MTV announces five new shows, but where are the videos?
As the broadcast networks head into summer reruns, MTV plans to counter with five new weekly programs. ”Celebrity Deathmatch,” where Claymation versions of such stars as Jerry Seinfeld and Tim Allen do battle, will debut tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. EST (and 10 p.m.). The remaining lineup, which will premiere later this summer, includes ”Fanatic,” a show in which viewers interview their favorite musicians. Meanwhile, some old familiars will return: ”The Real World,” ”Road Rules,” ”Cartoon Sushi,” ”Loveline” and ”Daria.” (MTV will not comment on the status of ”Austin Stories.”)
Since this splurge of new non-video shows comes after MTV’s recent pledge to return to its music-video roots, it raises the question, Did MTV kill the video star? ”They’re always saying, ‘We’re not showing enough music videos,’ ” says Entertainment Weekly television critic Ken Tucker, who thinks music-video programming could thrive in prime time. ”But then they turn around and say, ‘We have to compete with cable,’ and they go back to original [non-video] programming at night. They’re constantly hoping to come up with another ‘Beavis and Butt-head’ phenomenon.”