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MTV brings back '120 Minutes,' revives '90s nostalgia

March 17, 2011 |  8:18 am

Pinfield If this is "classic MTV," we're totally old: on Thursday, MTV announced that "120 Minutes," the alternative music showcase that premiered back in 1986 and ran through 2000, with a brief revival from 2001-2003, will return to MTV2 as a monthly show beginning later this year and as a weekly online show, "120 Seconds," beginning Friday morning on MTV Hive. Onetime host Matt Pinfield will also be back to show his favorite videos. Yes, it's official: the '90s are back, so get that Violent Femmes concert tee ready.

"I am elated and proud to be part of bringing back one of the most influential and longest-running music shows in the network's history," Pinfield said in a statement. "Everywhere I go, people from all over the world talk about how much '120 Minutes' shaped their musical tastes and how much they missed it. The show helped expose, and ultimately, break new artists. MTV's historical role in breaking artists of all genres can never be underestimated."

All of which begs the question: Decades after the show debuted, do we even have an "alternative music scene" anymore? MTV2 already covers indie bands quite well on shows like "Subterranean." Maybe this is their chance to tap into the wealth of Gen X nostalgia.

"120 Minutes" isn't MTV's first throwback to the alt-era: this week, Nickelodeon, which is operated by MTV Networks, was cheered by thirtysomethings everywhere when it announced that it would run episodes of "Pete & Pete," "Clarissa Explains it All" and other favorite '90s fare in a new midnight-to-2 a.m. programming block dubbed "The ’90s Are All That." And earlier this year, MTV announced that it would update "Beavis & Butthead" with new episodes. Meanwhile, "Daria" fans are demanding that their favorite monotone-voiced heroine return to the air.  ("Daria back on MTV" even has its own Facebook page). What, no demand for reviving "Remote Control"? Where's Kari Wuhrer when you need her?

--Melissa Maerz

Photo: Matt Pinfield. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press

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