MTV Bigwigs Wondering If They Can Reach Trainwrecky Heights Of Last Year’s Video Music Awards Festivities

How is MTV planning to top last year’s MTV Video Music Awards, which, despite instilling something resembling post-traumatic stress disorder in the psyches of many a viewer (this writer included), achieved bigger numbers than those in previous years and epitomized the Internet-watercooler-driven strategy that MTV is so aggressively courting these days? (“There was a time when the music video itself is what happened in culture, but now it’s the music video and what everyone has to say about it that is what’s happening,” Brian Graden, president of MTV programming, told Reuters in a piece on the endless remixing and revisiting of MTV’s “we do show music” flagship FNMTV.) Will the Los Angeles-based ceremony/party/excuse for televised debauchery go back to the big-numbers well and reinvite Britney Spears, who, most of you will probably remember, sleepwalked through “Gimme More” to open last year’s show?

“Everyone deserves a second or third chance, right?” Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music Group, playfully told The Associated Press during a telephone interview Friday. When asked if he was just joking, Toffler said “sorta.”

“Who knows?” he said.

Spears’ out-of-it “Gimme More” comeback performance during last year’s MTV Video Music Awards at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas was one of the most-talked televised moments of 2007. The drama-filled VMAs drew 7.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Another Spears redux could equal even more eyeballs.

“I’m not sure how we top Britney opening the show,” said Toffler. “We are working on it every minute of every day.”

How do you top Britney opening the show, one wonders. Mick Mars in a hard, tight close-up? Ashlee Simpson singing that “Ay Ya Ya” song while going into labor? Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty recreating the “Winemouse” video, then flooding each others’ veins with heroin? A permanent “50 Cent Looking Confused” bug in the bottom-right of the screen? I mean, really, the mind reels.

VMAs would consider second chance for Spears[AP]