A Super Sweet Resurgence of Reality on MTV

In 2005, a show called My Super Sweet 16 premiered on MTV. I was 14, fixated yet mildly disturbed as I watched teenagers just a couple of years my senior scream at their parents for buying  the wrong type of Mercedes as a birthday present.

Hillary Duff sang the infections theme song (which is stuck in my head as I type this). The episodes typically involved 16-year-olds barking orders at their parents and outlining outlandish demands, such as a casual half million dollar budget. The birthday princess would change costumes more times than Rihanna at the VMAs.

We watched in lurid fascination as catfights unfolded between friends, celebrity guests, and parents. We witnessed harsh consequences for parents who bought their children an underwhelming amount of diamonds:

Yashika, aka the Veruca Salt of diamonds, makes herself clear. (Photo courtesy of MTV)

This was the golden age of early 2000s reality TV. As always, MTV defined what was in vogue—and at the time, it was delightfully depraved, unscripted programming.

Along with My Super Sweet 16, MTV produced some of the most addictively decadent shows of that era—Laguna Beach, Cribs, 8th & Ocean, The Osbournes, et al. Americans were collectively hooked.

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Power Struggles, Catfights, and Cocktails: VH1’s Daytime Divas Ring Nasdaq’s Opening Bell

VH1 rang the Nasdaq opening bell to celebrate its new scripted series, Daytime Divas. Nasdaq’s Rob Phillips welcomed the stars of the show to the podium, along with Maggie Malina, senior vice president and head of scripted for MTV and VH1.

Phillips praised Viacom’s “innovative and imaginative programming,” noting how much buzz the show has been generating. “We are honored to have Viacom as part of the Nasdaq family,” said Phillips. “Viacom truly represents what it means to be a Nasdaq company—the visionaries, the game changers.”

Watch the ceremony:

Daytime Divas is based on Star Jones’ novel, Satan’s Sisters. The book and series follow the women behind a long-running talk show called The Lunch Hour. On screen, their quirky personalities shine and their friendships seem genuine. Backstage, it’s a world of backstabbing, blackmail, and botched plastic surgery (luckily, these antics were not present on the podium at Nasdaq.)

But for a drama about a fake talk show, the plot points couldn’t be more real. Daytime Divas tackles ageism, sexism, transgender issues, sexuality, spousal abuse, addiction, sexual harassment in the workplace…and that’s just in the pilot.

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MTV + Movies + Television = The MTV Movie & TV Awards

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Since Demi Moore announced Terminator 2: Judgement Day as Best Movie from a Burbank stage in June of 1992, the MTV Movie Awards have celebrated the best of Hollywood’s explosive, moving, heart-pounding annual slate – with an MTV-appropriate musical touch delivered by the big name performers of the day (that inaugural show included En Vogue, Ugly Kid Joe, and Arrested Development).

After 25 years of Golden Popcorn statues and hijinks that have included Jim Carrey crashing the stage as an anonymous hippie, Rainn Wilson gearing up in nothing but a Teddy bear, and lots of surprise makeout sessions, MTV is taking a great thing and making it even better, with the inclusion of television in its award categories. The network has officially renamed the show the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

MTV Movie and TV Awards

“We’re living in a golden age of content, and great storytelling and characters resonate regardless of whether you’re watching it in a theater or on TV,” said MTV President Chris McCarthy. “The new MTV Movie & TV Awards will celebrate even more of the brightest, bravest, funniest and most shared films and TV shows resonating across youth culture.”

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Robin Thicke Saves the Music to Start the School Year

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robin Thicke performs at VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robin Thicke performs at VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: General Manager of VH1 and Charman of VH1 Save the Music, Chis McCarthy a… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity Robin Thicke Piano Deliv… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity Robin Thicke Piano Deliv… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robin Thicke performs at VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robin Thicke performs at VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: President and CEO of Viacom, Philippe Dauman, Executive Director, VH1 Sav… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robin Thicke attends VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity Rob… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Robin Thicke attends VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity Rob… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: President and CEO of Viacom, Philippe Dauman and Robin Thicke attend VH1… Read More

VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
VH1 Save The Music Foundation & Viacommunity R…
Stuart Stuart

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 26: Trell Thomas, Music Director East Quogue Elementary School, Penni Russo, V… Read More

Robin Thicke knows a few things about succeeding young. He taught himself to play piano at 12. At 16, he was writing and producing songs for top R&B artists. By 21, he had written and produced more than 20 gold and platinum albums. At the starting line of that climb to the entertainment world’s summit was one very important thing: access to the tools that allowed him to make music.

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