MTV Launches MTV Studios With "Daria", "Made", "Real World" & "Aeon Flux" Revivals

Skip to first unread message


Jun 21, 2018, 10:44:32 AM6/21/18
MTV is ramping up production operations and getting into producing
programming for other buyers with the launch of MTV Studios. It will
be focused largely on developing and producing reboots, revivals and
spin-offs of series from MTV’s library of more than 200 young adult
titles in addition to new shows, predominantly unscripted.

MTV Studios’ initial slate includes animated comedy Daria & Jodie, a
reimagining of MTV’s 1990s feminist series Daria, from writer Grace
Edwards (Inside Amy Schumer); an update of the Emmy-winning coming-
of-age unscripted series Made as well as recently reported live-
action remake of MTV’s animated sci-fi series Aeon Flux, from Teen
Wolf creator Jeff Davis; and a return of the network’s
groundbreaking reality series The Real World with Bunim/Murray

On the original concept front, MTV Studios’ slate includes two new
shows, The Valley (working title), a timely coming-of-age docuseries
in the spirit of The Hills and Siesta Key which follows a group of
young friends growing up in the Valley town of Nogales, Arizona, a
city split in half, with one side in the United States and the other
in Mexico. The other is MTV’s Straight Up Ghosted, which follows
young people trying to reconnect with lost friends, lovers and
family members and confront them about why they have been ghosted.

Daria & Jodie, The Real World and Aeon Flux all are being pitched to
streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix and Apple.

While MTV president Chris McCarthy noted that the network is
“thriving” on a cable platform, “it is a little bit more limiting
than it used to be, so the story that we tell on traditional cable
are going to be very different than the stories that we would tell
in SVOD.”

Because the younger side of MTV’s traditional target demo of persons
12-34, the 12 to 17-year-olds, do most of their viewing online, MTV
plans to reach them there. (Anything for) the younger set of the
demo is going to be more on the SVOD partners. Anything in the 20
plus is going to be more for our traditional cable platform,”
McCarthy said. “Things that are in the animation space, things that
are in pure music longform, things that are in the teen and high
school space — those are the things that we’re going to be looking
more in the SVOD space. The traditional amplified and louder
versions of unscripted reality, we’re going to continue to focus on
that in cable.”

MTV did consider rebooting The Real World for the network before
opting to go to SVOD. “We love the franchise, but what is so special
about it is the purity of it. It didn’t have gimmicks, it didn’t
have tricks, it didn’t have all the extra bells and whistles that
the days unscripted required to work on cable,” McCarthy said. “You
have a whole different generation of young people that are growing
up that didn’t experience cable in the way you and I did. And so
we’re able to go and actually retell that story, updated of course,
with new characters, new tensions, new real-life issues, but still
stay totally pure to the clean idea of what Real World was without
having to basterdize it in order to make it work for traditional

The same decision was made about the new Daria and Aeon Flux shows.
“It’s better served for us to bring that out and look to partner
with a SVOD (platform) because it’s where the audience is looking
for that type of scripted,” McCarthy said of the latter. As for The
Valley, it could go either way. “We can focus it more on the high
school side of it in which case it could actually be more for an
SVOD partner; if we focus more on the older side of it, it will
probably land more for our own platform,” McCarthy said.

The Real World is being done through MTV Studios and Bunim-Murray.
MTV Studios is expected to produce most of its slate itself, only
occasionally collaborating with an outside producer, in most cases
someone the network has a strorng relationship with, like Bunim-
Murray and Jersey Shore‘s SallyAnn Salsano.

McCarthy noted that it is possible for MTV Studios to take another
stab at rebooting MTV animated staple Beavis and Butt-Head after a
recent short-lived revival on the cable network. This time it would
be for SVOD. Ditto for a retrospective series MTV is planning for
the upcoming 30th anniversary of Unplugged, which the company is
potentially aiming at a music driven streaming platform.

For now, all SVOD-bound shows will be shopped to outside platforms
though Viacom CEO Bob Bakish has indicated that there are plans for
Viacom-branded direct-to-consumer services down the road.

The creation of MTV Studios had been in works for about a year,
since McCarthy and head of programming Nina L. Diaz returned to MTV.
“One of the big things that Nina and I wanted to do when we came
back was to really move back into a Build Model and away from a Buy
Model,” McCarthy said.

MTV Studios will start with a stronger focus on series based on “the
iconic IP because quite often that’s where the demand is;. re-
inventions and re-imaginations are fueling so many different peoples
growth,” McCarthy said. “I think it’ll eventually shift to a more of
a 50-50 and hopefully to a 40-60. But, I think in the beginning,
just based on demand, we’ll be a little bit more in the iconic.”

MTV owns the IP of most of the series that have aired on the network
over the years, including shows produced by outside companies, like
The Real World.

As for unscripted vs. scripted, “we cut our teeth in the unscripted
phase; I think that’s really where we thrive,” McCarthy said. “We do
really well in certain scripted stories that really appeal to us;
they have traditionally been more in the animated phase and then the
young adults phase.”

MTV is currently the fastest growing network on TV, with viewership
in prime time up 21% year-over-year. Additionally, MTV attracted 2.9
billion streams in 2018, up +83% YoY, and has amassed more than 350
million social followers globally.

Here is a promo for MTV Studios and details about the projects from
its launch slate:

“DARIA & JODIE” (wt)
The iconic animated franchise is reinvented through the eyes of
heroine Daria Morgendorffer and one of her closest friends Jodie
Landon. These two smart young women take on the world, with their
signature satirical voice while deconstructing popular culture,
social classes, gender and race.
Writer: Grace Edwards (Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt, Loosely Exactly
Nicole, Inside Amy Schumer)
Production Company: MTV Studios

This cult anime classic is back for a live action remake, as the
badass heroine assassin Aeon Flux teams up with a group of
biohacking rebels in the not too distant dystopian future to battle
a brutally repressive regime and save humanity.
Executive Producers: Jeff Davis (“Teen Wolf,” “Criminal Minds”) and
Gale Ann Hurd (“The Walking Dead,” “Fear of the Walking Dead”)
Production Company: MTV Studios

The show that invented modern reality television returns to its
roots. This reconnection to innocence for the trailblazing series
strips away the polarization and cold anonymity of social media, the
din of the 24-hour news cycle, and the facades of the instafamous
culture to find out what happens “when seven strangers are picked to
live in a house…stop being polite and start getting real.”
Production Company: MTV Studios and Bunim/Murray Productions

The groundbreaking, Emmy-winning life makeover series returns. In a
world of 2D Instagram transformations, MADE pairs talented young
underdogs with experts for face to face coaching for total life,
real life reinventions.
Production Company: MTV Studios

In the spirit of “The Hills” and “The City,” this new show follows
a group of attractive 20 somethings in a classic coming of age
docu-series featuring first loves, relationships and life decisions
– with a twist. This group of young people is living in “The Valley”
of Nogales, Arizona, a town along the border of the United States
and Mexico. This is the real life story of friends who are growing
up on the edge of two countries, two cities as they share one
Valley, their youth and common bond.
Production Company: MTV Studios

While social media has connected the world more than ever, it has
also undercut our ability to deeply connect and communicate. Today,
critical relationship-ending conversations and confrontations have
faded into digital dialogue or worse “ghosting.” This series
explores real stories of real people who vanished by blocking them,
and unlocks the reality and uncomfortable truth to satisfy the
ultimate question–why did you leave me?
Production Company: MTV Studios

Brian Gregory

Jun 22, 2018, 12:54:26 PM6/22/18

Jun 26, 2018, 8:10:46 PM6/26/18
This sounds pretty cool. Thanks for sharing the news. I hope the ides comes to fruition. We will see...
Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages