What cable channel has suffered the most from network decay?


Other than that, Ovation occasionally has that type of programming, though on DirecTV it’s only available as part of a digital package.

I submit to you: G4TV.

G4 used to be a video gaming channel. Then, they bought out TechTV and rapidly killed every show about computers and technology. Now, there’s only one show on G4 about video games: X-Play. The rest of the network’s time is reruns of Lost, Heroes, Japanese imports like Ninja Warrior, and especially Cops and Cheaters, which together seem to take up nearly half of G4’s daily airtime.

I’d say Bravo ranks right up there.

Before Top Chef and Next Great Artist and Project Runway and Real Housewives of Saskatchewan and Straight Guys with Queer Eyes there was…


what the hell was on Bravo before that? I mean other than marathons of the Actors Studio.

I seem to remember it being a lot like IFC (or rather IFC before they started showing constant reruns of Arrested Development and old Judd Apatow shows), in that it showcased a lot of quirky independent films.

They need to bring back Max Moon.

Cartoon Network has these crappy live-action-non-cartoon shows that remind me of the 70s-era Disney live action films: stupid & ill concieved.

Food Network now has a spinoff network called the Cooking Channel.

I remember tuning in to Bravo in the late 90s for some great music docs like a profile of pioneering rock songwriters Lieber and Stoller and modern jazz great Charles Mingus. Could you imagine Bravo doing a two hour show on a jazz bassist today?
And to the poster mentioning ABC Family, it used to be CBN. Mostly they were innocuous sitcoms like Family Affair and Hazel, but every weeknight they’d air a block of Jack Benny/Burns and Allen/Laurel and Hardy/“You Bet Your Life” with Groucho Marx!

CourtTV, now known as TruTV, which–with primetime shows like “Operation Repo”, “Conspiracy Theory”, and “Hardcore Pawn”–is rapidly becoming FalsTV. Do they even have anything remotely about legal stuff other than the late-night “Forensic Files” now?

I’ll third (fourth?) Bravo. I saw an ad for Inside the Actors Studio the other day, and it was surreal. I wonder what it would be like if James Lipton was asked to guest star on Watch What Happens Live…

I seem to recall that Spike TV started out as The Nashville Network, showing a lot of country music programming.

That’s my favorite. I could see it being on SyFy if the wrestlers were fighting aliens with nine tentacles or whatever cool alien you could come up with.

Too much fy and not enough sy?

To be fair, eventually Lipton’s going to push himself so far up a guest’s ass that he’ll disappear, and then the show will have to be canceled.

The Science Channel; now this is a premium channel, but it has shown some terrible degradation. I mean, originally it really tried to explain complicated scientific subjects to the laymen, occasionally showcasing equations! They even had a show called* Understanding *where they’d have the host narrate through the development of an idea or object in thorough detail. If you tune in now you see shows like Really Big Things, Pumpkin Chuckers; they even provide an outlet for pseudoscience and ideas regarding intelligent design. It had so much potential; it’s degradation has proved very disappointing.

So, I saw an ad today for an A&E show about super morbidly obese people who were going to get skinnier somehow. There were just so many shots that were just images of people’s naked fat tissue. Like, just rolls and rolls of fat.

And it made me think about how many shows on tv today that we have that are just basically freakshows. That are either about people who are seriously on the fringes of society (Hoarders, the show I saw an advert for, 16 and Pregnant, Teen Mom), have bizarre lifestyles (19 Kids and Counting or any of the other freakishly-large family shows), or find themselves in really unusual situations (I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, Little People, Big World).

What’s the point of these shows? So the rest of us can watch and feel superior? At least the latter category can sometimes be interesting because it’s not really about the strangeness of the people themselves but more like weird random situations, but sometimes watching the first two categories of shows seem to be like rubbernecking at car wrecks.

I will give them a pass because they made a specific decision to change their format and made no bones about it. TNN started out as The Nashville Network, became The Nation’s Network, and finally settled on Spike. I don’t think that’s the same as network decay.

F/X started out as a channel with a lot of wholesome family reruns and plenty of live shows starting in the morning and going on through the afternoon. I remember when the network went live and it was kind of neat. The same network got rid of the live aspect of their programming and got rid of the wholesome stuff. They gave us The Shield so they’re okay in my book.

Can we put the original Big Three networks on decay? I forget the last show of theirs I ever watched. Throw in Fox/CW-UPN or whatever they call themselves.
But since the OP says cable, I fifth (or sixth) Bravo followed closely by MTV. I have to look up where they are on my current provider.

I wouldn’t call them the worst but ESPN Classic very quickly went to showing only games played in the 1990s and various American Gladiators junk broadcasting.

In order, I think MTV and VH1 and then The History Channel.

At this point I think MTV has been non music oriented longer than it was music oriented so at some point I think it is no longer decaying and just is what it is. MTV made a decision to be the “Teens and Early 20s Network” long ago and has been that pretty consistently since. Rather than age with its audience, it lets the old folks go and focuses back on the incoming teens.

I suppose they kept the word Music in their official logo for way too long but that was just a logo. The last time MTV had a majority of music programming, the year started with a 1.