MTV is a cable channel that initially dedicated its programing to airing music videos. The channel has adapted, and it now frequently broadcasts reality shows and scripted television programs that are appealing to teenagers and young adults.
The History of MTV
MTV, which stands for music television, debuted on August 1, 1981. The cable channel began airing its programming one minute past midnight after one of the show’s creators, John Lack, stated “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll.” The station initially broadcast moments from the Space Shuttle Columbia’s launch countdown as well as footage from the Apollo 11 mission launch. While showing the Apollo 11 moon landing, MTV revealed its theme song, which John Petersen and Jonathan Elias composed. Instead of showing the American flag on the moon, the cable channel’s design team changed the flag to the MTV logo.
The first music video was “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles while the second video featured Pat Benatar with her hit song “You Better Run.” Original viewers may remember that the screen would occasionally switch to black, which occurred when an MTV staff member changed the VCR tape. Also, at the start and end of each video, the cable channel would list the name of the song, artist and record label information on the television screen’s bottom left corner.
In the 1990s, the music channel began to expand its viewing lineup with reality shows, animated TV shows and scripted television programs. Today, MTV rarely presents music videos during prime time, and viewers who wish to watch them will have to switch the channel to one of the network’s sister stations.
Viacom Media Networks is the current owner of MTV, and the company also owns VH1 and Nickelodeon. In fact, VH1 is the cable network’s first sister channel. Other sister networks include MTV2 and Tr3s. When viewers wish to read detailed information about upcoming promotions or shows, they can visit the channel’s website, which is www.mtv.com.
Top MTV Shows
The creative team behind MTV encourages viewers to become politically active and vote. To inspire political participation, the cable channel presented two shows this year. “MTV Act” premiered in 2012 and provides information regarding a variety of the country’s social issues. The other MTV political show is “Power of 12,” and it focused on the 2012 presidential election.
MTV was one of the first networks to create popular reality based TV shows. In fact, “The Real World” is the cable channel’s longest-running television program. It began in 1992 and MTV has renewed “The Real World” for season 28. The show features a group of young adults from different parts of the country who live together for several months. The network changes the location of the group’s residence each season and has filmed the show in Hawaii and New York City along with foreign destinations like Paris and London.
Another popular reality show featured on MTV was “Road Rules.” The program was similar to “The Real World” in that it brought together a group of strangers. However, instead of living together, the group traveled around to different locations in a recreational vehicle. During the beginning of each season, the group had to give up their money and complete missions as well as unusual jobs to earn enough funds to travel on to the next challenge. If the group was successful, then they would receive a reward at the end of the season.
MTV gained plenty of viewers with its reality show starring musician Ozzy Osbourne and his family. “The Osbournes” premiered during 2002 and became one of the cable channel’s biggest hit shows. The Osbourne family used plenty of profanity during filming, which the network bleeped. The show also created a television career for Sharon Osbourne, who is Ozzy’s wife. Later, in 2003, actor Ashton Kutcher began playing pranks on different celebrities for the show “Punk’d.”
MTV is famous for diversifying its programing, and in the early ‘90s, the network added several animated shows to its schedule. One of the most popular animated shows was “Beavis and Butt-head,” but dedicated viewers will surely remember “Daria” and “Celebrity Deathmatch” as well. The cable station also presents scripted television with shows such as “Teen Wolf” and “Awkward.”
Cable Companies that Offer MTV
When television viewers subscribe to companies such as Dish Network, Comcast, DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, U-verse and Verizon FiOS, they will receive access to MTV if they purchase a package that contains the music channel. With DirecTV, viewers will find MTV on channel 331 while Comcast subscribers should turn to station 68, and Dish Network provides MTV on channel 160.