VH1 revives 'Pop Up Video' and 'Behind the Music,' renews 'Mob Wives,' 'Love & Hip Hop'
VH1 will bring a couple of seminal shows out of mothballs, reviving "Pop Up Video" and "Behind the Music" with some modern tweaks.
The cable network also announced it's renewing a few of its contemporary hits, "Mob Wives" and "Love & Hip Hop."
"Pop Up Video," with its short but infectious theme song, was hugely influential during its run. It hasn't been on air for a decade, and network executives have ordered 60 episodes featuring current music videos and new graphics. The star will be, as it had been in the past, the pithy, informative, goofy pop-up bubbles that give bits of background on the song, the musical artists and the cultural context.
"For years, people have practically begged, 'Please bring back 'Pop Up Video!' " said Tom Calderone, VH1's president. "It's a show and format that now evokes nostalgia for VH1's young adult audience."
Not only did the show keep viewers interested in watching music videos they'd already seen roughly a million times, it influenced other networks to borrow the tactic. ABC's "Lost" and "Ugly Betty" used on-screen factoids to give viewers additional insight into the shows, and satellite service DirecTV is doing the same for complicated drama, "Damages." The "enhanced episodes" are kind of a cross between "Pop Up Video" and CliffsNotes.
TLC recently used the so-called "poptoids" in its royal wedding coverage, fitting in info bites while airing footage of the 1981 nuptials between Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
"Pop Up Video," which will return to VH1 in the fall, will incorporate some new twists such as interactive elements, user polling and user-generated pop up content. The videos will be available to view and share on VH1.com. The show's original co-creator Woody Thompson will return to the team as an executive producer.
"Behind the Music," another classic VH1 series, will return in June with seven episodes profiling such artists as Ice Cube, Mary J. Blige, Ricky Martin, Adam Lambert and Enrique Iglesias. The Emmy-nominated show will retain its documentary format, including interviews with the stars, their families, friends and colleagues.
"Mob Wives" and "Love & Hip Hop" revolve around gangsters and the women who love them (the former) and rappers and the women who love -- and may want to imitate -- them (the latter). Both unscripted melodramas have pulled in strong ratings in their first seasons.
-- T.L. Stanley