MTV's Launch Anniversary: One 'Giant Leap' for Entertainment Programming
It may not be Thursday, but today warrants a very important throwback.August 1st marks the anniversary of the MTV’s launch in 1981. Its creation, and its various shows, including the very popular Total Request Live (TRL), set the stage for the future of video and music programming. With the start of MTV, music videos began to occupy a pivotal role in establishing new artists and making hit records.At exactly 12:01 a.m Eastern Time, on this day, in '81, the words "Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” were uttered by John Lack. Paired with footage of the launching of the space shuttles Columbia and Apollo 11, these words signaled MTV’s formal debut. The very first music video shown on the channel was The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Although the significance of this moment may have gone unrecognized at first, the video proved to be a ‘giant leap’ for pop culture.The effect of MTV was immediately apparent, as young adults became increasingly fascinated with music videos, which changed the way fans were able to experience and interact with their favorite artists and songs. Not only was the advent of music videos a monumental moment in pop culture history, but so was the introduction of MTV’s video jockeys -- young hosts of the channel’s programming who quickly became considered celebrity figures.In addition to MTV’s programming, MTV’s awards show, the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), provided young adults and teenagers with an engaging (and in the eyes of many parents, often provocative) production. To this day, the VMAs draws viewers from all over the world. It seems that the award show’s popularity was immediately established with Madonna’s unforgettable live performance of “Like a Virgin.”MTV continues to set trends today with new shows and unique programming. It is only fitting that on this anniversary, legendary rapper Snoop Dogg announced his newest endeavor on the network - a comedy series that focuses upon two twenty-something best friends who run an all-female cannabis delivery service in Los Angeles. The cannabis scripted show was announced this morning by MERRY JANE, Snoop Dogg and Ted Chung's premier media platform that lies at the intersection of cannabis and pop culture. The scripted cannabis television show, “Mary + Jane”, is a product of a partnership between MERRY JANE, MTV, Entertainment 360, and writing/directing team and executive producers Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont. It will be the network's first show within the cannibas space.Today’s anniversary is a reminder of how groundbreaking the channel was, and continues to be, to entertainment programming. The music industry and pop culture wouldn’t be the same without MTV’s legacy.After all, a world without the videos for Britney’s “Baby One More Time” and 'N Sync’s “Tearin’ Up My Heart” would be a tragic world indeed.