"The History Channel" Is Being (Poorly) Written By the Victors
For the past few weeks, I have been examining the evolution of cable television channels. Some channels have amped up their game, while others have fallen into the depths of despair. But no channel that I've stumbled upon, thus far, has completely lost its original sense of identity while still holding onto its name on the same level as the History channel.
Arr...what did you do to all the Hitler documentaries?
History channel, what the hell happened to you? You are a former shell of yourself. Naturally, networks must change and progress along with the times, for better or for worse. Certain channels completely rebrand and rename and whether we enjoy their new iteration, at least they are admitting they're something new. The History channel did some minor rebranding in 2008, but that was only to drop from their name "the" and "channel," making it just "History," which hasn't even stuck. This move is completely illogical. The History channel is still a television channel, it's just not about history anymore!
In the mid-1990s, The History Channel was launched and posed a bit of a threat to public television, which had previously cornered the market on stuffy historical documentaries about relatively boring events in time. The History Channel quickly became a major cable player.
Of their programming, one of History's mainstays was a show called Biography, which would eventually splinter off into its own network. During those salad days of the History channel, there appeared to be an overwhelming amount of programming dedicated to World War II, which eventually led the network to get saddled with the unfortunate title "the Hitler Channel."
It's been somewhat stuck with that name since, which perhaps it should have embraced. I don't want to point out the obvious, but WWII was kind of a big deal.
The past few years, it has been noted that the History channel has stopped airing programs about history altogether, which is not actually the case; they've been airing nonhistorical shows for years!
In 1995-96, the channel began airing Modern Marvels, which would prove to be one of its most popular shows of all time. Each episode takes an interesting aspect of science and/or technology and depicts how it affects our daily lives. That's not history, that's now stuff.