120 Minutes

MTV - Music Television (ended 2003)


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120 Minutes

Show Summary

120 Minutes was a weekly television show dedicated to alternative music and college radio that aired on MTV and MTV2 from 1986-2003. The show was hosted by several MTV VJs early in its run (e.g., Alan Hunter, J.J. Jackson, Kevin Seal), but it developed a clearer focus by 1988 with its first long-term host, Dave Kendall (the show's original producer). The video playlist also focused more on artists popular in college and alternative radio (e.g., R.E.M., Siouxsie & the Banshees, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sonic Youth), rather than on "light rotation" videos.

As the show progressed into the 1990s, it began to feature live musical performances and occasional guest hosts (e.g., Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins), as well as a new rotation of show hosts (e.g., Lewis Largent, Matt Pinfield). 120 Minutes also featured the hosts appearing at different musical events, such as Lollapalooza, the Tibetan Freedom Concert, and England's Reading Festival, often conducting live interviews with musical acts present. In the United Kingdom, 120 Minutes was also featured on MTV in the mid-1990s, hosted for two years by ex-Wonder Stuff frontman Miles Hunt.

During its run, 120 Minutes became known as a reliable source for new alternative music as well as groundbreaking artists pushing through into the mainstream. However, in the spring of 2000, MTV decided to cancel regular airings of 120 Minutes in order to make room for other developing shows on the channel (arguably, for shows that were seen to be more profitable). Nevertheless, 120 Minutes eventually moved to MTV2 in 2001, where it was able to continue its broadcast for the following two years, including another rotation of show hosts (e.g., Dave Holmes, Chris Booker, Jancee Dunn, Jim Shearer). Shearer, the final show host, brought 120 Minutes to an eventual end on May 4th, 2003. Shortly afterwards, MTV2 began airing a similar version of 120 Minutes called Subterranean.


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Music, Talk & Interview


Entertainment, Showcase