Total Request Live (partially found MTV series; 1998-2008)
Total Request Live was an American television program broadcast on MTV that premiered on September 14, 1998. The series featured popular music videos played during its countdown and was also used as a promotion tool by musicians, actors, and other celebrities to promote their newest works to the show's target teen demographic.
Total Request Live started out as MTV Live and Total Request, then these 2 shows merged to form Total Request Live. There was also TRL Weekend which ran from September 25, 1999 to February 19, 2000 and TRL Presents: VJ For A Day which ran from January 2 to May 18, 2001.
During the original run of the program, TRL played the ten most requested music videos of the day, as voted by viewers via phone or online. The show generally aired Monday through Thursday for one hour, though the scheduling and length of the show fluctuated over the years. Although TRL was billed as a live show, many episodes were actually pre-recorded. Due to declining ratings, and the larger secular decline of music-based television in favor of online services, MTV would announce the cancellation of TRL on September 15, 2008. The special three-hour finale episode, Total Finale Live, aired on November 16, 2008.
Total Request Live Episode #1360's Animated Segments (April 23, 2004)
On April 23, 2004, TRL would have a special animation-themed episode that would feature animated segments of its VJs (Quddus, Damien, La La, Hilarie and Vanessa) interviewing famous cartoon stars. This was said to include The Powerpuff Girls (possibly with Hilarie and/or Vanessa by process of elimination), the main trio of The Fairly OddParents (with Quddus) and Stewie Griffin from Family Guy (with Damien). An account from the time also stated Peter Griffin got a call in, and there seems to be an additional interview with La La alongside video game icon Sly Cooper to promote Sly 2: Band of Thieves. The animated music video for New Found Glory's "All Downhill from Here" would debut in the special as well, ending up becoming very popular on the program.
Stewie would insult Britney Spears by comparing her career to his diaper, possibly make a statement about Jessica Simpson losing her leg due to stupidity in 5 years and ridicule Damien. Meanwhile, the Fairly OddParents segment would oddly feature no background music from the show, suggesting a similar case for the other segments.
Despite featuring iconic cartoon characters from competing companies, only the Fairly OddParents and Sly Cooper segments of the episode can be found today, having been included as extras on official releases of their franchises (a bonus feature on School's Out! The Musical's DVD and a hidden unlockable bonus video on non-PAL PS2 versions of Sly 2: Band of Thieves). It's possible this was to do with these other companies needing to renegotiate with TRL's parent company in order to rerelease the segments, whilst Fairly OddParents was under the same parent company and a video game company was a different case. A screenshot of the Stewie interview with Damien was also preserved through a Family Guy fansite, which offered a clip that wasn't retained by the Wayback Machine.
As of May 2023, only 13 full episodes, 4 partially lost episodes, 6 partially found episodes, 2 specials and 2 partially lost specials of Total Request Live, 4 full episodes and a partially lost episode of Total Request and a partially found episode of TRL Presents: VJ For A Day have been found but no episodes of TRL Weekend have surfaced.
- An article announcing Total Request Live's cancellation. Retrieved 21 Dec '21
- Los Angeles Times review on Total Request Live. Retrieved 21 Dec '21