MTV broadens use of Web with slate of new shows

Thu Jun 26, 2008 2:44pm EDT
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By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Seeking new ways to entertain audiences, music television network MTV has recently begun allowing fans of new and upcoming shows to discuss and post their own versions of music videos on the Web.

This month the network launched "FNMTV," which airs new videos every Friday night and invites viewers to go online to comment on them and upload their reinterpretations at

MTV has used a similar strategy in limited ways on past programs such as "America's Best Dance Crew" and "The Real World: Hollywood." But "FNMTV" is the first show to employ user-generated video as part of its format, and MTV plans to broaden the strategy to other programs as well.

The network plans to pair viewer-generated content with upcoming programs such as "G's to Gents," "America's Best Dance Crew Season 2," and "Paris Hilton's My New BFF."

"There was a time when the music video itself is what happened in culture, but now it's the music video and what everyone has to say about it that is what's happening," said Brian Graden, president of MTV programming.

When it launched in 1981, MTV revolutionized the music industry. Artists were suddenly expected not only to record albums and perform, but also dance and sing on video.

Over the years MTV, a unit of media conglomerate Viacom Inc, evolved away from showing only videos and put greater emphasis on reality TV, game shows and other programming.