MTV’s ‘TRL’ Reboot: Carson Daly Passes The Torch To Social Media Influencers—Can They Make MTV Great Again?

This is not your grandmother’s TRL. When MTV relaunches Total Request Live, it won’t feature the familiar face of Carson Daly. Instead, a rotating lineup of social media stars will host the rebooted version of the show from its original Times Square studio. Atlanta comic DC Young Fly will head a TRL “squad” that includes social media influencers Tamara Dhia and Amy Phan, as well as correspondents the Dolan Twins.

TRL was social media before social media existed,” MTV unscripted programming head Nina Diaz told Billboard.

MTV’s landmark video countdown show aired live from 1998 to 2008, and it quickly became appointment after-school TV. But today’s teens don’t need a countdown show in order to see their favorite music videos. So what will keep them tuned into TRL?

According to Billboard, new TRL host DC Young Fly has over 5 million Instagram followers. The comedian’s claim to fame is a viral Vince clip of him roasting Drake. His TRL sidekicks include Amy Pham, who is famous for a Facebook video set to “Uptown Funk,” as well as Lawrence Jackson, Tamara Dhia, and Erik Zachary.

Then there are YouTube stars Ethan and Grayson Dolan, who will serve as correspondents on the new TRL. The Dolan twins told J-14 they grew up watching MTV and that the correspondent gig on live TV is like a dream come true.

“This is live,” Grayson said. “Hopefully we don’t mess up.”

[Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

The Dolan twins will swap correspondent duties with other social media superstars like YouTuber Gigi Gorgeous, a beauty guru who was named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential People on the Internet” earlier this year. TRL fans will also see YouTube stars Eva Gutowski and Gabbie Hanna.

The original TRL featured some crazy moments. Eminem famously trolled a post-Funky Bunch Marky Mark Wahlberg on air. Mariah Carey had a memorable meltdown when she came by with an ice cream cart and incoherently rambled about needing a day off. Even a pre-presidential Donald Trump appeared on the NY-based countdown show.

[Image by Scott Gries/ImageDirect]

But the arrival of YouTube in 2005 caused TRL’s viewership to plummet. Meanwhile, non-music-based reality shows like The Hills were thriving on MTV, according to the Hollywood Reporter. After a decade on the air and 2,247 episodes hosted by Daly and subsequent hosts Damien Fahey, Hilarie Burton, Vanessa Minnillo, Quddus, La La Vasquez, and Susie Castillo, TRL signed off.

Nearly a decade later, the revival of TRL comes on the heels of MTV’s Hills-inspired reality show Siesta Key. It seems as though MTV wants to revisit its glory days and maybe play a music video or two, but only time will tell if today’s social media obsessed teens will come along for the ride.

Total Request Live returns to MTV on Oct. 2 at 3:30 p.m ET.

[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]

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