Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett is a self-professed fan of the MTV Movie Awards but says they’ve gotten a bit staid — something he plans to change as executive producer of this year’s ceremony.
“They’ve become so well-produced that it doesn’t feel as MTV as in the early days,” Burnett said Thursday. “MTV invented brevity in television, quick-cutting and [the idea] that anything could happen.”
Burnett, whose series include “Survivor” and “The Apprentice,” also has the task of boosting the awards show’s audience. It’s eroded since hitting a high of 7.1 million viewers in 2002, with less than half that — 3.2 million — watching in 2006.
MTV announced Thursday that Burnett will take over from longtime producer Joel Gallen for the 16th annual ceremony, set for June 3. The show will be live for the first time, the channel said.
Burnett said he doesn’t plan radical changes and will retain the movie spoofs and such offbeat award categories as “best kiss” and “sexiest performance.” But he wants to see more spontaneity, he said.
“Many awards shows would have a heart attack if anything for a minute went slightly out of place, playing someone off if their speech goes too long,” he said. “It’s MTV — they’ll have other stars come and drag them off the stage.”
MTV President Christina Norman lauded Burnett’s ability to “connect with viewers” and called him an innovator who will bring new energy to the show. He’ll work with Salli Frattini, an executive producer of the awards for 10 years.
Noting that he started his career at MTV with the show “Eco-Challenge,” Burnett said he was looking forward to working on other projects for the channel. The MTV audience is especially savvy about interactive entertainment, he said, which will only grow in importance.