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Old 10-02-2018, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
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I'm not much of a TV watcher and when I do watch it, I usually watch a handful of channels, like History, and National Geographic. With a couple of exceptions, I never really cared for the so-called "Reality TV" thing mainly because most of it is scripted.

If you've been watching the History Channel lately, I'm sure you've noticed how their programming has changed from informative programs about history events, to mostly marathons of reality TV reruns, such as American Pickers, and Pawn Stars. I got nothing against the people on those shows, and I like Mike and Frank, and Rick Harrison and his late father, Richard "The Old Man" Harrison, mainly because of the comedic moments they provide, however, when such programs are aired for almost the entire day, I start wondering about the people who are behind the scenes at the History Channel.

In my opinion, the reality TV format was popular at one time, but I think its popularity has diminished significantly in recent years, it may still be popular with some segment of the audiences, but it's not like what it was a few years ago. I admit that I've watched some of the programs on the History Channel, like Counting Cars and Mountain Men for an hour or two, those are the two shows that do not take up a major share of a day's programming slot, unlike programs like American Pickers and Pawn Stars, which sometimes are on for hours, for 2 or 3 days a week.

I contacted the History Channel, which I think is now with A&E, about this and I haven't gotten a response. I don't know about other people who watch the History Channel, but they should include a mix of more historic documentaries and less reality TV marathons.

What do you think?
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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I think there was a similar thread years ago. It used to be a good channel now caters to brain dead viewers. Reality shows are cheap to make and bring in advertising revenue which is what tv is all about anyway.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
51,058 posts, read 29,141,449 times
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Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
I think there was a similar thread years ago. It used to be a good channel now caters to brain dead viewers. Reality shows are cheap to make and bring in advertising revenue which is what tv is all about anyway.
I don't think I've been on this City Data forum before so I probably missed it.

There should be a balance that would cater to all audiences.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:10 AM
 
7,551 posts, read 7,981,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
I think there was a similar thread years ago. It used to be a good channel now caters to brain dead viewers. Reality shows are cheap to make and bring in advertising revenue which is what tv is all about anyway.
^This. Prior to the above style programming, the History Channel was called the WW2 channel. Prior to that, it was a good channel. Once in a while, they have an actual limited series on history, either scripted or a documentary. Their history documentaries were always "history-lite" on the level for high school students, in comparison with the history documentaries aired on PBS and some of the premium cable stations or even CNN.
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Old 10-02-2018, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
36,959 posts, read 17,437,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
^This. Prior to the above style programming, the History Channel was called the WW2 channel. Prior to that, it was a good channel. Once in a while, they have an actual limited series on history, either scripted or a documentary. Their history documentaries were always "history-lite" on the level for high school students, in comparison with the history documentaries aired on PBS and some of the premium cable stations or even CNN.
I tend to think of all historical documentaries as "history-lite" because even the ones put out by PBS contain but a small portion of the information you could digest if you were reading about it rather than passively watching. An hours worth of documentary might be based on a script which could be read in five or ten minutes.

If your goal is to be entertained, then the documentary approach works. If your goal is learning, documentaries are an inefficient employment of your time.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
51,058 posts, read 29,141,449 times
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I tend to think of all historical documentaries as "history-lite" because even the ones put out by PBS contain but a small portion of the information you could digest if you were reading about it rather than passively watching. An hours worth of documentary might be based on a script which could be read in five or ten minutes.

If your goal is to be entertained, then the documentary approach works. If your goal is learning, documentaries are an inefficient employment of your time.
I agree, the information that's available in reading material is a lot better than what you would see on TV documentaries. Whether it's the History Channel or PBS, the good thing about history documentaries is they're good for showing enough information about specific historical events that may not be available in books.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:09 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, Tx
7,145 posts, read 7,586,700 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coney View Post
^This. Prior to the above style programming, the History Channel was called the WW2 channel. Prior to that, it was a good channel. Once in a while, they have an actual limited series on history, either scripted or a documentary. Their history documentaries were always "history-lite" on the level for high school students, in comparison with the history documentaries aired on PBS and some of the premium cable stations or even CNN.
Just to avoid confusion, the channel was always called "The History Channel" and then just "History". It just had the nickname of "the WW2 channel". Those documentaries are now found on "Military History" channel. Problem is that channel is only available on UVerse and Fios and SD only.

I am not sure why A&E wont just rebrand History like they did with H2 (History 2) into Viceland. It is very clear they have shifted the focus away from historical documentaries.

I find most of the good documentaries on Smithsonian anymore
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:28 AM
 
Location: NJ
3,727 posts, read 8,505,039 times
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You can say the same thing about Discovery Channel too. They used to be good but now it's all the same type of reality stuff you see on History. Nat Geo is headed in the same direction.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:03 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, Tx
7,145 posts, read 7,586,700 times
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Originally Posted by ansky View Post
You can say the same thing about Discovery Channel too. They used to be good but now it's all the same type of reality stuff you see on History. Nat Geo is headed in the same direction.
At least Discovery has several other channels devoted to specific programming.
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:12 PM
 
7,551 posts, read 7,981,754 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SabresFanInSA View Post
Just to avoid confusion, the channel was always called "The History Channel" and then just "History". It just had the nickname of "the WW2 channel". Those documentaries are now found on "Military History" channel. Problem is that channel is only available on UVerse and Fios and SD only.

I am not sure why A&E wont just rebrand History like they did with H2 (History 2) into Viceland. It is very clear they have shifted the focus away from historical documentaries.

I find most of the good documentaries on Smithsonian anymore
Yeah, I thought that was understood that the WWII channel was a derogatory nickname given by viewers.
In between the WWII documentaries were s bunch of shows about paranormal stuff, aliens from outerspace, and other nonsense.
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