Carson Daly & Britney Spears on TRL in New York City, Nov. 6, 2001.
Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images
June 25, 2014 11:59 AM EDT

Total Request Live, lovingly dubbed TRL, is returning for one day to MTV.

The popular show was a favorite of teens growing up in the early 2000s: host Carson Daly would play the top 10 most requested music videos every day and interview celebs. There were even live performances in New York by bands like N’Sync, Britney Spears and Korn. Michael Jackson actually started a riot in Times Square when he came on the show. It ended in 2008 after a 10-year run, when the Internet officially supplanted the need to air music videos on TV.

But it will be back for one evening on Wednesday July 2 at 7 p.m. Ariana Grande will perform “Problem,” currently the No. 2 song in the country, and debut a follow-up single on the show. The show will be called “Total Ariana Live” in her honor.

Here’s what MTV needs to do to make the revival perfect:

1. Carson Daly must host

He ended is run as host in 2002, but he will forever be the host in our hearts

2. Bring back Britney

Britney first went on TRL in her prime. This could be her long-awaited resurgence.

3. Videos of screaming teenagers

It would’t be TRL without crowd shots of girls freaking out. Ariana Grande has a lot of young, crazy fans so this should work out.

4. A Justin Timberlake appearance

Ideally with his throwback blond curls

5. There must be VJs

It’s an outdated term, but they’re necessary

6. Follow-up with another TRL Spring Break

If everything goes well, leave the door open for another TRL Spring Break episode. Those were iconic episodes. The final scene in 22 Jump Street would not have existed without the precedence of a TRL Spring Break. We’ve just replaced Blink 182 with Diplo.

7. Use Twitter

TRL would have been so much simpler had Twitter existed in the early 2000s. Which videos the show played were determined by some secret algorithm that took into account votes, charts, iTunes downloads, radio airplay and ringtones (remember when we used to have pop music ring tones?). Now instead of texting to vote, we can just Tweet or vote on Facebook or have some Spotify tie-in.

If #TRL isn’t trending on Twitter on July 2, MTV isn’t doing its job.

Until July, here’s a little preview of Ariana Grande’s “Problem.”

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at

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