“UNPLUGGED” SPECIALS WITH THE POLICE, BON JOVI, KENNY CHESNEY, MARY J. BLIGE AND JOHN MAYER TO BREAK OUT ACROSS MTV, VH1 AND CMT
Music Brands Unite to Deliver Maximum Exposure for Artists, Connecting With More Fans On-Air, Online and On Mobile
NEW YORK – May 31, 2007 – The Police, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, Mary J. Blige and John Mayer are among the multi-genre artists planned to break out the critically acclaimed “Unplugged” music franchise for new audiences across MTV, VH1 and CMT. The intimate acoustic performances will roll out in a number of upcoming “Unplugged” specials that could appear on nearly every MTV, VH1 and CMT screen – from the television to the Web to the mobile phone – providing maximum exposure for artists and the ability to cross musical generations and boundaries by connecting with diverse audiences. As legend has it, the first “Unplugged” was inspired by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora’s acoustic performance at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards.
The new multi-network, multi-genre incarnation of the Grammy Award-winning “Unplugged” will take full advantage of the world’s three premier music brands in MTV, VH1, and CMT, as well as their broad number of platforms. Bon Jovi, whose newest album, “Lost Highway” releases June 19, 2007, will kick off the first cross-network “Unplugged” on consecutive nights beginning June 22, 2007, with each airing tailored for the specific audiences of MTV, VH1 and CMT. Each of the shows will then be available respectively on MTV.com, VH1.com and CMT.com after the on air premiere.
“When ‘Unplugged’ first premiered, it ushered in a new era of intimacy between artists and fans,” said Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks’ Music, Logo & Films Group. “Today, ‘Unplugged’ will be customized across our music channels – MTV, VH1 and CMT – as well as our multiple platforms, including online, mobile, VOD, and radio.”
“When we first did the MTV awards show, we thought the only way to impact an audience of our peers, fans and the industry was to simply lay it all out there naked – stripped of all the pomp and production,” said Jon Bon Jovi. “So it came down to two guys, and two guitars. It was Dick Clark who said to do two songs. At the end of the day it was and is all about the song in its purest form. A lot of great performances followed. Thanks MTV.”
In addition to uniting with “Unplugged,” MTV’s successful “The Leak” franchise will now become a staple of all three music brands, making it the premier destination for discovering artists’ unreleased tracks and albums online before their availability for purchase anywhere. The first cross brand “The Leak,” will be on MTV.com and VH1.com, featuring Kelly Clarkson’s newest release, “My December.” Fans can stream the audio of the upcoming album a full week before its June 26th release.
MTV's "Unplugged" concert series first debuted in 1989 and is credited with starting an "acoustic revolution" among musicians. Unplugged has received critical acclaim, spotlighting artists including Eric Clapton who won six Grammys including Album of the Year for his Unplugged, Nirvana who won the Best Alternative Album Grammy for their Unplugged release, and Tony Bennett whose cross-generational Unplugged earned him Album of the Year honors. Other memorable “MTV Unplugged” performers include: R.E.M., Sting, Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, KoRn, Neil Young, Elton John, Bob Dylan, The Cure, Don Henley, LL Cool J, Duran Duran, Alanis Morissette, Jay-Z, , Rod Stewart , Lauryn Hill and Paul McCartney.
The three different versions of “Bon Jovi Unplugged” will premiere on Friday, June 22nd on MTV; Saturday, June 23rd on VH1, VH1 Classic and MHD: Music High-Definition; and on Sunday, June 24th on CMT. Each music brands’ audience will help inform where the upcoming “Unplugged” specials will appear. All of them will air in high-def on MHD: Music High-Definition.
Dave Sirulnick will serve as Executive Producer. Alex Coletti is Producer and Director.
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 135 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 200 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
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