Save the Date for the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards: Live From Los Angeles On Saturday, August 27

Dust off your spacesuits and queue your favorite “New & Noteworthy” YouTube playlist, because the VMAs are swiftly approaching.

After transforming Madison Square Garden into a terrestrial dance hall, aerobics studio and lemonade stand for last year’s ceremony, MTV is heading back to California—specifically the Forum, a historic venue in Inglewood.

“MTV, at 35 years old, has been around almost as long as the Forum,” said Forum manager Shelli Azoff in a press release. “Together, we’re 85 and enjoy lifetimes of music history.”

The Forum—sometimes called the “Fabulous” Forum—is the nation’s largest indoor performance venue, hosting sporting events and musical extravaganzas, including the 2014 VMA telecast.

MTV lands in Los Angeles for the 2014 VMAs. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

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“Faithfully Recreated” New Edition Story Delivers Authenticity and Torrid Ratings to BET

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

New Edition exploded out of anonymity from the Orchard Park Projects in Roxbury, Massachusetts in the early 1980s, selling millions of albums as the stamped the template for the boy band super-groups of the ‘90s and beyond. At one time, they were bigger than Beat It, when their 1983 debut track Candy Girl beat out one of Michael Jackson’s signature hits for the top spot on the Billboard chart. In the meteoric and fraught years that followed, they would break up and reunite while spawning the solo careers of Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, along with the quadruple platinum collaboration of Bell Biv DeVoe.

When this foundational tale debuted over three nights last week on BET as The New Edition Story, it instantly became the network’s most-watched premiere since The Game dropped in 2012. The show went on to average more than 4 million viewers per episode across BET and sister network Centric while dominating the social media conversation for three consecutive nights.

The tale resonated in part due to its raw, unfiltered nature, delivering the uncensored drama of the exhilarating climb to success, the infighting that led to break-ups and reunions, the wild back-stage mingling amid groupies and substances, and the financial collapses that defied their spotlight. This scene depicting the group members’ mothers’ rage at receiving a check for $1.87 after a sprawling and highly successful tour is typical:

“Normally biopics are padded with dramatic falsehoods for entertainment,” wrote Billboard’s Niki McGloster, “but as the executive producers of the film, New Edition kept the story true to how they lived it.”

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Introducing 2016 Viacom Employee Halloween Costume Contest Winner Allison Rube…Madonna at the 1984 VMAs

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Congratulations to Allison Rube (aka Madonna), on winning Viacom’s 2016 Employee Halloween Costume Contest.

Rube channeled the Queen of Pop’s iconic 1984 MTV VMA red carpet style with an all-white ensemble. Rube is a huge Madonna fan, and labored over finding each part of her costume—from the rocker-chic wedding dress to the white gloves and nameplate belt.

 

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Allison Rube may not have won a Moonman, but she’s the winner of Viacom’s 2016 Employee Halloween Costume Contest for her version of Madonna’s 1984 VMA ensemble.

We caught up with the winner to discuss her retro look.

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The Must-See Moments of the 2016 VMAs

It wasn’t VH1’s Hip Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens, but women ruled the VMAs this year. MTV’s flagship award show took place Sunday, August 28 at Madison Square Garden, and featured a host of first-name-only divas, from Rihanna to Beyoncé to Britney (and back to Rihanna).

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Alicia Keys had a front row seat at the 2016 VMAs. Photo courtesy of MTV.

As always, the VMAs were a cultural phenomenon. We can quantify this in new ways thanks to social media. The 33rd annual ceremony drew nearly 50 million streams on Facebook, and tripled in Snapchat impressions since last year. According to Nielsen, the VMAs produced 90 percent of TV social conversation that night.

Read more to find out why the VMAs broke the internet.

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2016 MTV VMAs: The Multi-Platform Juggernaut Smashing Our Video Records

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

There really isn’t anything else to add to the graphic below, other than “wow.” The MTV VMAs, a decades-long cultural mainstay, continue to evolve in startling ways that flood the matrix of digital and social channels where our fans live. Get the details below, the highlights (Beyoncé, Kanye, Rihanna, Drake and more) here, and the full show here.

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MTV Slays at the Cannes Lions Festival: Let’s Hear a Roar of Applause

Every year in June, hundreds of creative agencies, tech companies and media powerhouses converge in the South of France for The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. It’s a celebration of the year’s boldest ad campaigns; a chance to attend seminars with industry experts and drink champagne on yachts along the French Riviera.

The most visionary companies leave with the coveted Cannes Lyon Award—essentially the Oscar trophy of the advertising world.

You might remember 2015’s trippy, GIF-inspired VMA green-screen. The creative encouraged fans to download photos of their favorite VMA artists, such as Miley Cyrus, and customize them with fan art, emojis, and flying tacos.

Now the psychedelic promo has won a Cannes Gold Lion.

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Shauna Thomas Gives Back to Local Girls With the Yellow Rose Project

Shauna Thomas still catches herself getting surprised when friends call her inspiring. As the founder of the Yellow Rose Project, this is something she will have to get used to. Her project aims to help teenage girls who have lost their mothers to terminal illness. Thomas wants to motivate these girls and set them up for a brilliant future —starting with prom night.

Thomas was 7 when her mother passed away, and she was raised by her grandmother and aunt. Although she was lucky to have strong female role models in her life, she lacked the special attention only a mother can provide.

“Prom is a coming-of-age moment,” said Thomas. “It’s a celebration of adulthood—one of the key moments where you need a mother’s guidance.”

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Shauna Thomas was inspired by her late grandmother, left, and her late mother, right, to start the Yellow Rose Project.

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An MTV Intern’s Magic Red Carpet Ride Reveals Celebs’ Charity Interests

For the second year in a row, Viacom’s social impact umbrella, Viacommunity, held a company-wide intern contest with College Relations to choose the Viacommunity correspondent at the 2015 MTV VMAs. Interns from across the company sent in impressive video submissions to Viacommunity telling us why they deserved to be this year’s correspondent and the importance of talking with celebs about social causes.

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Can You Read This? Because MTV Just Broke the Internet

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

We’ll forgive you if it took you a while to get to this post – you may have been struggling to get back online after the 2015 MTV VMAs shredded the Internet.

The most tweeted non-sports broadcast of all time. Over half a billion social engagements. A 556 percent year-over-year increase in app streams. 556 percent! Keep that one in your back pocket for the next time some Facebook wise guy throws up a pedantic post about how there’s no percentage higher than 100.

Here, let’s have Miley walk you through the minute-by-minute Twitter traffic:

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#ViacommunityDay VMA Trip Winner Is Katie Maggio

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom
Katie and the other Viacommunity volunteers pose with one of the bideawee pups they spent the day with.

Katie and the other Viacommunity volunteers pose with one of the bideawee pups they spent the day with.

Viacom employees flooded their followers’ newsfeeds with more than 1,800 Twitter and Instagram posts flooded on May 15, answering our call to share their Viacommunity Day experiences with the wider world using the #ViacommunityDay. As of our latest count, this lead to 31,500 likes, comments and shares – more than 2.6 times last year’s engagement. Read More