While most of us probably were not old enough to be watching MTV around the start of TRL, we all probably remember sneaking into the den, sitting with our older siblings, trying our hardest not to bug them, and catching the latest installment of it. The MTV show, TRL, which stands for Total Request Live, was a pioneer in the realm of audience participation. Hosted by Carson Daley and filmed in front of a live studio audience in New York City, the series revolved around arts and entertainment news and most importantly the airing of the top 10 most requested music videos of the day, as voted by audiences via text or online submission, which has come to influence many music and media related content that we see today.

TRL also always featured in house performances and special appearances by popular musicians and actors of the time, anyone from Destiny’s Child to Snoop Dogg; the show ran from 1999 up until 2008, right around the death of MTV as the hub of music television. The show was the first of its kind to allow viewers at home to play an active role in producing a show that was viewed internationally, thus influencing and cultivating tastes on a global scale. Someone sitting on their couch in Tennessee, or walking to class in Nebraska had the ability to vote Britney Spear’s “Baby One More Time” or Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” to the top of the charts and determine what production professionals in New York were going to work on that day, which is pretty cool if you ask me – Who would of thought, of all places, MTV would be giving the one’s giving the power to the people.

Reminisce and check out these TRL Throwbacks:



1 Comment

  1. What do you think caused TRL’s downfall? Do you think that if TRL started within the past 3 years that it would have lasted as long as it did, or would have been a major fail? Would the newer technology make shows like that thrive more or be pointless?


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