Simon Vozick-Levinson
May 29, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EDT

I don’t want to start any rumors or anything, but that’s the feeling I’m getting from the press release the network sent out this morning. You tell me: How else to interpret their promise that MTV’s summer/fall lineup will, among other things (to quote the release), “Tap…into the ‘Culture of Live’ with DVR-proof shows that must be seen in premiere or the viewer misses out such as Randy Jackson Presents: America’s Best Dance Crew“?

Mind you, I don’t quite understand what it means to make a show “DVR proof.” Is this some sort of new scrambling technology? (Google’s no help, if so.) It’s been suggested to me that this phrase might have been meant figuratively, as in, “Randy Jackson‘s dance-competition show is soblindingly awesome that it will obviate the very need to possess a DVR, because you will be unable to resist watching it as soon as it airs.” (I reached out to a couple of people at MTV this morning for clarification and still haven’t heard back, for what it’s worth.) Anyway, that’s all beside the point. I’m not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed Dance Crew quite a bit last season, and I’m looking forward to its return. But by no stretch of the imagination was it appointment viewing — more like, “eh, it’s 2 a.m. and nothing else is on” viewing. Does MTV really think people are going to ditch their plans to hang out in the sun this summer in order to be part of the “Culture of Live,” watching Randy Jackson judge an amateur dance-off?! They should be happy for every DVR viewer they get! Shouldn’t they?

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