MTV Bringing Back “Beavis And Butt-head,” “Daria,” & More With New Classics Channel

Image courtesy of Florentino Jacques

Has your TV-viewing life been missing a pair of friends sitting on the couch exclaiming “This sucks!” or an angsty teen dealing with her bubbly sister and other perils of high school? They’ll soon be making a reappearance, as MTV bets that folks are feeling nostalgic enough for the ’90s and early aughts to justify its new MTV Classic channel.

MTV announced Thursday that it will rebrand the VH1 Classic channel as MTV Classic, bringing titles like Beavis and Butt-head, Laguna Beach, Total Request Live, and Daria back into consumers’ homes starting Aug. 1.

“MTV Classic gives audiences a modern and artful home for classic MTV programming and — alongside MTV, MTV2, MTV Live, and mtvU — rounds out a diverse portfolio with music and youth culture at its core,” Sean Atkins, president of MTV, said in a statement.

MTV Classic’s debut coincides with the channels first appearance exactly 35 years ago. The first show to air on the new channel will be MTV Hour One, the first hour of programming from the 1981 channel launch.

Bloomberg reports that prior to the launch, MTV engineers have undertaken a mammoth task: digitizing millions of old VHS tapes stores for yeas in vaults and filled with live performances and interviews from musicians and stars who visited MTV studios over the past 35 years.

That means in addition to shows like Cribs, Jersey Shore, and Run’s House, MTV Classic will also replay live concerts, interviews, red carpet appearances, and episodes of docuseries Storytellers.

“Part of the reason our brand is powerful is because so many of us still have affection for what MTV is or was or could be,” says Erik Flannigan, who works for MTV parent company Viacom, tells Bloomberg. “There are great things that happened on MTV that are valuable and merit consideration.”

While bringing the footage out of the vaults definitely makes for a blast from the past, it’s not just about reminding viewers of their old favorites.

By digitizing the footage, MTV is making it more accessible to license to people making documentaries or movies, creating an additional revenue stream, Bloomberg reports.

The channel can also repurpose the items for consumption on other avenues, like Snapchat and YouTube.

“We can create digital franchises out of this material, whether it’s bits for Snapchat, YouTube or Instagram,” Alex Pappademas, managing editor of MTV News, tells Bloomberg. “Young people are really interested in nostalgia and the past.”


[via Bloomberg]

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