MTV has gone through a lot of changes over the years since its cable debut in 1981. The 90s can be considered something of a golden age that more or less balanced music programming with TV series. MTV has been virtually unrecognizable from its 90s roots over the past several years. Luckily for those of us who miss the videos and shows of days gone by, a new MTV channel will debut as a way to take viewers back to that golden age. VH1 Classic will be rebranded as MTV Classic and focus on 90s content.
MTV Classic will launch as a way to air programming from the 1990s starting on August 1, according to THR. The early August debut will coincide with the 35th anniversary of MTV back in 1981. In a fun nod to its parent channel, the first hour of MTV Classic content will be a re-airing of the first hour of MTV. The special will hit the airwaves as MTV Hour One at 6 a.m. ET on August 1. A TRL retrospective will air later that day, followed by an MTV Unplugged marathon featuring some of the biggest names of the 1990s music scene.
Regular programming will kick off shortly after the launch. Weekdays from Monday to Thursday will feature three late night hours of shows such as Pimp My Ride, Jackass, Punk'd, and Cribs. The more nostalgic among us may find ourselves glued to our TVs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a while. Friday nights will be dedicated to music shows like Storytellers and Unplugged. Live performances will be included along with the throwback episodes. Weekends will be dominated with marathons of beloved series like Laguna Beach and Real World.
Most nights of primetime will revolve around some of the series that changed what could and could not happen with animated TV. Daria, Beavis & Butt-Head, and Aeon Flux will be back on the airwaves in prime hours for the first time in what feels like forever. The channel is set to fill in the blanks between old episodes and specials with movies, concerts, and music videos from MTV's 35-year history.
The new MTV Classic represents one of the major changes to the MTV brand that have been promised over the past few months. Falling ad revenues and ratings combined with a dwindling relevance to the zeitgeist have meant that action needed to be taken to try to bring people back. Launching the new network for old content could be the perfect way to attract viewers who loved the 90s programming without necessarily overhauling MTV itself. Bringing back Cribs via Snapchat and reviving MTV Unplugged were good steps toward fixing MTV; MTV Classic's August 1 premiere is promising enough that it might be worth getting excited about MTV again.
Personally, I'm most psyched about the return to old 90s music videos. Between the fashion and dancing that are super anachronistic nowadays and the music that will never get old, the videos should be fun blasts from the past. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what you'll be able to catch on the small screen if you ever tire of MTV Classic.