The largely music-less MTV announced today that it will revive and revamp its hugely influential Sunday night alternative-music video outlet “120 Minutes” as a weekly online series called “120 Seconds” on web portal MTV Hive and a monthly show that will be televised on sister network MTV2.
In a move sure to divide alt-music fans, the network is bringing back late-’90s host Matt Pinfield — whom the network labels the series’ “most beloved and respected VJ” — rather than the show’s creator and late-’80s, early-’90s host Dave Kendall. In a news release, Pinfield says, “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.”
“120 Minutes” originally ran on MTV late on Sunday nights from 1986 to 2003, when it was rebranded as “Subterranean” on MTV2; that show ran another four years. Kendall was the series’ first producer, although the show used a rotating cast of hosts until 1989 when he took over on-camera, with Lewis Largent and then Pinfield serving as the main permanent host through the rest of the ’90s and early 2000s.
While MTV is announcing the new series as a relaunch of the franchise, the network has continued to use the “120 Minutes” brand for early morning blocks of classic-alternative videos on VH1 classic. The new online show debuts sometime Friday, according to MTV, while the on-air revival on MTV2 is expected “later this year.”
For much more on the history of “120 Minutes” — including this interview with Kendall and Pinfield conducted after the final taping in 2003 — and to peruse playlists from over the years, visit the indispensable 120 Minutes Archive.
UPDATE 7/14/11: MTV today announced that the new “120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield” will debut 1 a.m. EDT on Saturday night, July 30. MTV says the premiere episode will feature “exclusive interviews with Dave Grohl, PJ Harvey, Kings of Leon, Dangermouse with Danielle Luppi, Das Racist, Sleigh Bells, Lupe Fiasco, Zach Braff, Black Angels, Fitz and the Tantrums and Theophilus London. Fans will also see the uncensored version of Pearl Jam’s ‘Jeremy’ music video, Mumford and Sons VH1 Unplugged performance of “Roll Your Stone,” the music video for Cults’ ‘Abducted’ and more.” The show will air at 1 a.m. ET the last Saturday of every month.
Check out some vintage “120 Minutes” moments below: