- Total Request Live
show_name = Total Request Live (TRL)
caption = Old TRL Logo
runtime = 60 minutes
Damien Fahey Lyndsey Rodrigues
country = USA
first_aired = September 14, 1998
last_aired = November 8, 2008
num_episodes = 2,000+
website = http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/trl/series.jhtml
imdb_id = 0167735
tv_com_id = 2857
"Total Request Live" (commonly known as "TRL") is the flagship
television serieson MTVthat 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 celebritiesto 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. As of October 22, 2007, "TRL"'s countdown is based on votes, charts, ringtones, download, radio airplay, and streams, meaning that the most user requested video might not be the number 1 video. 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.
It was announced on September 15, 2008 that "TRL" would be cancelled. [cite news|title=Report: MTV to Cancel TRL|url=http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6596363.html|work=Broadcasting & Cable|date=2008-09-15|accessdate=2008-09-15] On September 17, 2008, EVP of MTV Productions David Sirulnick announced on
Last Call with Carson Dalythat the final episode of "TRL" would be on November 8, 2008.
USA, the format of "Total Request Live" runs in Italyand Germany.
The roots of "TRL"
The roots of "TRL" trace back to 1997 when MTV began producing "
MTV Live" (originally hosted by British VJ Toby Amies) from the newly opened MTV studios in Times Squarein New York. "MTV Live" featured celebrity interviews, musical performances, and regular news updates. Though producers downplay the similarities, "MTV Live" shared several signature elements with Much On Demand, a live show on MuchMusic, a Canadiancompetitor's channel, including its " Good Morning America"-styled format of windows displaying onlookers on a metropolitan street. 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 prove to be one of the most watched and most interactive shows in recent MTV history, demonstrating that it had potential to become an even larger success by combining with the element of live television. It brought music to the next level with the music videos everyday, and interviews with the artist.
First generation of "TRL" (1998-2002)
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 on September 14, 1998. The show has since grown to become MTV's unofficial
The original host of "TRL",
Carson Daly, brought popularity to the show. The widely known acronym of "TRL" was adopted as the official title of the show in February 1999, after Daly and Dave Holmesbegan using the acronym on-air regularly. Since then, the program has rarely been referred to as its complete title, "Total Request Live". The Countdown started off successfully while receiving hundreds of votes for Original Favorite Pop Stars such as Aaliyah, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguileraand Backstreet Boys.
"TRL" spent its first year developing a cult-type following. In the fall of 1999, a live studio audience was added to the show. By spring 2000, the countdown reached its peak, becoming a very recognizable pop culture icon in its first two years of existence. A weekend edition of the show known as "TRL Weekend", with a countdown consisting an average of the week's Top 10, aired for a short time in 2000.
Some evolutionary changes were made to "TRL" throughout the next couple of years. The show received a new set and on-screen graphics for the debut of the fall 2001 season. A year later, on October 23, 2002, "TRL" celebrated its 1,000th episode. The #1 video on that day was "
Dirrty" by Christina Aguilera. Also throughout the year of 2002, original host Carson Daly would be seen gradually less and less.
Second generation (2003-present)
In 2003, the next generation of "TRL" was ushered in as Carson Daly officially stepped down as host. He left the show to host his own talk show,
NBC's "Last Call", which premiered a year earlier. Since Daly stepped down, a revolving door of VJs have hosted "TRL", including Damien Fahey, Vanessa Minnillo, Quddus, La La Vasquez, Susie Castillo, and Hilarie Burton. Some of these VJs made their debut on the show in earlier years, so they already had the opportunity to host the show on days in which Carson Daly was not present.
Some changes were made to "TRL"'s voting process in 2005. The show previously allowed anyone to vote online multiple times, but as part of these changes, only registered members on MTV.com could vote online. Additionally, a limit of one vote per day was added. Then, on July 10, 2006, MTV announced that votes would no longer be taken by phone, ending the legacy of the phone number "1-800-DIAL-MTV", which had been in use for voting on MTV since the premiere of the countdown show "
Dial MTV" in the early 1990s.
In September 2006, "TRL" reached its eighth anniversary, and it continues to be the longest-running live program that MTV has ever produced. It is also the third longest-running program of all time in the network's history, following behind the "
The Real World", which has aired for the past 14 years, and " 120 Minutes", which aired for 17 years. Around this time, "TRL" began airing officially on just four days a week (Monday through Thursday), as opposed to all five weekdays.
On November 2, 2006, "TRL" debuted what was billed as the first ever
hip-hop public service announcementon global warming. The three-minute piece, titled "Trees," warned about deforestation and the dangers of global warming. The video corresponded with MTV's social campaign, "Break the Addiction", as part of "think MTV".
The current hosts of "TRL", as of 2008, are
Damien Faheyand Lyndsey Rodrigues. Additionally, Stephen Colletti, former cast member on "", has appeared on "TRL" as host numerous times. The rest of the VJs are working on separate projects. La La Vasquezis working on what is going to be her debut rap album Fact|date=February 2007, Hilarie Burtonis working on episodes of "One Tree Hill", and Quddus is working on a movie.
On May 22, 2007, "TRL" celebrated its 2000th episode, showing highlights from the past 2000 episodes, and a special countdown of ten of the most successful videos to ever appear on the show.
Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" topped the special countdown.
Rumors of Cancellation and Rebranding
In 2007, rumors stating that the ratings challenged
music videocountdown show was to be cancelled began circulating. In early 2007, an average of 373,000 viewers regularly watched the program.cite web|last=Hau|first=Louis|title=R.I.P. For MTV's TRL?|url=http://www.forbes.com/business/businesstech/2007/02/15/mtv-trl-viacom-tech-media-cx_lh_0215mtv.html|work=Forbes|date=2007-02-15|accessdate=2007-02-17] " New York Daily News" were one of the first to publish this rumor. In February 2007, MTV said the rumor was unfounded and claimed "TRL" will continue to air for the foreseeable future.
The producers of "Total Request Live" experimented with web-based viewer interaction throughout the 2006–2007 season, showing
viral videos, allowing viewers to send feedback on a video via internet forums and webcams, along with a heavy emphasis on MTV's since discontinued Overdrive video portal. However, MTV still secretly planned to cancel the show and replace one with even more emphasis on viewer interaction, named "YouRL" (a homophoneof URL.) [cite news|last=Becker|first=Anne|title=MTV Favors 'YouRL' Swap for 'TRL'|url=http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6437771.html|work=Broadcasting & Cable|date=2007-04-30|accessdate=2008-05-09]
Consequently, in July 2007, it was reported that "YouRL" was not received well by test audiences and that the concept of YouRL has been abandoned for the time being. "Total Request Live" proceeded with a new season as usual on September 4, marking the tenth season of "Total Request"/"Total Request Live".cite news|last=Widdicombe|first=Ben|title=New York Minute|url=http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/bwiddicombe/2007/07/16/2007-07-16_for_davis_the_bucks_stop_heir.html |work=New York Daily News|date=2007-07-16|accessdate=2007-07-17]
It was announced on September 15, 2008 that "TRL" would be cancelled, with a two hour special marking the end of the show sometime in November. [cite news|title=Report: MTV to Cancel TRL|url=http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6596363.html|work=Broadcasting & Cable|date=2008-09-15|accessdate=2008-09-15]
"TRL" is widely viewed as the show that launched the careers of many teen artists from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Without the popularity and influence of "TRL", the following artists may not have enjoyed the amount of success they achieved.
Even though clean-cut boy bands like
The Backstreet Boysand 'N Syncreached success before "TRL" began in the fall of 1998, both groups only reached their commercial peaks after their videos were seen on "TRL". In 1999, the Backstreet Boys' second LP, "Millennium", achieved the highest first week sales ever from an LP, thanks in part to the many "TRL" fans who closed down the streets of Times Square in order to see the group live on the show.
'N Sync also appeared on "TRL" in 2000, when their second LP, "
No Strings Attached", topped the Backstreet Boys' first week sales. Once again, the large number of fans in attendance closed down the streets of Times Square. Throughout most of 1998, 1999, and 2000, videos by the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC would claim the #1 position on the countdown.
Pop singers like
Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Jessica Simpsonall made their music debuts on "TRL" as well. She became regular on the show and would often appear as a guest. When the Backstreet Boys or 'N Sync did not have a current video on the countdown, a video by Britney Spears would most likely take the #1 position. Simpson wouldn't enjoy the same type of success until four years later, when she starred in "", an MTV reality show. The series helped her videos become moderate hits on "TRL". Mandy Mooresaw success on the show with her debut single's "Candy" in 1999 and " I Wanna Be with You", but did not get her first number one video until her 2002 single "Crush" which she also performed on the show. Jessica Simpson's younger sister Ashlee Simpsonis another pop princess that has had some success on "TRL" with her first music video " Pieces of Me" in 2004. Ashlee Simpson had 3 videos in the # 1 and one close to retirement, Ashlee had a first # 1 video than her sister Jessica. She would go on to score a number of #1 videos on the show.
The artist with the most current retirees videos is the pop princess
Britney Spearswith 13 videos retired, a honorary retired video (I'm A Slave For You) and 3 videos retired # 1.
An unusual pop princess streak occurred in March 2007: The number one and number two spots were women for every show. There was no other month in the history of "TRL" where every show had a woman at the top spot. [ [http://www.popfusion.net/forums/showthread.php?t=43280 ATRL - TRL Recap (March & April 2007) ] ] [http://trlarchive.popfusion.net/]
Vanessa Hudgenspremiered "Come Back to Me" which peaked at number 4, and " Say OK" which only made it to #10. The Jonas Brothershave had their songs "Hold On", and "SOS" premiere, "SOS" made it on the countdown peaking at #6. " When You Look Me in the Eyes" was on the charts for several weeks before peaking at #1, after Jonas-fans crushed and flooded the TRL site by requesting hundreds of times on March 19, 2008, " Burnin' Up" has also made it to the #1 spot on TRL. Aly & AJ's videos for " Rush" " Chemicals React" and " Potential Breakup Song" have all been on the "TRL" countdown with "Rush" peaking at #2 "Chemicals React" peaking at #4, and "Potential Breakup Song" peaking at #6. Ashley Tisdalepremiered "He Said She Said" on TRL and it reached the #1 spot for four days, the song was also performed on the show.
"TRL" in popular culture
* "TRL" has been parodied countless times on
sketch comedyshows such as " Robot Chicken", " MADtv", " Saturday Night Live", " All That", and " Chappelle's Show".
* The show was parodied on the
MTV2program " Wonder Showzen". In the first season episode "Nature", the show was parodied as "Total Racewar Live", hosted by "Wonder Showzen"'s black supremacistcharacter Rufus Truthfist, it was also shot at the actual TRL stage.
* Fictional episodes of "TRL", shot at the actual "TRL" studio in Times Square, were featured in the 2001 films "Josie and the Pussycats", "
Joe Dirt", and " On The Line", as well as a 2002 episode of "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" ("Total Sabrina Live").
* The show was referenced in the song "
White America" by Eminem: "I go to "TRL", look how many hugs I get."
* In "
Drake and Josh Go Hollywood", Damien Fahey introduces Drake Parker and his band before they play the song "Hollywood Girl" in Hollywood.
* Fictional episodes of "TRL" were shot for "The Post-It Always Sticks Twice" episode of "
Sex and the City", during Season 6. The episode starred Jason Lewis as "Smith", Samantha Jones' ( Kim Cattrall's) boyfriend. He featured as a guest host on "TRL".
* In the May issue of "
VIBE" Magazine, "TRL" was listed as the #11 most influential television show in the past 15 years. It stated without TRLthere would be no 106 & Parkor MTV's Direct Effect.
* In the 2001 film
Joe Dirt, before returning to Silvertown he makes an appearance on the television show "TRL" with Carson Daly. While Joe is on TRL a women calls in and claims to be his mother. Joe believes the call is legitimate and he goes to a trailer in Simi Valley, CA, to meet his parents
* The first version of TRL outside the U.S. was in
Italy. Started on MTV Italyon November 2, 1999, it was hosted by Marco Maccarini and Giorgia Surina, followed by Federico Russo and Carolina Di Domenico. Since the 2005-06 season, Surina returned to TRL with a new co-host, Alessandro Cattelan. After the 2005-06 season, the show was hosted only by Alessandro Cattelan. For the season 2007-08 the show was hosted for the first moment by Alessandro Cattelan and Elena Santarelli, and for the summer the male host was replace by Carlo Pastore. Currently, " TRL Italy" airs live daily from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. from Piazza del duomo in Milan. Throughout its 8 seasons, TRL was broadcast from Milan, Rome, Venice, Naples, Genova and Turin. "TRL Italy" is the longest-running show on MTV Italy. On December 23, 2004, a special two-hour event, "TRL #1000," was aired to celebrate the series' 1000th episode. On 2006 there is also a program called "TRL Awards" where the people choose the artist of the year via web or mobile. And on summer 2007 was aired a special weekly-appointement called "TRL Extra Live", who famous Italian singers did a mini-concert.
* The German version of "TRL" is also very successful throughout
Europe(after Italy), and it is known as "Total Request Live Germany". "TRL Germany" has the highest television ratings of all the "TRL" versions in Europe. The show is hosted by Joko and Mirjam Weichselbraunor Patrice BouédibélaTuesday - Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. "TRL Germany" is set in Berlin. "TRL Germany" is divided in 4 versions: Urban TRL, which airs Top 10 HipHop music videos every Tuesday, Rock TRL airs Top 10 Rock videos every Wednesday, regular TRL airs every Thursday with its own Top 10 and TRL XXL, with a special live guest airs every Friday.
MTV Românialaunched the Romanian version of "TRL" from an Orange concept store on Calea Victoriei(a major commercial avenue in the center of Bucharest) on January 23, 2006 [ [http://www.mtv.ro/trl MTV TRL - Total Request Live ] ] . The show airs two times a week, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The graphic is similar to that of the Italian version. The show may be close in 2009.
* The British version, known as "
TRL UK", was hosted by Dave Berry, Alex Zane, Jo Good, and Maxine Akhtar. It was broadcast live from Leicester Squarein London. Following the first series' broadcast from Leicester Square, the top 10 countdown was removed from the show. The second series finished at the end of 2005. The show never returned to air, and its studios are currently being used for a weekly talk show fronted by Russell Brand, which also airs on MTV UK). Although " TRL UK" has finished its run, MTV UKstill airs the American version weekday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
Australian version of "TRL" began as a weekend show, but then began aired live Monday through Friday. It is hosted by Maz Compton, Lyndsey Rodrigues, Nathan Sapsford, and Jason Robert Dundas. In early 2006, it returned to airing only on Friday evenings. The show has since been cancelled at the end of 2006 and was replaced by "The Lair"
* After a Polish version of "TRL" was unsuccessful, MTV Poland decided to launch a new chart show based on "TRL"'s structure. Its name is "
The Interactive Chart" and it is aired from Monday to Saturday at 4 p.m. on MTV Poland.
MTV Francehas launched the French version ( _fr. "Ton Request Live") of the American show on January 24, 2007. The format was different from the original concept: there wasn't the countdown with the 10 favourite videos and in every episode there was a movie's mini-documentaries intitled _fr. "TRL en Movies". The show closed after only an episode on January 25, 2007 and it has cancelled from the schedule of MTV France.
Latin America, a version of "TRL" called " Los 10+ Pedidos" ("The 10 Most Requested") airs daily. The show is hosted by "Gabo" in the Northern and Central regions. It is hosted by Cecilia in the Southern region. A spin-off of the show, "Los 10+ Rock", is also shown every day. It focuses on the 10 most requested rock videos, based on the overall voting for "Los 10+ Pedidos". Two more spin-offs have recently appeared: "Los 10+ Pop" in the Southern region, and "Los 10+ Metal" in the Central region. [http://www.mtvla.com/los10 TRL Latin America]
Brazil, MTV airs a show similar to "TRL" known as " Disk MTV". This program was created before "TRL", existing since the launch of MTV Brazilin 1990, and has never changed its format as a top ten request show over the years. It airs weekdays from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. On December 29, 2006, MTV Brazil aired the last "Disk MTV", it had a week long special about the best videos of its 16 year run, the last video shown in the program was Nirvana's " Smells Like Teen Spirit." The show was cut due to the decision of network of not airing music videos on its 2007 schedule, claiming that videos are something that can be viewed online on their Overdrive website.
MTV Tr3s, a U.S. channel targeted to bilingual Hispanicpeople, launched "Mi TRL" in September 2006. The show carries the same format and graphics as the English version of "TRL". "Mi TRL" was initially anchored by Carlos Santosand Susie Castillo. Since then, Castillo has been with another VJ, Denise Ramerez. MTV Newssegments on the show are delivered from Los Angeles by correspondent Liz Hernandez.
CMT Most Wanted Live"
List of MTV VJs
TRL Latin America
* [http://www.mtv.com/ontv/dyn/trl/series.jhtml Official site]
* [http://www.mtv.ro/trl TRL România]
* [http://www.atrl.net/trl/ ATRL (TRL message boards; daily top ten list)]
* [http://www.atrl.net/trlarchive/ The TRL Archive]
* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cool/etc/trl.html "Merchants of cool" (PBS)]
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