'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 -- 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
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.
SOURCE MTV Networks Music Group