The news has finally broken. MTV is canceling TRL for good. This news comes as bitter sweet to me since after all, 10 years ago when it launched, I actually watched TRL. Albeit between classes while I was attending University... This also strikes home with me because of the fact that in my short tenure with Viacom / MTV as a production assistant, I actually worked TRL while it was filming on location in Miami. (Carson Daly is a lot taller than you'd think!)
The loss of TRL is directly associated with the networks move AWAY from music. Music Television was after all the original name of the network before it reduced itself to MTV. Lets face it though... have any of us actually seen a music video on MTV in the recent past? I certainly have not. MTV's focus has completely changed to Reality based television. TRL was really the last holdout from the good old Music days. Obviously the change in format was due to increased pressures from Advertisers... Reality based programming means repeat customers. Episodic television almost guarantees a regular audience while simply airing videos does not guarantee any audience retention.
I think it is sad that this great bastion of the 1980's.. "Music Television" has moved so far away from it's original format. I look back on my years as a teenager watching MTV in the afternoons because it was literally that or Soap Operas with great joy. I think it is sad that generations to come wont get to enjoy such great afternoon entertainment.
While TRL is dead, they are planning on keeping some sort of conceptualized version of it alive with a Friday night show hosted by Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz. FNMTV will be the "new" TRL... I guess this is a good thing although I didn't like the Videos that TRL replaced.
I want my (old) MTV.