MTV Plans Post-Hiatus Expansion for ‘TRL’

MTV is expanding its recently revived “Total Request Live” franchise.

The studio talk show, which is going on what a network spokesperson characterizes as a planned hiatus, is set to return to afternoons on MTV April 9. The Viacom-owned cable channel is also plotting a linear expansion for the franchise, with morning a version in the works to co-exist with the flagship afternoon edition and a recent iteration, “TRL Late Night.”

A source close to the show told Variety that production staffers, most of whom are freelance, have been placed on hiatus along with the show and are unclear if and when they will return to work. Some but not all staffers have been reassigned to “TRL Late Night.”

An MTV spokesperson on Wednesday denied a TMZ report that the show had been canceled. “TRL has been a huge success for us and we’re expanding the franchise with daily late night and morning shows this summer,” the spokesperson said.

“Total Request Live” returned to MTV in October after a nine-year absence from the network, with Ed Sheeran and Migos appearing on the first episode of the revitalized franchise. In an attempt to gin up interest, the show hired social-media stars to serve as hosts, including D.C Young Fly, Tamara Dhia, Amy Pham, Erik Zachary and Lawrence Jackson.

The new “TRL” is a variation on the original music video countdown format, focusing on trends. Speaking to Variety last year, MTV and VH1 president Chris McCarthy said, “The great thing about ‘TRL’ is that it’s an experiment every day. In the original show, the actual countdown was rather minimal in terms of the content of the show. It was about creating moments and experiences. We’re not gonna measure the success of the show in terms of daily linear ratings; we’re measuring it based on how big of an impact it has on culture.”

The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of MTV’s plans to expand “TRL.”

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