MTV makes time for nine

MTV makes time for nine 1In a bid to stay competitive in primetime, MTV is rejigging its entire evening lineup and making 9 p.m. a new destination for original programming.

In addition to the sked overhaul — which will also theme Monday as coming-of-age night and Tuesday as testosterone time — MTV has greenlit to series the sports parody “Wrestling Society X” and “Bam’s Unholy Union,” about the pending nuptials of “Jackass” alum Bam Margera.

Move into the 9 p.m. timeslot, which kicks off in January, extends MTV’s bold summer experiment in which the cabler ran new seasons of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ “Making the Band” and “Run’s House” at 9 and 9:30 (Daily Variety, May 24). For the past several years, net has premiered all of its original episodes at 10 during Monday-Friday branded destination the Ten Spot.

The current 10 p.m. lineup, however, has faced some tough times recently with increased competition for young eyeballs from across broadcast, cable and the Web. Block is down 9% in MTV’s key 12-34 and 12-24 demos this year versus last. In primetime overall — 8-11 p.m. — net is down 9% and 7% in the demos, respectively. MTV Networks Music Group Entertainment president Brian Graden said that as a result of a strong development season, the net now has over a dozen franchises that will enable MTV to become a real player in all of primetime.