120 Minutes (UK TV series)

120 Minutes (UK TV series)

"120 Minutes" is a show on MTV Two, broadcast every night at 1am. In the tradition of the US show of the same name, it showcases music videos from "the newest, most innovative acts in rock, left field and electronic music".

In the United Kingdom, "120 Minutes" was originally featured on MTV Europe in the early and mid-1990s, hosted during its first years by VJ Paul King and, later on, by ex-Wonder Stuff frontman Miles Hunt. "120 Minutes" returned in 2003 to MTV2 Europe (now MTV Two), replacing a similar show, "2eclectic", which had sporadically occupied various late-night slots.


The format of the show is different from the original U.S. series and "Subterranean" in that there are no VJs, commercial breaks, or MTV promotions. The only interruptions come in the form of an ident that plays after every four videos. The two-hour strand concentrates on playing 'the real alternative', including new and classic left field indie, rock, electronica, hip-hop and metal videos that may not be played on other channels or during the daytime, although some videos are also played on the channel's "Spanking New Music" slots during the day.

Artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, and Bloc Party were first played on this show before they achieved commercial success, and many videos are played on "120 Minutes" before branching out onto the MTV2 playlist. Regular artists on "120 Minutes" also include The Fall, The Knife, Pavement, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Kraftwerk and Björk.

MTV2 Europe have also aired many themed shows, including artist specials that play half-hour or two-hour discographies of certain artists including Björk, Kraftwerk and Hexstatic among others, as well as shows curated by people such as Franz Ferdinand, the Drowned In Sound team and Kitsuné Music and specials from the Triptych festival.


During 2005 and most of 2006, special themed 120 Minutes shows were aired: "120 Electronic Minutes" on Tuesdays, "120 Pioneers" on Thursdays, and "120 Metal Minutes" on Fridays.

120 Metal Minutes

For about a year (2004 - 2005), MTV2 Europe ran a show named "120 Metal Minutes" - a show which, like the title suggests, was two hours of heavy metal songs accompanied by their music videos. Regularly played bands included Pantera, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Alice in Chains, Mastodon, Slayer and Lamb of God. Over time, there was a noticeable change in the type of bands the show was supporting - often going as far as playing post-hardcore bands such as Funeral for a Friend or Alexisonfire. Shortly after the change of the show's style, ratings started to decline. Eventually, the show was cancelled and was replaced with a UK version of Headbanger's Ball during the spring of 2006, which is usually one hour of entirely music videos. However, the show occasionally features interview footage and hand-picked music videos by selected bands.

Time slot

The original time slot was on a Saturday night at 1 a.m. GMT, with the show being repeated on a Thursday at 2 a.m. From March 2005, the decision was made for "120 Minutes" to be shown every night at 1 a.m. in addition to the 2 a.m. slot on Saturdays. In February 2006, the show moved forward to 12 a.m. every night (commercial breaks were inserted in the first hour of the show), with a "120 Taster", showcasing some of the videos played in the strand at an earlier time of 8 p.m. Since September 2006, the show has been pushed back once again to the 01.00 - 03.00 a.m. slot, running again without commercial breaks.

External links

* [http://www.mtv2europe.com/ MTV2 UK's official website] - request threads can be found on the messageboards.
*MySpace-music|120mtv2|120 Minutes

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