However, despite seeing diversity with regard to sexual orientation and content, programming continues to lack in the realm of racial diversity.
"It's something we've heard for a while" says Greer when asked about racial diversity on the show. "I can't speak for the writers, producers of the show but I think we really did bank on Ming [portrayed by Chinese-Japanese actress Jessica Lu] to add that sense of racial diversity to a bunch of white kids living in the suburbs. It has definitely been one of the few things that the show has struggled with and we are trying to create a racially diverse and grounded show, and hopefully we'll begin to explore that in the future."
Entner suggests the solution to such problems is at base a numbers game.
"MTV is trying, but are they perfect? Probably not. People are making conscious decisions to include everyone but there is going to be underrepresentation -- but they want you to be able to identify with content because that's what keeps you coming back. But, there's a science behind it [television] and it boils down to how much money they will make and that ultimately has the power to influence casting and ultimately what we see."
Pressures on the Parent
Even with owning a channel that continues to regenerate itself, Viacom has been unable to escape potential merger speculation.
Media outlets have suggested Viacom should look to reunite with once-sister company, CBS (CBS). Viacom spun off from CBS back in 2005. However, despite being caught in the foray of speculation, Viacom has made moves to embrace the media age, while sustaining itself as a stand-alone media company.
MTV teamed up with the Spotify last month to provide viewers with curated playlists and music taken exclusively from popular shows. More than 100 playlists will be made available for streaming.
Viacom is doing the same at Nickelodeon. Last month, Nickelodeon released a Web and mobile-exclusive television show entitled Welcome to The Wayne, an animated series chronicling the shenanigans of 10-year old Olly Timbers and his friends. The show will first air online and on the Nickelodeon app before formally airing on television.
Sanford Bernstein Media Analyst Todd Juenger suggests a merger is unlikely due to its model.
"The wave of M&A, or at least anticipated M&A, sweeping across the media sector does not seem like it should impact Viacom much. It's hard to imagine the controlling shareholders being sellers of the company and there's not much they could acquire" writes Juenger in a press note released following Viacom's disappointing Q3 earnings.
Viacom's handling of MTV has so far been successful but competition is hot on its heels. Vice co-founder and CEO Shane Smith has made it known that he wants to take the multi-platform media company to the heights and success of MTV.
"I've said that I want to be the next MTV, the next CNN, the next ESPN. Cue everyone rolling their eyes" Smith tells the New York Times in an interview.
The two companies appeal to drastically different demographics: MTV creates original and reality based programming veered toward adolescents above the age of 16 while Vice provides a slightly older audience with news from around the world with an alternative edge. However, both companies have one thing in common, they have found what works for them and continue to use it to their advantage.
"MTV was built on an original concept: the pop-music video. Vice's appeal is that it has branded a certain kind of cool, but coolness is an ephemeral concept," writes the New York Times on the possibility of Vice merging with another media company.
Entner suggests Vice serves as a worthy competitor for MTV.
"Absolutely, Vice is a different take on all of that. And arguably, Vice has a lot more depth than MTV and has a much larger age appeal," Entner said. "At the same time, MTV is losing its target appeal as they are growing up. MTV really has to watch that their core doesn't get undermined."
In response to whether Vice could usurp its position with the current generation, MTV Executive Vice President of Communications Jeannie Kedas simply stated, "MTV is the MTV of this generation, and it continues to regenerate itself. The MTV that this generation has seen is very different from anything else we've ever seen before."