MTV isn’t doing too fabulously these days. The ratings for the first three months of 2009 were down 18 percent from the previous year. The Hills is still popular, but this is Lauren Conrad’s last season (Audrina is also leaving for her own reality show), so the series’s fate is in jeopardy. MTV’s got dancing and vapid, wealthy young women covered. But they lack a key ingredient to the success of a channel driven by a young female audience: celebrities. The real kind. Hence they’re bringing to New York British style obsession Alexa Chung, a 25-year-old ex-model who is dating a member of the Arctic Monkeys. She’ll host an hour-long Total Request Live–esque show starting June 15. They hope she can return MTV to its TRL glory days, when the Backstreet Boys would stop by the studio and they’d have to close the windows so 14-year-olds wouldn’t maim each other in Times Square (memories!). “We just all really fell for her,” said MTV’s executive vice president for news and production, David Sirulnick. Executives say she can relate to celebrities and real people, which makes sense because she falls somewhere in the middle of those categories.
British people who care about fashion are obsessed with Alexa. We don’t understand the fuss, because we can’t watch her on TV. Also, far as we know, she’s completely scandal-free, which isn’t very exciting. “The show will air one hour a day,” Sirulnick tells the AP. “But for the other 23 hours we want viewers to be engaged with Alexa and what is on the show.” That means that when she’s not on the air we can all Facebook with her all the time. But will all that make up for the absence of Lauren Conrad’s teary-eyed stares? And Stephanie Pratt’s inability to do anything? Eh, it can’t be that hard to read cue cards and look pretty.