TV, Video — March 17, 2011 at 9:04 am

MTV relaunches ‘120 Minutes,’ new ‘120 Seconds’ web series with Matt Pinfield

MTV '120 Minutes'

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:




  1. Dave Kendall was a FAR better VJ. Liked his style and humor. Uggh … Pinfield? Go away!

  2. Martha Quinn would be the most beloved and VJ associated with the program, as per the first clip.

  3. i dig kendall on firstwave. and quinn…SO PRETTY!

  4. Pinfield tends to be a bit annoying but better than Lewis Largent though. Hopefully they won’t completely change the format or have it on at 4AM on a Monday. Wouldn’t it be great if they released them all on dvd so we could melt all of our video tapes.

  5. You forgot Kevin Seal!

    I have tapes and tapes of 120 minutes. I would LOVE it if they released it on DVD!

  6. Heartbreaksoup

    The second clip reminds me of the funniest thing ever on 120 Minutes, when Kevin Seal interviewed Johnny R. again on the release of the “9” album:

    Kevin: So your new album is called 9, because it’s your ninth album…
    Johnny: No. It’s called 9 ‘cos there are ten songs on it.

  7. Pinfield was always an awkward, fumbling, panting mess of a presenter, and a terrible interviewer. Kendall or even Kevin Seal should’ve gotten the gig.

  8. Hey there! So back in 1986 during an episode of 120 minutes, they aired the “gong show” commerical and my dad was one of the people who participated in that by ramming his head into the gong and knocking it over! I found a compliation of commericals from 9/28/1986 on YouTube and had the clip from it! Super funny but the original owner took it down so more digging brought me here and it looks like you posted the entire episode of the 120 minutes episode he was in but it’s not available anymore. Any chance you could re post it or email a copy? Thanks so much!

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