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MTV cues afternoon sked shift

'TRL' makes move to after-school slot

Several weeks ago, in a move that escaped the notice of those whose cultural flashpoints are older than Hillary Duff, MTV did the unthinkable: For the first time in nearly three school years, net shifted its bubblegum-band show “Total Request Live” from 5 p.m. to 3:30.

Switch is part of MTV’s latest overhaul of its afternoon package.

It’s an ambitious shift, as new programming goes from 60 minutes to 3½ hours. Where MTV had previously concentrated on one or two series, the idea now is to build a lot of programming around one anchor.

So the net moved “Made,” a strong performer in MTV’s primetime 10 Spot, all the way up to 4:30 p.m. in the hope it can pull along its biggest gamble, the groupie-dating-makeover skein “My Own.”

“We want to develop a consistency to the block so that it becomes habitual,” said MTV Networks entertainment prexy Brian Graden. Net has also been facing increased competition in the afternoon from Nickelodeon and ABC Family, and its quest to break out new teen hits is said to be, like, more of a goal than ever.

(Denise Martin in Hollywood contributed to this report.)

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