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So a lot has been posted in the "Great Cable Channels That Have Gone Downhill" thread, and we see the usual suspects (MTV, VH1, Cartoon Network, G4 etc) named, most likely because they switched formats.
This got me thinking though - as much derision as those networks get, there is no denying that if they had not abandoned their original mission, they never would have grown as much as they had.
MTV is the big example. I believe that their expansion to other programming besides music has made them the pop culture force they are now (or at least, were...) with channels across the world and their own cartel of channels (MTV networks). Of course, if you paid attention to broadcast news, you'd know that MTV isn't doing so hot now, as they're transition to something else and the music industry is thisclose to just falling apart. Fuse was supposed to be the anti-MTV, with all music programming and yet they added other shows such as reality shows and anime to their lineups.
G4 has been more successful than TechTV ever has, and more successful before they "merged." Cartoon Network thinks live-action will expand their audience...I mean how can we argue with changing formats if they get results? Do networks have a right to want to expand their audiences, especially in this age of the internet and fragmenting viewership? Are we being too rigid in our thinking?
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
Get the message CN?
Despite the fact that it was mentioned in the other thread, I say ESPN. Some of their original programming may leave something to be desired, but there's not exactly professional/college sports going on 24/7. Live sporting events and SportsCenter are always going to bring in viewers.
Well if what you mean by "successful" is making money, then yes, MTV is successful. If by "successful" you mean respected or not spat upon by either people who remember the channel's earlier incarnations or younger audiences who want to see music TV and not random reality shows, then no, it's a colossal failure. And VH1's heading there too.
Comedy Central has stayed true to its original mission (comedy 24/7) and they continue being succesful (the only time they strayed was with Battlebots which is no longer on).
I think channels like Sci-Fi and TV Land would be more successful if they kept to their original target. I have nothing against wrestling, but it should never be on Sci-Fi. It's just not science fiction. The anime block is okay, as long as it plays sci-fi kinds of shows. I think Sci-Fi is doing better than TV land, though. TV land should be more like RTN.
And at the very least, Boomerang should play LOONEY TOONS!
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Agree 100%. Wrestling belongs on a sci-fi channel the same way Cops, The Man Show, and Cheaters belong on a channel that's allegedly "TV for Gamers". The ninja game shows and kung-fu movies I can at least give a reluctant pass since martial arts is a common subject for video games.Originally Posted by defunctzombie
They did, until all this legal mumbo-jumbo started which prevented from doing so.
Visit Twinsanity, the Star Brothers' blog, for commentary, opinions and reviews on animation, pop-culture and what-not. New entries posted as they happen.
To be fair, the criteria that meets their original mission is pretty broad - funny shows. Sitcoms, cartoons, live shows, specials, syndicated programming, and all that. Something like G4? Not so much. Neal Tiles has explained in his monthly Open Source program that the tech programs and other gaming shows besides X-Play and Cheat it seems just cannot hold on to viewers and be profitable. He actually points out that programming as such can only survive in some sort of On Demand format such as Revision3 which is thriving since it is so focused in on a demographic instead of trying to expand.Comedy Central has stayed true to its original mission
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
YOUR CHANNEL IS WACK AND WILL NEVER BEAT NICK OR DISNEY
Get the message CN?
Yes, it is completely possible. The only thing is that the Executives themselves need to care about the original mission, care about the fanbase, and care about the programming in order for it to be successful. A channel 'baked' with love will be more successful than one 'baked' by an accountant.
12.0 Bleach / 12.5 Naruto / 1.0 One Piece / 1.5 Soul Eater / 2.0 IGPX / 2.5 Eureka 7 / 3.0 Thundercats / 3.5 Sym-Bionic Titan / 4.0 FMA Brotherhood / 4.5 Cowboy Bebop / 5.0 Inuyasha
Back in Black.
Only TOONAMI, on [adult swim]
Cartoon Network and Sci-Fi can't keep their theme.
Sci-Fi Channel could easily do comedic shows, sitcoms, action/adventure, super hero programs (given that many are born from something Sci-Fi). Alf for instance would work since the title character is an alien. So in all honestly, as long as Sci-Fiction plays a somewhat minor part, it would work.
Cartoon Network could do more action cartoons. As well as doing some mystery cartoons, drama cartoons, documentaries hosted by an animated character and even a better done live action/animated hybrid (or even a live action show with animated shorts like Jump Rattle and Roll).
I'll grant that some niche can't be done, but generally themed networks are altered because the higher ups lack creativity and talent. It's more of a shortcut than genuine effort.Originally Posted by chdr
Besides, as has been said before, "It's not the idea, but the execution".
Deadpool on the "genius" of Hollywood: Everything's turned into a movie these days. -- Old TV shows, board games, candy bars. And let me tell ya, I'm totally stoked for Butterfinger The Movie.
For some channels (though I hate to see what I grew up with change) changing is good since people's likes change with time and if they want to keep being successful they should try and find middle ground between what their channel is supposed to be about and what age group they're trying to target.
That's something MTV, for example, had to do. They no longer rely on music as their primary programming since the internet has taken over that task. Though they have tried to find a middle ground a create shows that cater to the age group their targeting (even though in my opinion, creating dumb reality shows one right after the other is one way to steer me away from the network it might bring other people to them).
Here's a perfect article that I just found concerning this subject:
"Wow, that was a real moment. That's weird for MTV."
Joel McHale: Hey, ya know what else is weird for MTV? Showing a music video. The Soup
"It's unbelievable! The Cartoon Network is running live-action sitcoms now! They're the Cartoon Network! They're supposed to run cartoons! How can they get away with this?! It'd be like a news network running stuff besides news!" Jason Fox, Fox Trot
Many cable channels are created to fulfill a specific programming niche. The Golf Channel shows golf, The History Channel shows history programs, and so on. Some channels, however, are not as wedded to their original concept as others. Meddling Executives look at the Demographics to whom their channel appeals, and decide that, hey, since the people watching their Speculative Fiction channel are mostly 18- to 31-year-old males, and Professional Wrestling is hot among that demographic, surely no one would mind if we started showing Professional Wrestling!
The fans of the original programming will mind, of course, but the channel tends to keep going regardless. This may show up with only a couple of odd programs in the schedule, but far too often, given enough time, a channel will have pretty much abandoned its original concept. Whether or not the former invariably leads to the latter is a subject for debate.
Part of the cause seems to be the fact that the channel is originally created to air shows that are "in the vault" of the company that creates the channels, but soon, the channel's own executives discover that original programming nets them more money, and the new stuff slowly displaces the old. Reality Shows, as a genre where the cost to produce is especially low, are common here. This may result in a new "vault" channel, which slowly undergoes the same process. (Nicktoons Network from Nickelodeon, for example.)
Note that one way to tell if this is happening is if the name of the network is hidden behind an acronym. For example, The Nashville Network referred to itself more and more as TNN (it eventually even changed what it stood for to "The National Network") before becoming Spike TV; similarly, you'd hardly know that TLC was ever called The Learning Channel.
Some changes can be chalked up to the changing landscape of TV. As the number of channels goes up, networks re-align themselves to try and hold some of their market. That, or the parent companies who might own seven or more cable channels each shuffle stuff for "synergy" or to reduce redundancy. But mostly it's just good old-fashioned selling out for ratings — whether it works or not. Competition with new media is prevalent as well, as classic reruns give way to DVD boxsets, and info-dumping all-text channels give way to the data display in a digital cable box or some new-fangled webernet site.
Otherwise known as Viacom Syndrome.
See Magazine Decay for the print equivalent. Examples
Starting To Slip
- The most infamous example is MTV, which will maybe show a music video at 3 AM. If you're lucky. The rest of the time is devoted to reality shows that have nothing to do with music, as well as random programs from other Viacom-owned networks, such as American Gladiators and even Spongebob Squarepants. Music fans are once again left without a channel to call their own. Ironically, this decay arguably began with the early-1990s addition to MTV's schedule of The Real World and Beavis And Butthead, two of the most popular programs in the network's history.
- It should be noted that Beavis and Butthead featured music videos within the program, albeit with the characters talking about the videos while watching them.
- In certain European markets, MTV still primarily shows music videos. American reality TV isn't nearly as popular outside America.
- In the UK, MTV shows mostly reality shows but still show music on a regular basis, but it has a separate channel (MTV One) which shows nothing BUT the reality shows and animation, and treats this as a SELLING POINT.
- Also, MTV seems to want to brand itself as a music network even as it's blatantly obvious to all involved that it isn't one anymore, mostly using its website. This Troper once saw an ad on MTV Hits describing either MTV or MTV.com as "where music isn't dead". Commence laughing now. The end of TRL may be the final nail in the coffin for music on MTV, although it's attempted to pay some lip service with the "FNMTV" block.
- MTV still shows music videos in Argentina.
- MTV Brazil, while being guilty of shows with border relation to music, such as a soccer championship between musicians, at least tried to fix their decay: in 2006, they killed their TRL equivalent. But then in 2008, the network decided to start another "top 10 most requested" show.
- The channel FUSE was created in response to MTV's decay, aimed at a slightly more "hardcore" crowd than MTV's original target audience. Soon enough, however, it too began expanding, and now there's maybe two or three hours of music-based programming in any given day. It may be the fastest case of Network Decay ever.
- Similarly, MTV2 started out as an actual music channel and, for a while after buying out the competing Box music network, became a true haven for music fans. But its descent, especially since changing its logo to the awful "two-headed dog", can best be described as, well, "MTV 2" (MTV3, by the way, is merely a renamed MTV S, a Spanish MTV channel.)
- MTV's subscription channels have followed a similar pattern, with the metal-centric MTVX being replaced by the rap-centric MTV Jams. MTV Hits, another channel which is still pretty good about music videos, is still going... for now, although it adopted a "playlistism" gimmick in 2006-07. Ditto VH 1 Soul, CMT Pure, and the aforementioned MTV Jams.
- Another MTV all-video digital cable channel, MTVU (which is essentially programmed like a college radio station) is even safer than MTV Hits for now, up to the point where they only currently have three shows on the channel (and two are essentially names for video blocks).
- Also similarly, MTV's sister channel, VH-1, turned into a channel celebrating pop culture by getting D-list celebrities to comment on it. After that it became obsessed with D-list celebrity reality shows.
- As if anticipating its decay, VH1 launched VH1 Classic, a station devoted purely to music and music videos. Even the occasional movie shown is music-related (Footloose and The Wall being two examples).
- Unfortunately, VH1 Classic, which used to be wall-to-wall music videos, has devolved into "VH2", airing some of the old VH1 programs featuring D-List celebrities (see above), but usually only the ones that involve music. However, it's only time before it basically becomes wall-to-wall reality like VH 1 itself.
- VH 1 still shows music videos for a couple hours in the mornings. They play at least from 8 to 11 a.m. on weekdays.
- VH 1 still shows music videos in Argentina. Of course, it's all 80s/90s music videos.
- TNN, or The Nashville Network, a country station, eventually morphed into Spike TV, an unabashed attempt to appeal to every stereotypical male interest possible. This is somewhat understandable, due to Viacom owning both TNN and CMT, causing one of the networks to be retooled to avoid redundancy, but…
- For three years before Viacom bought CBS, the latter company owned both TNN and CMT, and didn't seem concerned about redundancy.
- CMT, or Country Music Television, has in recent years begun adding programming that has little if any connection to country music. In fact, music videos are played almost exclusively on weekdays during the morning and early afternoon hours, with the primetime and weekend slots being filled with reality shows and random movies, only with a "rural lifestyle" theme. In something of a double Network Decay, CMT has in 2007 even begun moving away from this, showing reruns of shows such as Hogan Knows Best and Nanny 911 along with movies like The Negotiator. One wonders if the channel has a theme anymore. In any case, this seems to be quite the trend among Viacom-owned music stations.
- It's arguable, especially given the case of Fuse, that most of these music video channels' decay were inevitable once You Tube became popular, along with the rise in popularity of the iPod. (Besides MTV, which decayed before this.) Suddenly these channels were less necessary to advertise certain musicians, and people who actually wanted to see music videos could nab them off the Internet, and so didn't care as much if music video channels decayed. The Internet in general and You Tube in particular has actually caused, to some extent or another, quite a bit of network decay in recent years.
- This troper would believe CMT is well on its way to being Spike 2, but…
- G4, a struggling video game network, bought out Tech TV, a wildly popular computer enthusiast network, and went the same route as Spike, becoming a men's general interest channel. Currently, G4's lineup includes reruns of Star Trek, Totally Outragious Behavior, Ninja Warrior and COPS (titled "COPS 2.0"). Apparently, based on Star Trek and the "2.0" bit, it would seem that the executives' reasoning is that if it sounds geeky or slackers are sure to watch it, it is therefore relevant to the channel. The only shows left on the network that appear relevant to either channel's former demographics are X-Play (ironically, the only Tech TV show left, with its hosts being the only Tech TV employees whatsoever still at G4. A further irony is that its G4's highest rated show) and Code Monkeys. G4 seems to deny all of this.
- During the Summer of 2008, G4 had a morning weekday programming block of old G4 programs called "The G4 Rewind" (including old Tech TV episodes of "X-Play") which showed several of the channel's old video game-centric shows, but it has done little to stop the criticism of the channel.
- The A&E (which, surprisingly, stands for Arts & Entertainment) channel used to show artsy films and documentaries for the over-30 audience. Now you're lucky if you find a single Columbo episode or film amid the morass of reality shows. Its executive even joked at one point that the channel experienced the fastest drop in average demographic age ever.
- Today A&E should be called the CSI: Miami channel, airing re-runs of the show with frightening regularity, culminating with occasional weekly marathons of the show that last entire days. The worst part is, these 24 hour marathons consist of the same 3 or 4 episodes airing in a loop, all day long. The few times the channel isn't airing CSI Miami, it's airing one of the 5 following shows: The First 48, Crossing Jordan, American Justice, Dog The Bounty Hunter or Cold Case Files.
- Its Biography Channel spin-off hasn't fared much better; about half the programming now consists of true-crime shows and repeats of shows like Airline.
- Its successor American Movie Classics, which originally showed commercial-free screenings of films from the black-and-white era, now consists of commercial-laden broadcasts of films (such as There's Something About Mary) which are hardly deserving of the adjective "classic". AMC is now suggested as standing for "All Movie Channel", but the channel's even broken that name with the drama series Mad Men, which unusually for this trope is actually a critically acclaimed original series that just happens to be on the wrong channel. (Reportedly, its producers turned to AMC after HBO turned them down.) One can argue that AMC had already starting breaking its rules when it aired its original series Remember WENN, but at least that show was made to sort of fit in with its movies (premise: life at a 1930s-40s radio station).
- This troper is sad to note that what originally got him into AMC, Monsterfest, has since evolved into Slasherfest, and then Fearfest, which basically means "5 days of Jason & Halloween". Although I do love Mad Men...
- The Learning Channel, originally focusing around science and nature documentaries in the style of the Discovery Channel, now features almost nothing but "home makeover"-style reality shows. In a somewhat confusing (in these days of internet porn) play at grabbing the all important 18-30 male demographic, TLC recently acquired the rights to air the Miss America pageant. Discovery Channel currently owns TLC, but This Troper is unsure whether that happened before or after the decay.
- Court TV: Originally, the channel aired only actual courtroom trials, which included the proceedings along with anchor's analysis. Then the channel began carrying original and acquired shows. It was recently revamped as TruTV, completely dropping the live court footage that defined it originally.
- E! Entertainment Network is another good example. Originally all about celebrity news and True Hollywood Stories, it's recently begun airing all sorts of non-celebrity-related reality programs. With shows like The Girls Next Door, Paradise City (The Hills with slightly older people), and Sunset Tan (essentially centering on watching blondes in tanning salons), it comes as no surprise that in recent commercials, E! openly acknowledges itself as a Guilty Pleasure channel. And they even have The Soup to make fun of themselves with.
- While Bravo originally focused on independent cinema and the arts, it has switched over to a reality show format, with occasional stragglers like Inside The Actors Studio still inexplicably present.
- One wonders how long it will be before LOGO, the LGTBQ-oriented channel launched in 2006, starts showing Professional Wrestling and re-runs of I Love Lucy — though come to think of it, both of those arguably would appeal to certain demographics of the channel (oiled musclemen and mid-50s Camp). Given that it's lineup is already heavy on travelogues, talk shows, and stand-up comedy — and the rather specific demographic — this may be one channel that is immune to Network Decay, if it survives.
- Christian Broadcast Network, originally launched by Pat Robertson as the cable TV arm of his ministry, gradually began to add more and more general entertainment and non-religious programming to its lineup throughout the '80s. As the ratio of religious to non-religious programming shifted, it became CBN, then CBN Family, then the Family Channel, before being bought out by Fox and later sold to ABC. When Disney wanted to rename the channel to "XYZ" to remarket it to a different audience, it discovered that the contract with Pat Robertson required that the word "Family" stay in the channel name, making this impossible. Its name may not have changed, but as evidenced by Greek and Slacker Cats, it isn't really that family oriented anymore. Today, The 700 Club is the only thing left on the channel hinting at its former roots (it's another thing that's required in the contract).
- Several networks over the years have gradually dumped their kids-specific blocks for more dramas, reality shows, and soaps; back in the 1980s and 1990s, the Big Five (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and The WB, but not UPN) had the entire 6 a.m. to noon block of Saturdays set aside just for children's shows, with the latter two even going so far as to add in an extra two to three hours every weekday morning and afternoon, as well. Now, only two channels maintain Saturday morning blocks: Fox and The CW. And as the former's is dubbed 4Kids TV, and 4K also took over the latter in summer 2008, that may not be a good thing after all...
- Actually, NBC, CBS, and ABC still maintain Saturday morning kids' blocks of at least 3 hours apiece. However, they are relatively recent, Aesop-heavy shows to fulfill children's educational programming mandates forced on broadcast TV in the early 1990s. Many were not made for the networks specifically; for example, ABC's are all Disney Channel/Toon Disney repeats and NBC reruns Veggie Tales among others. The decay of Saturday morning blocks was in part due to increasing cable competition (particularly Nickelodeon), and partially due to the mandates - since few kids above preschool age watch strictly educational shows, there was little incentive for producers to make them, while entertainment-oriented shows like The Weird Al Show were artistically crippled by constant Executive Meddling to fit the mandates.
- 4K has relinquished its Saturday mornings back to Fox, and starting in '09, they'll be split between the affiliates and "Weekend Marketplace": Infomercials. I kid you not.
- The British satellite station Bravo (unrelated to the American Bravo mentioned above) began as a channel showing black and white TV from the sixties (mostly Lew Grade action shows), dropped this in favour of Speculative Fiction and horror, dumped that for True Crime shows and "adult programming" (If You Know What I Mean), and now shows an eclectic mix of programmes that can best be described as "lad's mag television". In other words, anything they think (stereotypical) 18- to 31-year-old males will watch. Methinks it would get along well with the aforementioned Spike TV, right down to them both showing TNA Wrestling and UFC as the big draws.
- SBS in Australia was originally created to show foreign language programmes to Australians who spoke languages other than English. Since there are so many of them (at the very least it would need to do Chinese, Italian and Greek), it couldn't dedicate itself to them all, and since pay TV services like RAI and ANT 1 launched later did it much better, it gradually became the mix of documentaries, sex, soccer and South Park that it's known for today.
- Similarly, Imparja was created to service indigenous Australians in Central Australia, but, thanks to network aggregation, it is now essentially Channel Nine from Sydney with a couple of breakaway programmes.
- Australian examples are rare because there are so few networks, most of them are owned by the same companies, and the ratings are too small to quibble about (if the most matched programme in Australian pay TV history got 419,000 viewers, what's the How To Channel supposed to gain any?). The only notable example is Fox Kids, which adopted a programming block called Fox Classics (not entirely unlike Nick At Nite) before the Fox Kids block moved to Fox8, leaving Fox Classics to absorb the entire network.
- British channel "Dave" appears to be going this way. Although it initially seemed to be a channel showing mostly BBC sitcoms and panel-shows that are too recent to be shown on UK Gold. Then someone realised how popular Top Gear has become lately, and now it plays that show all day, with a few other car-based programs, and, inexplicably - a reality TV show set in an Airport?
- Top Gear is making jokes about it.
- Speaking of UK Gold, it went from a mix of the BBC and Thames archives, to suffering the same "6 months ago is classic" syndrome the US classic TV channels seem to have suffered, with a sprinkling of fairly recent Hollywood films and repeats of Prison Break. It’s now been split into the backronymed G.O.L.D. ("Go On Laugh Daily"), a comedy channel mostly recycling all the same old shows that are always repeated, and Watch, which takes the rest of the "classic" output of UK Gold and mixes it with Richard and Judy.
- In probably the only instance of live action network decay in a TV program, one of the contestants in Tycoon (a business program like The Apprentice) lost the topic of their magazine about students to general gossip just a week in, and promptly got shut down in the second episode of the show.
- BETJ used to be called BET Jazz, and focused on — believe it or not — jazz. Concerts, videos, wonderful old Panoram films, occasional spoken-word programs, and pretty much nothing else, 24/7. The revamped version is mostly talk shows aimed at a relatively mature audience; the little music they play is Caribbean or soul.
- Discovery Health, one of the few Discovery related channels to remain completely true to its concept (medical and health related shows) will be replaced in 2009 with a network devoted entirely to Oprah.
- In Latin America, Infinito was a cable channel that used to show documentaries about conspiracy theories, UFO's, Atlantis, global warming, and related stuff. Suddenly, in the mid 2000's the channel started to mutate into a really bad Travel Channel wannabe, showcasing documentaries about spas which no one cares about, Feng Shui, and alternative lifestyles, including commercials for conferences on new-age related stuff, but it still passed from time to time those documentaries from the early days. And in January 2009, the channel suddenly changed all of its programming out of the wazoo, now focusing into documentaries about new-age lifestyles, society, art movies and (you guess...) more spas no one cares about, while ditching all of the original concept around alternative sciences.
- On the subject of Latin America, Canal 7 in Argentina. It started as "ATC", just another basic channel to compete with Canal 13, Telefe and America. Then they changed their name to Canal 7, and now they changed into an educational/artsy channel.
- I vaguely recall Universal Channel being originally a sci-fi channel with a different name.
- AXN was originally meant to be an all-action channel, but now they run movies and TV series in general.
- Space originally showed both subtitled and dubbed movies before it became an all-dubbed channel (like what TNT used to be).
- The Film Zone originally showed both new and old movies before dedicating itself to movies too old for other channels, but not old enough for Retro and TCM.
- The less we speak of Animax's Latin American side, the better. Just the more egregious examples: its cycle of Movies appropriately named "Reciclo", since it recycles all the action flicks already worn by repetition in other channel of the Sony Group, like AXN and TNT. The only remotely anime related movie shown there was Tokyo Godfathers... and they had repeated Hellboy twice.
- The Brazilian version will also start broadcasting Lost...
- Accusing the Latin American channel Animax of Network Decay is the pot calling the kettle black, since "Animax" is what Locomotion mutated into. Locomotion was a channel meant to show adult cartoons AND the occasional anime, before it changed its name and decayed into an all-anime channel.
- As implied above, Sci Fi Channel recently added Professional Wrestling to the schedule, and well before this, it began abandoning actual "sci fi" (even in the looser sense of horror and fantasy) for cheaper-to-produce (you guessed it) reality shows. And, of course, said horror and fantasy only came in over time.
- This editor remembers a particularly egregious example of decay on Sci-Fi's part: in the run-up to showing American Psycho one night (which in and of itself has little to do with sci-fi), Sci-Fi preceded the movie with four episodes of Law And Order Special Victims Unit. The only explanations for it are that NBC owns Sci-Fi, and Bonnie Hammer does vast quantities of drugs.
- And let's not even get into the vaguely-sci-fi-themed porn movies. The Sex Files indeed...
- This troper watched Apollo 13 on the Sci-Fi Channel. If that doesn't seem to belong on this page, ask yourself what the "fi" in "sci-fi" means.
- To be fair, Apollo 13 was nominated for a Hugo award (usually given to the best works of science fiction each year) for best dramatic presentation. However, it certainly would not qualify as science fiction, since it was based on a real event; it'd be more like historical fiction (as it isn't exactly a straight recap of the original event).
- Technically, Apollo 13 is a fictionalized account of an event of great scientific interest. It's not speculative fiction, though. Just fiction about science. Ergo, science fiction.
- It is sci-fi... if you're talking to a Faked Moon Landing conspiracist.
- This troper recalls that World Wrestling Entertainment went to NBC/Universal with ECW, and they looked at all the various options as it pertained to where to place ECW — USA was out because it already had RAW, NBC didn't need it, and almost every other channel they owned was considered a "poor fit" for ECW; Sci-Fi was the only network they had left to put it on. (Apparently, being an entirely different genre doesn't qualify you as "poor fit".)
- Or that Sci-Fi unlike all of NBC Universal's other stations, it actually aims for the same demographic AS Pro Wrestling. I mean there has got to be a reason why Spike TV airs Star Trek in addition to TNA Wrestling and UFC.
- The demise of Stargate Atlantis against Ghost Hunters International seems to indicate a move in this direction.
- Similarly, Toon Disney shows Power Rangers and the odd live-action movie. And many Disney fans find the Jetix block detrimental to the channel, as it forced many classic Disney Afternoon shows such as Duck Tales and Darkwing Duck off its lineup to make room for shows such as the aformentioned Power Rangers, Digimon, The Tick and Jackie Chan Adventures (none of which was originally produced by Disney).
- In fact, in some other countries, Jetix is its own channel. For whatever reason, Disney decided that it would be better to append it onto a network it has nothing to do with as a programming block taking up roughly half the day in the US.
- Funny thing: in Argentina and Brazil, "Jetix" is what Fox Kids mutated into. After Disney bought Fox Kids when Saban went down the toilet, they renamed it Jetix, dumped all of their programming and started from scratch. They still show one of the last shows Fox Kids ever aired, The Fairly OddParents (which can also be seen on the Disney Channel), they show Power Rangers shows (who were on Fox Kids to begin with down here), and the "Super Hora" block rerurns the Marvel Comics cartoon Fox Kids used to show (The Incredible Hulk, X-Men and Spider-Man Unlimited).
- They would have avoided all this if the Fox network hadn't sold its successful "Fox Kids" lineup (which aired Power Rangers, Spider Man The Animated Series, Digimon, and others) to Disney/ABC via the Fox Family network. They then retooled their Saturday morning lineup into "The Fox Box", which consisted almost entirely of 4Kids Macekres. Naturally, they lampshaded this by changing the lineup's name to "4Kids TV".
- Disney has just announced (8-7-08) that Toon Disney is soon going to be become "Disney XD" and focus on preteen programming for boys, since regular Disney Channel programming tends to appeal to girls. In essence, the channel finally is becoming Jetix, albeit without the Jetix name.
- Ah, a classic misunderstanding. "XD" stands for "eXtreme Digital", and as there is a portion of their website called that, one can infer they are going to integrate the two, somehow.
- TV Land started out as, basically, Nick At Nite 2, focusing on old TV shows not even Nick At Nite showed anymore; Gilligan's Island, Mister Ed, Father Knows Best, etc. Lately, though, it's been following a similar track, airing shows that are either incredibly recent (Extreme Makeover?!) or original reality series that don't have anything to do with classic TV. (One can respect what they're doing with She's Got The Look, but it doesn't belong there.) With the recent additions of Scrubs and a CSI marathon, it'll probably be upgraded to Total Abandonment in the next year or so.
- CNN Headline News was originally 24 hours of just headline news. Recently the channel has been adding talk shows, tabloid material, and Missing White Woman Syndrome coverage. Now it's at least partially changed its on-air branding to "HLN".
- The TV Guide channel, formerly the Prevue Guide. Originally a nice little channel with pleasant muzak and Teletext style graphics that gave the local TV listings and the weather, supported by unobtrusive text ads, it has since mutated into a tabloid rag that shoves the listings into less than half of the total screen so as to make more room to show talking heads blab about American Idol and Dancing With The Stars. This change was most likely to compete with digital cable and Internet channel listings. You may notice that they're calling themselves the "TV Guide Network" now, further proving that they care more about their shows than about the TV listings that are the main reason people watch the channel.
- The magazine followed a similar path, dropping TV listings entirely and moving to entertainment news, with the physical form of the magazine going from digest to glossy.
- And don't bother using the channel at all to find something to watch if there's an awards ceremony going on. Unless you want to spend about 20 minutes squinting at 2 tiny rows of text at the bottom of the screen while listening to Joan Rivers talk to whatever schmok will speak to her during the red carpet interviews.
- Granted, most cable companies now have a "program guide" feature accessible from your remote that essentially does the same thing the TV Guide Network used to do, except with the ability to scroll the listings at will and be able to select a channel from there. However, TV Guide Channel started its slide to decay years before this feature became common and most people with the rudimentary basic cable package do not have this feature and are now pretty much out of luck if they just want to see what's on television.
- Not a network, but PBS' historical documentary series Secrets of the Dead originally followed investigators using modern-day science to learn about the long-ago dead. Now it just shows any documentary related to history, with the spooky title sequence quickly becoming The Artifact. For example, in their recent "Doping for Gold", about East German authorities drugging their Olympic athletes in the '70s and '80s, pretty much everyone involved in the story was still living and, in fact, interviewed for the show.
- In 2006, the History Channel abandoned pretty much all of its actual history-related programming and began to air conspiracy theory "documentaries" about UFOs, Jesus's hidden Bible codes, and ghosts. Lately, they seem to have reverted to their usual fare, but still show JAG and CSI New York.
- This other editor is more frightened by the appearance, on the History Channel, of the (original) Planet Of The Apes. What do they know that the rest of us don't?
- Another fixture is an overabundance of programs related to World War II and the Nazis (the latter often tied to the paranormal shows), leading to the network being derisively referred to as the "Hitler Channel".
- From my personal experience, most regular watchers of the channel LOVE this change.
- This troper has often referred to the History Channel as the "Hitler & Atlantis Channel," and actually remembers a program that had both Hitler and Atlantis in it.
- The Daily Show did a spoof on this a few years back, with Ed Helms producing a History Channel-style piece where everything was inevitably compared to the American Civil War or Hitler.
- The WWII fixation stretches back to the salad days of A&E, from which History Channel was spun off. In the 1991 Mystery Science Theatre 3000 episode The Amazing Colossal Man, A&E is referenced, and Tom says, "The all-Hitler channel, you mean?"
- In fairness, at least World War II is a historical time period.
- A frightening trend this editor has noticed is History Channel's surge in programing dealing with the end of the world. From 'Life After People' to 'Last Days on Earth' to Nostradamus and shows about the Antichrist and the End Times, the people behind History Channel seem to have a disturbing preoccupation with the subject. And what does hypothetical events in the future have to do with history anyway?
- The History Channel's "show about the history of everything," The Universe, seems particularly preoccupied about the end of the universe (or just the end of the world) and seems compelled to incorporate it into every. Single. Episode, as if a contractual obligation to do so exists.
- They must be moving into future history. Or possible future history. I await the day they rename it the "Historical Pre-enactment Channel"
- The network has also created a number of reality series to try and recreate the success of Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, including "Axe Men" and "Ice Road Truckers." They may or may not be wonderful programs, but it's hard to see what a reality series chronicling the day-to-day activities of lumberjacks in the year 2008 has to do with history.
- Realising its sheer number of military programmes, including a documentary series on modern day Canadian fighter pilots, the UK now has a Military History channel.
- The US also has a Military Channel...which also happens to fit this trope perfectly, because it used to be Discovery Wings, a network dedicated exclusively to aviation. Until the execs caught onto the fact that their most popular shows were about military aviation....
- With all their roughneck reality shows and "end-times" specials that have nothing to do with history, maybe it's time to move the History Channel into the "Starting to Slip" category.
- TG 4 (originally T na G/Teleifís na Gaeilge) began as a channel devoted to Irish-language shows. Though it still shows many series in Irish, increasing amounts of time are given to American series such as Cold Case and Nip/Tuck, as well as Westerns. Most viewers would not mind so much if these shows at least had Irish subtitles in the same way that most of the shows which do feature Irish dialogue have English subtitles.
- One particularly egregious example was the Hector O'hEochagáin Show, which had dialogue in both Irish and English. The Irish was subtitled, but the English was not.
- Wiki example: TV Tropes Wiki. Despite the name, this site no longer focuses on television. Over the past couple of years, it has added movies, books, board games and video games to its lineup. It's rumored that it'll change its name in the near future, perhaps to something like "Tropes Wiki X-Treme".
- Studio example: In its later, Weinstein-run years, arthouse distributor Miramax Films began distributing "mainstream" films like She's All That.
- Poked fun at in Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back: "Once [Miramax] made She's All That, everything went to hell."
- Cartoon Network originally began as a showcase for classic (or at least old) Hanna Barbera and Warner Brothers cartoons. These were eventually replaced by an increasing number of original productions and Anime, with the Boomerang network taking over Cartoon Network's old role; however, this was largely perceived as a golden age for the network. More recently, however, the network has begun focusing on live-action movies and TV shows; "Cartoon Network's first original live-action series", Out Of Jimmys Head, the Live Action Adaptation Made For TV Movie of Ben 10, reruns of Goosebumps...
- However, there have been signs of improving. Goosebumps has stopped airing. Out Of Jimmy's Head was axed. The only problem is that they still regularly show live-action movies.
- They have just cancelled Long Runner Toonami, and rarely show anime with only Bleach and Naruto getting any love. People can't help feel the reason that Toonami was cancelled was due to its anime past.
- There have been many rumors flying around regarding the massive reduction in anime. Although considering that most of the programming that's been replacing it has been Western animation, it's not really a case of Network Decay. Quality decay, however...
- Meanwhile, Boomerang itself has now apparently begun dumping their rules on how old a cartoon has to be in order for them to show it, and have also become rather hypocritical about which ones they show. They're willing to run Baby Looney Tunes and Duck Dodgers, which were made during 2002-05, but not the 1990s Looney Tunes spin-offs Taz Mania and The Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries; the same unfortunately also goes for other 1990s Warner Bros. Animation fare like Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, and Histeria, despite this network having previously shown Batman The Animated Series and Superman The Animated Series (both of which are ironically on Toon Disney now). Heck, now even they don't show the original Looney Tunes anymore (at least many of them are out on DVDs now).
- The Latin American version of Boomerang currently fills the "live action channel that was once dedicated to cartoons" role Cartoon Network fills in the USA. You can find an occasional cartoon... between midnight and dawn. Argentinian Cartoon Network is still mostly about cartoons, although they now show live action movies.
- And Goosebumps only appeared in Fox Kids. Once it decayed into Jetix, it dissapeared completely from Argentinian television.
- Teletoon in Canada, in their efforts to be as much like Cartoon Network in Canada, have as of late added more and more live action movies to their lineup: Their license mandates it has to be 'animated' or 'animation-related' - which apparently includes "based on a comic book" as they've shown various comic book movies. Apparently also "has a cartoon based on it" also counts - "Spaceballs", and "The Matrix" have also been shown.
- Their Retro spinoff channel has been good about remaining animated so far (even the arguable exceptions of Fraggle Rock and the Banana Splits at least are a puppet show, and contain cartoon segments, respectively), but are stretching the definition of 'Retro' with Re Boot.
Last edited by TMC1982; 02-12-2009 at 01:09 PM.
I can't argue with the success that comes with changing formats. I only argue that they stay accurate to the network's name. If I had a network all about cars and decided to change it to a network all about boats I would change the name of my network to go along with it.
Once ratings start to matter the "Mission" is the first thing to go.
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