Now that 30-sometimes are in a position to make corporate decisions, the 90s are coming back in earnest. MTV, which has lost a lot of the cultural cachet that made it an integral part of growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, has decided that instead of purging the past and constantly reinventing, it’s embracing its old library of shows. On Monday, August 1st, the network (which also owns VH1) will be turning VH1 Classic into MTV Classic, a channel that will focus on millennial (and late Gen Xer) programming like Beavis & Butt-head, Daria, Jackass, Punk’d, Laguna Beach, Aeon Flux, and Clone High.
MTV’s plan is to digitize their material from the last 35 years, and also lean-in to the currently nostalgia obsession, which is a smart move. The premiere date also isn’t arbitrary — MTV first launched on August 1, 1981. To commemorate that and launch the new channel, MTV Classic will kick off by airing the first hour of their original 1981 content, before moving over into MTV Unplugged sessions featuring Nirvana, Oasis, and so many others. That will be followed by a Total Request Live documentary (seriously, y’all), and then a prime-time animation bloc featuring some of the aforementioned series, continuing as themed nights which will also bring back reality programming.
But wait! There’s more! Decade-specific marathons of music videos (remember when those actually played?) and other concerts, specials, and more will be featured on the channel, as well as weekend marathons — starting with Season 1 of The Real World on August 7th (I am crying just a little bit, but really, mostly looking forward to when it cycles over to the best seasons: Miami and especially Seattle).
MTV’s executive vice-president of music and events strategy and development, Erik Flannigan, cautioned that there won’t be specific VJ blocks of programming like with Downtown Julie Brown, Matt Pinfield, Jesse (!) and others, but that content could be used to help amp up the nostalgia in general. I am so ready.
Even though we’re being given riches beyond our wildest dreams, it’s time to start compiling a wish list of everything else we’d like to see: Celebrity Deathmatch? Undressed? Singled Out? Rock n’ Jock? Let us know in the comments, plus which series you’re the most excited to see. My main question is whether or not Daria in particular will be airing with the original 90s soundtrack, or if it will be the (poorly) substituted music currently used in the box set?
As a reminder: MTV Classic launches where VH1 Classic used to be on Monday, August 1st. It’s going to be magical.
Check out the promo MTV recently released for the new channel below: