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the take

MTV So Irrelevant It's Looking to Broadway for a Boost

Courtesy of Legally Blonde The Musical (left) and MTV (right).

This morning the Times takes on MTV's fading relevance. Having fallen behind other brands in online music-video delivery, the network is playing catch-up with a bunch of technology initiatives, including about a dozen different ways of covering and televising this weekend's Video Music Awards — a Flickr-style photo site, virtual performances by Peter, Bjorn & John, and viewer-curated reairings. The article's a little short on details about what the network is doing once the VMAs are over to stay on the pop-culture map; currently, the only thing buzz-worthy about the network is The Hills, and the Times gets a fantastic quote from a network senior vice-president that virtually screams, "We don't know what the hell to do next!" ("The key is being everywhere, but being everywhere in the way the audience wants.")

That's why it's so great that the network is looking to the vibrant, cutting-edge world of Broadway to reverse its slide.

Michael Riedel reports that the network has struck a deal with Legally Blonde: The Musical to air a complete performance of the show next month. We're not going to snark too much because we think that the show and the network are actually a nice fit, but if we were MTV, we'd be a little embarrassed to be so out to sea that grasping at the Broadway musical seems like a bold bid to connect with today's youth.

MTV Aims to Return to Its Days of Glory [NYT]
I 'Blonde' My MTV [NYP]