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TheStreet Open House

Viacom’s MTV Winning Fight Against Irrelevancy - For Now


Alongside a shrinking industry, Venkateshwar notes the volatility of MTV's demographic.

"While the demographic that these networks cater to provides an opportunity from an advertising perspective, given advertisers tend to pay a premium for this base, this demographic is also susceptible to the biggest shift in consumption patterns caused by changes to technology and viewing habits," Venkateshwar said.

Uncharted Territory

In the past five years, MTV has veered away from its mission in favor of original, scripted content; a move that has undoubtedly shocked viewers and actors alike. MTV rebranded itself in 2010 after officially dropping Music Television from its logo back in 2010. Viewers can still find music on the channel's sibling sites, MTV Hits and MTV Jams, while the main channel focuses on reality and drama programming.

MTV is currently airing more than four original scripted programs, with additional shows slated to debut this year. These original shows will air alongside 26 reality-based television shows, award shows and other specials starring popular public figures including professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek. As a brand MTV's programming has a reputation for quality and for ground-breaking entertainment.

Awkward actress, Greer Grammer, was instantly attracted to the role of Lissa- a quirky, off-the-walls character she portrays on the American teen comedy.

"It was a scripted show for MTV," she said. "I auditioned for the pilot and when I received the script, I was surprised by how good the writing was. It was really funny, and didn't sound like anything I had read at the time. It also didn't look like anything we have seen on television before."

As MTV lost its monopoly on the music video, most recently to Web sites such as YouTube and Vevo, it was forced to create its own niche of scripted and reality-based programs. A large share of MTV's scripted content continues to push the envelope, delving into matters of sexual and gender orientation, werewolves lurking in quaint towns and other issues that appear to be on the minds of millennials.

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