Total Request Live

From Academic Kids


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 60 minutes, though the scheduling and length have occasionally fluctuated over the years.

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 a empty, dimly lit set.

MTV later decided to merge MTV Live and Total Request. On September 14, 1998, Total Request Live was born. The program has grown to become MTV's unofficial flagship program.

TRL generates a significant amount of criticism. Some viewers complain of TRL's habit of not airing complete videos. The show also allows audience members to make dedications on screen while videos are played.

Another frequent criticism that TRL faces is that it only panders to the so-called teenybopper bracket. Sketch comedy shows like Madtv, Nickelodeon's All That, and Saturday Night Live have mocked TRL in the past. On SNL, Jimmy Fallon (portraying Daly) would proclaim that he was a "massive tool!"

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.

On October 23, 2002, TRL celebrated its 1,000th episode. 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.

The British version known as TRL UK is hosted by Dave Berry, Alex Zane, Jo Jacobs, and Maxine Akhtar.

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