on introducing electronica acts into the mainstream, adding them to its musical rotation, including The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Moby, Aphex Twin, Pendulum, Daft Punk, The Crystal Method, Butthole Surfers and Fatboy Slim. Some musicians who proceeded to experiment with electronica were still played on MTV including Madonna, U2, David Bowie, Radiohead, and Smashing Pumpkins. That year, MTV also attempted to introduce neo-swing bands, but they did not meet with much success.

However, in late 1997, MTV began shifting more progressively towards pop music, inspired by the success of the Spice Girls and the rise of boy bands in Europe. Between 1998 and 1999, MTV's musical content consisted heavily of videos of boy bands such as Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, as well as teen pop "princesses" such as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Lynda Thomas, Mandy Moore, and Jessica Simpson. Airplay of rock, electronica, and alternative acts was reduced. Hip-hop music continued in heavy rotation, through the likes of Puff Daddy, Jermaine Dupri, Master P, DMX, Busta Rhymes, Lil' Kim, Jay-Z, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Eminem, Foxy Brown, Ja Rule, Nas, Timbaland, and their associates. R&B was also heavily represented with acts such as Aaliyah, Janet Jackson, Destiny's Child, 702, Monica, and Brandy.

Return of the Rock (1997–2004)[edit]

Beginning in late 1997, MTV progressively reduced its airing of rock music videos, leading to the slogan among skeptics, "Rock is dead."[62] The facts that at the time rock music fans were less materialistic, and bought less music based on television suggestion, were cited as reasons that MTV abandoned its once staple music. MTV instead devoted its musical airtime mostly to pop and hip hop/R&B music. All rock-centric shows were eliminated and the rock-related categories of the Video Music Awards were pared down to one.

From this time until 2004, MTV made some periodic efforts to reintroduce pop rock music videos to the channel. By 1998 through 1999, the punk-rock band Blink-182 received regular airtime on MTV due in large part to their "All the Small Things" video that made fun of the boy bands that MTV was airing at the time. Meanwhile, some rock bands that were not receiving MTV support, such as Korn and Creed, continued to sell albums. Then, upon the release of Korn's rock/rap hybrid album Follow the Leader, MTV began playing Korn's videos "Got the Life" and "Freak on a Leash".

A band sponsored by Korn, Limp Bizkit, received airtime for its cover of George Michael's "Faith", which became a hit. Subsequently, MTV began airing more rap/rock hybrid acts, such as Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock. Some rock acts with more comical videos, such as Rob Zombie, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters, also received airtime.

In the fall of 1999, MTV announced a special Return of the Rock weekend,[63] in which new rock acts received airtime, after which a compilation album was released. System of a Down, Staind, Godsmack, Green Day, Incubus, Papa Roach, P.O.D., Sevendust, Powerman 5000, Slipknot, Kittie, Static X, and CKY were among the featured bands. These bands received some airtime on MTV and more so on MTV2, though both channels gave emphasis to the rock/rap acts.

By 2000, Sum 41, Linkin Park, Jimmy Eat World, Mudvayne, Cold, At the Drive-In, Alien Ant Farm, and other acts were added to the musical rotation. MTV also launched digital cable channel MTVX to play rock music videos exclusively, an experiment that lasted until 2002.[64] A daily music video program on MTV that carried the name Return of the Rock ran through early 2001, replaced by a successor, All Things Rock, from 2002 until 2004.

Total Request Live (1998–2008)[edit]

Main article: Total Request Live

Also by 1997, MTV was criticized heavily for not playing as many music videos as it had in the past. In response, MTV created four shows that centered on music videos: MTV Live, Total Request, Say What?, and 12 Angry Viewers. Also at this time, MTV introduced its new studios in Times Square.

A year later, in 1998, MTV merged Total Request and MTV Live into a live daily top ten countdown show, Total Request Live, which would become known as TRL (the original host being Carson Daly) and secure its place as the channel's unofficial flagship program. In the fall of 1999, a live studio audience was added to the show. By spring 2000, the countdown reached its peak. The program enjoyed success playing the top ten pop, rock, R&B, and hip hop music videos, and featuring live interviews with artists and celebrities.

From 1998 to 2001, MTV also aired several other music video programs from its studios in Times Square and on location at various beach-themed locations each summer. These programs included Say What? Karaoke, a game show hosted by Dave Holmes that evolved from Say What?, MTV's earlier program that ran the lyrics of music videos across the screen. TRL Wannabes aired from 1999 to 2000 and featured a selection of music videos that just missed the TRL top ten. VJ for a Day, hosted by Raymond Munns, continued this concept in early 2001. VJ for a Day was an extension of an annual event, Wanna be a VJ, which aired each spring from 1998 to 2000 to select a new VJ to host programs on MTV.

MTV also aired Hot Zone, hosted by Ananda Lewis, which featured pop music videos during the midday time period and was a casual alternative to TRL; it later became MTV Hits. Other programs were Direct Effect, Return of the Rock, MTV Jams, BeatSuite, MTV Soul, and blocks of music videos hosted by VJs simply called Music Television in the spirit of the channel's original purpose.

During the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, MTV suspended all of its programming, along with its sister cable channel VH1, and it began simulcasting coverage from CBS News (the news division of CBS), which was acquired by MTV parent Viacom two years earlier) until about 11:00 pm. ET that night. The channels then played a looped set of music videos without commercial interruption until an MTV News special edition of TRL aired on September 14, 2001.

In 2002, Carson Daly left MTV and TRL to pursue a late night talk show on NBC. After his departure, the relevance and impact of Total Request Live slowly diminished. TRL ultimately remained a part of MTV's regular program schedule for ten years. The series came to an end with a special finale episode, Total Finale Live, which aired November 16, 2008, and featured all the show's hosts from over the years, many special guests from the history of the show, and played its last music video, "...Baby One More Time" by Britney Spears.[65]

Milestones and specials (1999–2011)[edit]

Around 1999 through 2001, as MTV aired fewer music videos throughout the day, it regularly aired compilation specials from its then 20-year history to look back on its roots. An all-encompassing special, MTV Uncensored, premiered in 1999 and was later released as a book.[66][67]

MTV celebrated its 20th anniversary on August 1, 2001, beginning with a 12-hour long retrospective called MTV20: Buggles to Bizkit, which featured over 100 classic videos played chronologically, hosted by various VJs in reproductions of MTV's old studios. The day of programming culminated in a three-hour celebratory live event called MTV20: Live and Almost Legal, which was hosted by Carson Daly and featured numerous guests from MTV's history, including the original VJs from 1981. Various other related MTV20 specials aired in the months surrounding the event.

Janet Jackson became the inaugural honoree of the "mtvICON" award, "an annual recognition of artists who have made significant contributions to music, music video and pop culture while tremendously impacting the MTV generation."[68] Subsequent recipients included Aerosmith, Metallica and The Cure.

Five years later, on August 1, 2006, MTV celebrated its 25th anniversary. On their website,, visitors could watch the very first hour of MTV, including airing the original promos and commercials from Mountain Dew, Atari, Chewels gum, and Jovan. Videos were also shown from The Buggles, Pat Benatar

MTV's original logo, used from August 1, 1981 to March 18, 2009. It is still used in other countries.


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