Laguna Beach may not return because of MTV’s new strategy and online focus

In the middle of a story about MTV’s new online strategy, the Los Angeles Times drops huge news: Laguna Beach may be cancelled.

The reason is that MTV “will begin to roll out series that showcase the best of the Web, require heavy viewer participation and feature the lives of real teens,” the paper reports. Thus, MTV “is so committed to the new strategy that even the future of the once-groundbreaking franchise ‘Laguna Beach’ is in question. Gary Auerbach, executive producer of the teen docu-soap, said it was difficult to tell whether the show, MTV’s biggest launch since ‘Newlyweds,’ would return.”

The network best known for literally creating the reality TV genre as we know it is now switching its focus. “MTV will now put viewers in the driver’s seat by serving teens the entertainment they crave most: the kind they create,” according to the Times. That will be true for its new scripted–yes, scripted–series, too.

Among the reasons for that: The Real World Denver‘s ratings “have fallen to its lowest tallies since 2001’s 10th season,” and Road Rules has “also rated poorly.”

The paper notes that “Casting for ‘The Real World,’ for example, will take place entirely online” in the future, while My Super Sweet 16 “will soon feature home videos from MTV viewers” instead of entirely professionally shot footage.

MTV gets with a new program [Los Angeles Times]