MTV2 Expands Music Program Offerings

With a slate of new shows on the horizon, cable music channel MTV2 is continuing to establish its own identity apart from sister channel MTV. The more music-centric MTV2's new programs, which will deb

With a slate of new shows on the horizon, cable music channel MTV2 is continuing to establish its own identity apart from sister channel MTV. The more music-centric MTV2's new programs, which will debut this spring and summer, are primarily concentrated on the weekend. They include:

• "Subterranean," a show focusing on new music from around the world. The series premieres May 9 with a guest appearance by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The show's regular time slot will be late Fridays/early Saturdays at midnight ET/PT. The program will also have a monthly spin-off for British acts, "Subterranean UK," beginning May 11 at 1 a.m. ET/PT.

• The revival of hard rock/heavy metal series "Headbangers Ball," which originally ran on MTV from 1987 through 1994. MTV2's new version will launch May 10 with Metallica playing guest host, and will be seen Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

• "Sucker Free Sundays," an eight-hour block of R&B/hip-hop programming that will begin airing May 11 at noon ET/PT. A different artist will host each week, with 50 Cent, Ludacris, and Busta Rhymes already lined-up. The time slot will include the new series "Spoke N'Heard," focusing on what MTV2 calls "the new wave of hip-hop and soul videos from artists who are pushing the boundaries of the genre."

• "Monster Mix," a DJ-inspired show that mixes together several music videos to create a unique visual experience. The series begins with a special, "The Remix Saved My Life," premiering May 24 at 1 p.m. ET/PT.

Airing at times to be determined will be "Track 2," a show which will have artists commenting on music videos as the videos play; "Short Attention Span Video Show," which plays 30 videos in 30 minutes; and "Nose Dive," a series examining the career decline of certain artists.

In addition to these new shows, MTV2 will continue airing its regular programming, which includes the "2$Bill" concert series; a revamped version of interactive video-request program "Control Freak"; and the "22 Greatest" countdown specials with a new special, "22 Greatest MCs," premiering June 22.

Among upcoming "2$Bill" offerings is a Radiohead concert that will air June 17. The show at New York's Beacon Theater is expected to take place June 6, the day before the band's appearance at Long Island's Field Day Festival. Originally thought to be airing on MTV, the concert will be shown exclusively on MTV2. The network is also planning live coverage of the June 7-8 Field Day event, which will also boast performances by the Beastie Boys and Beck.

MTV2 launched in 1996 as M2, and the network was originally a commercial-free channel that showed music videos nonstop. In 1999, the network changed its name to MTV2. By 2001, parent company MTV Networks had replaced the now-defunct U.S. music video network the Box with MTV2 in most U.S. cities, and MTV2 began to evolve as an advertiser-supported network with its own original programming. According to MTV2, the network currently reaches about 48 million U.S. households, primarily on digital cable and satellite TV.