Can MuchMusic become relevant again?
Lost in all the municipal budget BS today -- at least for me -- was MuchMusic's announcement that they'll be bringing back The Wedge and RapCity. That's right, music-based programming. I suppose it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given the CRTC's recent ruling against the station's proposal to increase the amount of lifestyle programming that it airs. But, either way, it's good news for music lovers that shows with actual videos -- and not just pop-bubble-gum ones at that -- will return to regular rotation.
Perhaps even better news is that both shows will be hosted by "VJs" with some actual credibility. RapCity will be hosted by Tyrone "T-RexXx" Edwards, and Damian Abraham of Fucked Up! will do duty at the Wedge. Both of the new hosts plan on making their shows more than just video rolls with the inclusion of live performances, interviews and a possible discussion forum of musicians (in the case of the Wedge).
Along with doing something that he's always dreamed of, Abraham told Exclaim! that he hopes to help up and coming bands to gain valuable exposure on his show. "I think that's been to the detriment of some bands, not knowing how to get their music on MuchMusic. I'm kind of hoping I'm going to demystify that and do something where I help smaller bands get exposure and get smaller videos into the rotation."
It'll be very interesting to see how well the new versions of these shows are received. One would expect the critics will be pleased, but the question will be whether or not people actually tune in. I doubt, for instance, that 12-year-old Lady Gaga fans will be interested in archival footage of the Pharcyde or in some of the possible guests Abraham suggested in an interview about the show (J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. and Dean from No Age).
The key will be to attract new hip hop and indie music fans, and that'll be a tough task. But at least they have the scheduling mostly right. RapCity will hit the air on Thursday, January the 20th at 10 p.m., while the new Wedge will debut on Wednesday, January 26 at 10 p.m. The worst thing Much could have done was to air these shows on the weekend, when prospective viewers are likely to be out for the night. As it stands, they at least stand a fighting chance.
But even if they don't garner much by way of viewership -- and note well, these used to be very popular shows in their respective heydays -- it might not matter. For now MuchMusic has to air music/video-based content, so I'd think that the station will have some patience in evaluating the relative success of these "new" offerings.
Photo by Shawn Pepin on Flickr.
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