MTV - Music Television (ended 2008)


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Total Request Live (commonly known as TRL) is a television program on MTV that features popular music videos. The program plays the top ten most requested videos of the day, as requested by viewers who can vote by phone or online. The countdown starts with the tenth most requested video and ends with the most requested. The program generally airs every weekday for one hour. The roots of TRL go back to 1997 when MTV began producing MTV Live (originally hosted by British VJ Toby Amies) from a studio in Times Square in New York. MTV Live featured celebrity interviews, musical performances, and regular news updates. Music videos were not the major focus of the program. During the same time period, MTV aired a countdown show simply called Total Request, hosted by Carson Daly. Total Request was far more subdued, as Daly introduced music videos from an empty, dimly lit set. As the show progressed and gained more momentum with viewers tuning in, it was soon added to the list of daytime programming during MTV's Summer Share in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. The countdown would end up being one of the most watched and most interactive shows in recent MTV history that summer, proving that it had potential to become an even larger success by combining with the element of live television. By the fall of 1998, MTV producers decided to merge the real-time aspect of MTV Live and the fan-controlled countdown power of Total Request into Total Request Live, which made its official premiere from the MTV Studios in New York on September 14, 1998. The show has since grown to become MTV's unofficial flagship program. The widely known acronym of TRL was adopted as the official title of the show in February 1999, after former VJ's Carson Daly and Dave Holmes began using it on air regularly. The program is now rarely, if not ever, referred to as its original title Total Request Live. TRL spent its first year developing a cult-type following, by spring 2000 the countdown reached its peak, becoming a very recognizable pop culture icon in its first two years of existence; however, its influence seems to have greatly diminished since. TRL is MTV's prime outlet for music videos nowadays as the network continues to concentrate on reality-based programming. In addition to the music videos, TRL has daily guests as it is a popular promotion tool used by many musicians, actors, and other celebrities to promote their newest works to the show's target teen audience. Music videos that air on TRL are subject to a general "retirement" rule, that they may only remain on the countdown for a limited amount of days, the current cap is 50 days (previously 65, this number was reduced in 2002 in order to promote more diversity and give other artists a chance to enter the top ten). Artists who do manage to hang onto the countdown and reach retirement are awarded with a plaque, commemorating their achievement. On October 23, 2002, TRL celebrated its 1,000th episode. The show reached its seventh anniversary in September 2005, maintaining its stake as MTV's longest-running live program. In 2003, Carson Daly stepped down as the host of TRL in order to host NBC's Last Call. The show is currently hosted by a revolving door of VJs including Damien Fahey, Hilarie Burton, Quddus, La La Vasquez, Vanessa Minnillo, and Susie Castillo. On November 16, 2008 after 10 years on the air, TRL ended with a three hour long farewell celebration. Joining the party, were many famous celebrities, who helped define TRL, stopping by to reflect on their favorite TRL moments and also returning were the show's hosts throughout the years including Carson Daly.moreless

    News Briefs: Sex and the City's Sarah Jessica Parker Is Returning to TV

    Plus: Diane Sawyer's leaving ABC World News, Natasha Lyonne joins Girls, and Jillian Michaels departs The Biggest Loser.


    Graden Goes, Will MTV Change Forever?

    Brian Graden, the mastermind behind a bevy of MTV's powerhouse reality shows, is stepping down after 13 years at Viacom. As President of Entertainment, he was responsible for TRL, Jackass, The Osbournes, The Hills, Pimp My Ride and America's Best Dance Crew.

  • Damien Fahey

    Damien Fahey

    Co-Host (2002 - Present)

    Hilarie Burton

    Hilarie Burton

    Co-Host (2000 - Present)

    Vanessa Minnillo

    Vanessa Minnillo

    Co-Host (2003 - Present)

    Susie Castillo

    Susie Castillo

    Co-Host (2005 - Present)

    La La

    La La

    Co-Host (2003 - Present)



    Co-Host (2001 - Present)

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    • Gave me the whos who of who I liked to listen to.

      GREAT!! The perfect show. (Think I used who enough times LOL).
    • Greatness!

      Carson Daly is a great show! I used to "sing" all the time to this show because karaoke is FUUUUUUUUN. Everyone loves karaoke.... what a great concept for fans who enjoy music and karaoke!
    • The show that provided the musical score for my second (third?) childhood!

      In its heyday, TRL was the defining moment of the day for all us pop princess and would-be hiphop heroes. We didn't have to be on the streets of New York City below the studio, screaming up at the Backstreet Boys, NSync or Eminem. We could watch from across the country and feel like we were there, believing ourselves to be young and carefree, just months before the attack on the Twin Towers.

      Carson Daly was the man. Snarky and too smart for his own good, he defied the latter by getting engaged to Tara Reid, then after their famous breakup in June of 2001, he was forced to welcome her to TRL along with the rest of the cast from 'American Pie 2.' It was moments like these that kept us watching.

      As someone far past her school days, I was forced to tape the show every day and watch it back later. Why was I so fascinated? After a decade of dealing with sick parents (who had both passed on by the time I rediscovered the Top 40) and moving up the 'corporate ladder,' I was ready to relax and have fun again.

      And it was fun. Those spring break specials! Those summertime beach locations. Those memorable appearances--like the infamous meltdown of Mariah Carey and her "ice cream for everyone." And, oh yeah, the countdown. We loved the countdown.

      Everything changed after Sept. 11. MTV went dark for a day or so, and when TRL reconvened to supposedly help a stunned (young) America cope, it was strained and strange. Carson Daly moved on shortly after. And, for me, that was the end of my Year of Living Foolishly. I still tuned in from time to time, but the pop music I loved had lost its foothold on the music scene and the show seemed more inane than innate.

      But, man, it was fun while it lasted!moreless
    • Good music show.

      This is a pretty good show, if you're into music. I'm a huge music fan, and I love counting down with the hosts to see whose going to be at the top of the charts that day. I love the MTV news that catches up on the gossip in Hollywood too. They have guest stars galore; and the guest stars are wonderful at that. They get the A-List music and movie stars to come and debut their music video, or advertise their movie. I think this show is one of the last music shows on MTV that I actually watch. :)moreless
    • Genre Music videos Starring Damien Fahey Vanessa Minnillo Susie Castillo La La Vasquez Country of origin United States

      Total Request Live (commonly known as TRL) is the flagship television series on MTV that features popular music videos. TRL is MTV's prime outlet for music videos as the network continues to concentrate on reality-based programming. In addition to music videos, TRL features daily guests. The show is a popular promotion tool used by musicians, actors, and other celebrities to promote their newest works to the show's target teen demographic.

      TRL plays the top ten most requested videos of the day, as requested by viewers who vote online for their favorite video. The countdown starts with the tenth most requested video and ends with the most requested. The show generally airs Monday through Thursday for one hour, though the scheduling and length of the show have fluctuated over the years. Despite the word "Live" in the title of the show, many episodes are actually pre-recorded.

      This summer, the show will be relaunched and renamed, possibly to YouRL, with a heavily web-based, interactive format including home viewers able to communicate live by the use of SightSpeed on their home computers.. "While the show is still in development, YouRL is the leading title," an article in Broadcasting & Cable confirmed.moreless

    More Info About This Show


    celebrity cameos, tween sensation, musical numbers, music and dancing