Get ready to relive your childhood. MuchMusic is coming back.
“The nation’s music station,” for all intents and purposes, has been dead for years. Under the ownership of Bell Media, the Canadian TV network gradually scaled back all the music videos, lost all the VJs and killed most of its original content. It’s still there on your TV dial as a zombie channel named just Much, but it mostly plays old episodes of South Park and The Simpsons. Even the MMVAs, the annual Queen West awards show that was the last bastion of the brand, has been on hiatus for the last few years – even before the pandemic.
But according to a press release sent by Bell Media this morning, MuchMusic will be back on July 7.
A collaboration with TikTok, the new MuchMusic will be a “content-driven digital first network.” Much is reviving three of its classic shows – MuchMusic Spotlight, Video On Trial and Intimate And Interactive – but those shows will now be on the “exclusive home” of TikTok.
VJs are also coming back. There will be a “soon-to-be-introduced lineup of uniquely talented and diverse” hosts. There will be “artist-hosted tent-pole events” and live performances.
There have been a number of attempts to revive or build a new version of the MuchMusic. Right now, former sock puppet VJ-turned centrist online commentator Ed the Sock (aka Steven Kerzner) is launching an online music video channel called NewMusicNation that aims to bring back the “spirit” of the old MuchMusic.
But this is a relaunch from the company that owns it. The relaunch is being helmed by the team behind TSN’s BarDown – the sports network’s more online and social-media-friendly brand.
Like Speakers’ Corner, the old anyone-can-say-anything booth that has been revived by Rogers on Citytv, MuchMusic tends to inspire a lot of nostalgia from Canadians remembering the 80s (and 90s and 2000s). But Bell Media’s Stewart Johnston specifically says this will “speak directly to Gen Z and younger Millennials.”
“MuchMusic has played an essential part in shaping the musical landscape for generations,” says Adam Burchill, of TikTok Canada in the release. “Today, TikTok is redefining the way that fans discover and engage with their favourite music and artists, and I’m excited for our platform to bring MuchMusic to a new generation of fans not just in Canada, but around the world.”