MTV lost 9% of its adults 18-49 primetime audience last year, can The Hard Times of RJ Berger help them turn that ratings trend around?
Can a well-endowed teen make MTV hot again? The youth-obsessed cable network, seeking to stem a years-long ratings slide, thinks it has found just the thing to get back on track: "The Hard Times of RJ Berger," a scripted comedy about a boy with an, um, anatomical "gift." [...]
But if controversy is what it will take for MTV to regain momentum, it may need a big dollop of it. The network's viewership has sunk over the last few years, and its average rating at 10 p.m. -- when MTV premieres new episodes of its shows -- fell 18% to 801,000 viewers in 2009 from a year earlier among the channel's core 12- to 34-year-old viewers.
Audiences seem to be tiring of its longtime hit "The Hills," about the charmed, semi-staged life of Southland native Lauren Conrad, which launched back in 2006. Viewers fled last year after its star left the show. Dozens of other low-budget reality shows have come -- and gone -- without notice.