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Top 10 MTV Shows

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script Written by Melissa Kusiolek They’re the unforgettable shows that made music television a household name. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 MTV shows. Since the 1980s, MTV has been a staple of youth culture and pop music trends, and the infectious demand for shows that catered to these demos proved that the network has always kept its finger on the pulse of what the under-25 age bracket craves the most. With a variety of styles, genres and topics to choose from, MTV revolutionized the importance of the teen market, set the bar for competing networks, and continues to provide entertaining programming for viewers worldwide. For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable, popular, or successful shows that originally aired on or were developed for MTV. Special thanks to our users jkellis, Chris Sioux, aldqbigsquare, Briangorecki1982, mr.smartphone333, Javier Barrios, Kim Zakrzewski, Daft_E4, Alexander David Bourns and Lucas Monteiro for submitting the idea through our Suggest Tool at WatchMojo.comSuggest
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Script Written by Melissa Kusiolek

Top 10 MTV Shows


They’re the unforgettable shows that made music television a household name. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 MTV shows.

Since the 1980s, MTV has been a staple of youth culture and pop music trends, and the infectious demand for shows that catered to these demos proved that the network has always kept its finger on the pulse of what the under-25 age bracket craves the most. With a variety of styles, genres and topics to choose from, MTV revolutionized the importance of the teen market, set the bar for competing networks, and continues to provide entertaining programming for viewers worldwide. For this list, we’re looking at the most memorable, popular, or successful shows that originally aired on or were developed for MTV.

#10: “Teen Wolf” (2011-)

After being bitten by a werewolf, a high school outcast struggles to balance the daily responsibilities of being a teenager with his new werewolf identity. Along the way, he encounters challenges that aid in making him a better person while learning how to harness his animalistic nature. With its own unique werewolf mythology and origin story, this horror comedy drama reinvented the werewolf genre for a new audience, all while paying homage to its predecessors. It also vhad critics and fans howling with approval for several seasons.

#9: “The Osbournes” (2002-05)

Who’s crazier than Ozzy Osbourne? His entire family, of course. This reality show about the heavy metal legend and his brood paved the way for celebrities everywhere to cash in on their eccentricities by leaving the cameras rolling 24/7. Thanks to children Kelly and Jack being at the mercy of their teenage hormones, combined with Ozzy’s bizarre behavior and often-inaudible speech, and matriarch Sharon holding them all together, the show’s first season became MTV’s most viewed series at the time. Viewers just couldn’t help be glued to their seats in anticipation of what shenanigans the celebrity clan cooked up next.

#8: “Aeon Flux” (1991-95)

Originally airing as part of the experimental MTV show “Liquid Television,” this animated series was set in a dystopian future and followed a female agent and assassin that left viewers wanting more. After six short films, followed by five episodes, were aired in the early ‘90s, a series of ten 3-minute episodes were broadcast on MTV. “Aeon Flux”‘s overt sexuality and graphic violence made it a provocative cartoon that was anything but kid-friendly. With little dialogue and Aeon experiencing death on more than one occasion, the sci-fi program was also an avant-garde exploration of the animated medium that became so popular it was eventually adapted to a live action film.

#7: “MTV Cribs” (2000-11)

MTV has always had a close relationship with celebrities, and this show marked the celebration of stars’ successes - making us all feel broke as a result. “Cribs” had sports stars, music icons, and actors giving us the grand tour of their multi-million dollar homes, complete with plush amenities, such as multiple expensive cars, closets full of designer attire, and fridges packed with Crystal. By delivering a lifestyle of pampered luxury that would make The Royal Family green with envy and demonstrating an ability to let us live vicariously, the reality show went on for over 10 seasons.

#6: “Pimp My Ride” (2004-07)

Does that beat up junker in your driveway need a new look? Rapper Xzibit has the solution. Average folks got the chance to see their set of wheels spin in a whole new way as worn-down automobiles were transformed into tricked-out, head-turning masterpieces on “Pimp My Ride.” With bold new paint designs and interior perks based on the owner’s personality, the MTV-produced show provided car owners the opportunity to sport a vehicle that was as unique as they were, and made us all want to upgrade our own means of transportation.

#5: “Punk’d” (2003-07; 2012-)

This popular hidden camera show had actor and host Ashton Kutcher orchestrating hilarious pranks on Hollywood’s elite; and no one was safe from embarrassment. With elaborate practical jokes, “Punk’d” offered audiences the chance to see their favorite celebrities subjected to various forms of ridicule and in awkward and uncomfortable situations. It also illustrated how even the most composed of stars could have a freak-out moment under the right circumstances. Being both entertaining and humanizing, this program proved it pays to always have a sense of humor and never take yourself too seriously. And thanks to its popularity, it was revived with a new version of the series in 2012, following its 2007 end.

#4: “Jersey Shore” (2009-12)

This series followed 8 personality-charged roommates and their mishaps and adventures as they spent a summer at the Jersey Shore. With excessive alcohol consumption, club brawls, and household fights, “Jersey Shore”‘s bold cast and their crazy antics were a match made in television heaven. Though its Italian-American stereotyping caused controversy, it was also filled now-classic expressions like “DTF” and “GTL” and has since sparked vast amounts of parody. We may have not have always been laughing with these Jersey boys and girls, but we certainly never grew tired of watching them.

#3: “Beavis and Butt-head” (1993-97; 2011)

By spending their time watching music videos on the couch and finding new ways to terrorize their neighbors and classmates, Beavis and Butthead offered hilarious immaturity we all could identify with. On this Mike Judge-created animated series, these rock-loving teenage rebels ignited a slew of controversy for their irresponsible behavior, violence, and poor social skills. But they also encapsulated early ‘90s slacker sentiments that kept us laughing for years. This twosome’s bizarre adventures, stunted social awareness and juvenile antics helped make MTV a channel worth watching. A classic program that Generation X will never forget, it was even briefly revived in 2011.

#2: “The Real World” (1992-)

Considered the blueprint for modern-day reality TV, this program set the bar for documentary-style entertainment. With its careful selection of the proper candidates and personalities, “The Real World” created just enough drama to keep viewers tuning in. A network staple for over 20 years, the series and its casts were always products of their times, and provided a glimpse into contemporary social topics, including abortion, racism, substance abuse, religion, and homophobia. With over 29 seasons in the can, this classic day-in-the-life program shows no signs of slowing down.

Before we reveal our #1 pick, here are some honorable mentions:

“Teen Mom” (2009-12)

“Daria” (1997-2002)

“Celebrity Deathmatch” (1998-2002)

“America’s Best Dance Crew” (2008-12)

“Rob & Big” (2006-08)

#1: “Jackass” (2000-02)

This reality series featuring professional stuntmen engaging in crude and self-injuring feats of danger was as painful to watch as it was hilarious. With memorable and inventive challenges, these wild boys were willing to do just about anything for a laugh. Although the style of the show may have looked like it was made by amateurs, these guys were actually seasoned professionals…and possibly a bit masochistic. With its overwhelming success, “Jackass” sparked not only several feature-length films, but also spin-off TV shows featuring some of the cast regulars doing what they do best: being jackasses for money.

Do you agree with our list? Which MTV shows do you love? For more television countdowns published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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