MTV is looking to give the MTV Movie Awards some newfound relevancy in its 26th year. The ratings for the annual Spring “alternative” awards show have been dismal over the past few years and the network even pre-taped the 2016 event to try and create a better edited product (yeah, that was a mistake for a variety of reasons). Now, changes are in the works. Not only will the 2017 show be live again, but it will be renamed the “MTV Movie & TV Awards” to include a wider range of content.
Obviously, including TV categories means a potentially longer show, but it also means stars from popular series that fit in MTV demos thanks to expected nominees such as “Game of Thrones,” “Stranger Things” and [insert CW show here]. Whether this means some of the longstanding movie categories such as Best Kiss or Best Villain are thrown to the wayside remains to be seen (perish the thought, right?).
The MTV Movie Awards have had a bumpy history. The original intention was to do what the MTV Video Music Awards did for the music industry; have more of a party atmosphere and celebrate more commercial product (in this case blockbuster films). This led to hosts such as Will Smith, Ben Stiller and Mike Myers breaking with convention for some pretty memorable telecasts in the mid to late ’90s. The show’s ratings also enjoyed an uptick earlier this decade when the “Twilight” franchise dominated the proceedings winning the top prize for four straight years. Last year’s ratings, however, drew only 1.55 million on MTV itself down from 2.84 and 3.77 million in 2014 and 2013 respectively. Then 2016 reached 3.5 million viewers overall thanks to a simulcast on nine Viacom sister networks. Needless to say, the consistent decrease in ratings is one reason for the changes announced today.
This year’s show will be held on May 7th and returns to the Shrine Auditorium for the first time since 2005. The 2016 show was filmed on the cozy confines of the Warner Bros. lot. This year MTV will also hold a “Movie and Television Festival” that will include events in front of the Shrine the week before the ceremony which probably is more interesting for USC students and faculty (the campus is right across the street) than anyone else.
The network still has not announced a host, but recent emcees include Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, Amy Schumer, Conan O’Brien and Rebel Wilson.