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Network Decay / Unique Situations

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The channel’s decay either is in a situation where it doesn’t fit any of the other categories, or is constantly fluctuating between decaying and recovering.

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    Cartoon Network channels 

  • Cartoon Network: Its decay is so infamous, there have been two schools of thought analyzing its 2000s period. See here for much more in depth discussion.
    • One view puts most of the blame on Jamie Kellner, who was put in charge of CN over longtime president Betty Cohen in 2001.note  Under Cohen, CN appealed to a broad and diverse audience and showcased animation from various decades throughout the medium's history; Kellner, however, followed a "by-the-book" programming philosophy of finding a big hit, milking it and gouging advertisers for airtime during that show. This led to a lot of infighting between Kellner and Cohen's camps, which Kellner won.note  Cohen quit the network, Jim Samples was brought in from The WB as general manager and most of the older cartoons were either shifted to Boomerang or left off the air.
    • Another view holds that the decay started in 2007: while CN had already aired non-animated movies and was phasing out older original shows, the real trouble started when a Viral Marketing stunt for the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie went wrong and caused the network higher-ups to leave, allowing Stuart Snyder to become both general manager and CEO. Snyder, in response to Disney Channel and Nickelodeon increasingly focusing on female audiences, immediately proceeded to refocus it towards a male-demographicnote . The first three years of his tenure included such measures as imposing tie-in merchandising campaigns and playing around with the schedule, leading to friction with creators; vastly privileging action shows and third-party Canadian imports over comedy-based cartoons and original productions respectively; cancelling the "Cartoonstitute" project before it could even get a chancenote ; getting rid of the Toonami anime block; and most of all, greenlighting the live-action hybrid Out of Jimmy's Head and starting "CN Real", the much-maligned block of live-action series.
    • After a (somewhat half-hearted) attempt to return to the channel's roots beginning in 2010, another nadir of network decay came after Christina Miller replaced Snyder in 2014. Miller's approach to programming was something neither of her predecessors would have dared to: "Take the network's top-rated show and marathon the hell out of it at the expense of everything else". One such anointed show during this era was Teen Titans Go!, which became virtually inescapable during this era, taking airtime from other well-established and popular shows. On the positive side, CN under Miller became a very diverse and open-armed network in regards to LGBT and BIPOC creators, including Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey, among others.
    • While at first it was thought AT&T's takeover of TimeWarner in 2019 would have little to no effect on CN, the company quickly became notorious for not knowing how to run a media company (and suffered repeated blunders regarding their all-encompassing streaming service HBO Max), and changes to Boomerang and Adult Swim proved a bad omen as Tom Ascheim note  took over from Miller in 2020 and Cartoon Network began to look increasingly abandoned and running on auto-pilot, a situation compounded by the announcement of some unwanted changes in line with Ascheim's intention of making CN a generic kids' channel, including:
      • A return to live-action programming beginning some time in 2023.
      • The introduction of Cartoonito for the US in September 2021, a new preschool block that will include the already controversial and doomed-from-the-start Thomas & Friends reboot Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go, as well as the similarly-disdained Caillou.note 
    • When Discovery acquired WarnerMedia from AT&T in 2022, it began cutting costs through the cancellation of a multitude of projects across the latter's subdivisions, and Cartoon Network's productions were no exception. The plan to merge HBO Max and Discovery's own streaming service Discovery+ has led to nearly the entirety of CN's catalog being pulled from the former, even shows that still had new episodes set to air. As a result, many of CN's projects currently in production have either been completely cancelled or have been halted while the producers shop the unfinished product to other streaming services. These decisions caused the new conglomerate to lose billions of dollars worth in stocks, which is undoubtedly bound to result in even more cost-cutting moves that put CN in even more dire waters. As of 2023, the situation appears to be stabilizing to an extent. Adult Swim had made strides at the expense of Cartoon Network proper, gaining the 7pm hour as well as new shows Unicorn: Warriors Eternal and My Adventures with Superman (both originally slated for Cartoon Network). It gained the 5pm slot in August with plans for a block of of classic CN shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Ed, Edd n Eddy and Courage the Cowardly Dog.
    • Cartoon Network themselves have eased off on their previous tactics, such as marathons of Teen Titans Go!; it now airs for only an hour on weekdays, and sometimes not even at all on some days. This unique situation has allowed them to dig into their back catalogue and, since their 30th anniversary, have brought more classic shows back for reruns.
  • Boomerang: Boomerang was launched with the intent of it being Cartoon Network's sister channel focusing on classic and "retro" cartoons. However, after original CN head Betty Cohen left, Boomerang was increasingly used as a dumping ground for more recent Cartoon Network shows, eventually reaching the point that Boomerang became largely indistinguishable from its parent channel — even airing reruns of then-current programming. Since then, Boomerang has been a channel in search of a reason to exist: it's been rebranded as a channel for younger viewers, it's had an on-again off-again relationship with its "classic animation channel" status, and it was even the name of a Video On Demand service. With many of the properties that launched Boomerang going to other distributors (particularly HBO Max), it seems that this will continue for some time.
    • As of Thanksgiving 2020 onwards, this seems to have been averted. Classic shows from both the WB and CN libraries are starting to occupy Boomerang's schedule once more, including deep cut shows such as The Flintstones Kids and Yo Yogi!. While the majority of the channel's schedule is still comprised of the Big Three (Scooby-Doo, Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry shows), the sheer variety of shows on the current schedule is admirable and almost a return to form for the network.
  • Asia’s Cartoon Network and Boomerang in the late 2000's really had a problem in regards to where their programming was supposed to be placed, going to the point where all new shows premiere on Boomerang Asia while Cartoon Network Asia restricted itself to airing mostly old classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons and Ben 10, with an occasional mix-up every now and then. Eventually Boomerang Asia was canned and eventually replaced with an Asian equivalent of Toonami and focused its mission on action shows while Asia’s regular CN shifted towards animated comedy, though the shenanigans of Ben 10 and old HB cartoons still remain, even with Boomerang relaunching and running alongside Toonami and the main Cartoon Network channel as of 2015. At this point, Boomerang aired mostly third party programming alongside the occasional old cartoons, Toonami focusing on action shows and anime, and the main network airs animated comedy, old HB/DFE/WB cartoons, and Ben 10.
  • Cartoon Network Latin America
    • During its earlier years, it was simply a Spanish-language near-simulcast of its parent channel in the U.S. (it was launched a mere six months after it), but by the end of The '90s it began cashing on the "anime boom" before the U.S. feed launched Toonami, at one point becoming CNLA's most prominent product to the chagrin of fans of classic animation and Cartoon Cartoons. However, the Latin American Toonami block would be afterwards shoved to increasingly reduced late-night slots in response to complaints over violence, and by 2005-06 most anime had vanished from the network with a few exceptions. The inclusion of the [adult swim] block during the weekend overnight hours met with controversy in no small part because of parents letting their kids stay up late and not realizing the network wasn't supposed to be entirely kid-friendly, and it would be eventually shunted to other Turner channels as several cable operators blocked the channel during the hours AS aired.
    • After a brief period (the so-called "CN City" era, which began at midnight on New Year's Day 2005) where CN originals filled the schedule while Looney Tunes and MGM cartoons were shown in the morning hours, from 2006 on the network began devoting an increasing amount of attention to Ben 10 given its great popularity in Latin America. As a result, the Grand Finales of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Codename: Kids Next Door would be side-stepped, as well as the 10th anniversary special of The Powerpuff Girls. By 2008, the channel got an independent brand identity, yet it was also inheriting the American network's Network Decay, with Ben 10 having over 10 timeslots every day while Canadian imports and DCAU series took the rest of the day with only a couple of hours left for Cartoon Cartoon shows early in the morning, the only variant being the inclusion of the animated adaptation of El Chavo del ocho here and there.
    • The "Noods"/"Toonix" (2010-12) era as well as the early "Check It!" period (2012-14) probably saw the most chaotic version of Cartoon Network yet: While Adventure Time premiered in Latin America just a couple of months after the U.S. feed and action programming was somewhat scaled back, the network began to lose audience to Disney Channel and Nickelodeon, and live-action content (mostly limited to movies beforehand) sprung up, first by airing repeats of El Chapulín Colorado and El Chavo del ocho. Then, the network co-produced a tweencom with Televisa entitled La CQnote , which became subject to fierce criticism from basically everybody, also airing the Canadian tweencom Mr. Young, about a teenage teacher. And finally, for a time in 2013, some of the "CN Real" shows popped up on Saturday afternoons. But if this wasn't enough, other CN originals such as Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball and MAD took a long time to premiere, and from 2012, the intros and outros for shows were sped up and shows aired in 15-minute blocks interspersed with other 15 minutes of commercials and short cartoons. Another issue was the fact the Mexican studio that dubbed most of the network's shows was churning out increasingly awful results. Interestingly, one of the channel's slogans (between 2008 and 2010) was Hacemos lo que queremos (literally "We do what we want to"), which pretty much summed up their programming choices.
    • Beginning in 2014, CNLA seemed to be back on track: Live-action output had been limited to a few movies (not counting the fourth season of 31 Minutos and a brief period where Power Rangers Megaforce was shown) while CN Originals regained the spotlight and dubs improved after a switch in studios. The downsides, however, were the disappearance of older shows (except on overnight slots) and non-CN animated material as well as the increased censoring of several showsnote , and by late 2017-early 2018, Teen Titans Go! began occupying an increasing portion of the schedule, however, it wasn't until 2019 when the series' dominance of CNLA would become comparable to what happened to the U.S. feed.
    • The decay is often blamed on the current manager of CNLA, Pablo Zuccarino, and it really doesn't help his case that he has publicly said that his objective is to make CNLA a channel completely appropriate for all children.
    • After the Toonami block ended in 2007, anime content became mostly limited to Pokemon and a few other series, such as Naruto, Bakugan, Captain Tsubasa and Dragon Ball Z Kai, the latter becoming quite criticized for being a Re-Cut of Dragon Ball Z with a different dub. In September 2020, CNLA allied with Crunchyroll to revive the Toonami block in Latin America with the joint broadcast of Dragon Ball Super and Mob Psycho 100, time will tell if the block can consolidate as its American counterpart.
  • Latin America also had Boomerang's situation worse during the late 2000s/early 2010s. In 2006, its original format was changed to an equivalent of India's Turner-owned channel POGO, first aimed at a family audience and mostly consisting of animated shows ranging from preschool to teen that had previously aired on CNLA or were exclusive to Boomerang, as well as Australian and British live-action series, family movies and the classic cartoons during overnights. In September 2007, the channel began airing reruns of the then-extremely popular Mexican teen soap opera Rebelde, which was followed months later by reruns of the similarly highly-popular Venezuelan production Somos tu y yo, and the success of those led the channel to change its profile to be now aimed at stereotypical teenage girls, quickly reducing non-teen content until it disappeared completely in October 2008. Boomerang's new programming included CN Real shows, many MTV shows like Parental Control and Date My Mom, as well as series that had no place in what was originally a children's channel such as Gilmore Girls, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and The Carrie Diaries, though, strangely, advertising directed at kids continued as it did previous to the change. On December 2008, Turner LA created Tooncast, which fulfilled Boomerang's original purpose (even though it fell into the "Slipped" category as years passed, becoming a dumping ground for Cartoon Cartoons, WBA shows and WB/MGM/HB cartoons). By 2011, the channel was firmly in the Total Abandonment section, as by that time they had no animated shows at all, making the name an Artifact Title. Then, on April 1, 2014, Boomerang LA suddenly rearranged their programming grill to get animation and classic shows back (as part of the network's international revamp) and moved all their live action shows to an overnight slot, to the happiness of almost everybody but the teens who followed Pretty Little Liars, before finally dropping them in 2015. Although the LA feed would eventually become dominated by the Russian cartoon Masha and the Bear and spin-offs, it hasn't decayed as hard as the American feed. On December 1, 2021, the channel was replaced by Cartoonito, keeping some of the shows from Boomerang.
  • The Canadian version of Adult Swim has not been able to air the Toonami block, which was one of the biggest draws of the American version, because of rights issues and Canada's reluctance to air anime after YTV's Bionix descended into filler episodes and reruns until it sputtered to a finish in 2009. Also, they unironically (which is strange for Adult Swim, who would air such movies as an April Fool's prank) air low-budget made-for-TV movies with titles like I Didn't Kill My Sister simply for Canadian content regulations (such movies aired on Showcase Action, which Adult Swim replaced). They did air the Blade Runner anime and Housing Complex C, but other than that, there is no other anime on the channel, unlike the American block.

Other "Unique Situations" examples:

  • By their very nature, sports channels which consist of nothing but college and high school sports (such as ESPNU, the Fox and CBS college sports channels, the Big Ten Network and ESPN's networks devoted to the SEC and Texas Longhorns) must decay in the summer due to the lack of college and high school sports being played. This means that they either carry minor league summer sports or some programming which strays slightly from the format, or air rerun after rerun of football and basketball games played months or years ago and with all of the drama of a live event removed with a simple check of the team schedule or even looking at the event's guide listing, along with reruns of coach's shows which could be awkward if said coach has been terminated since the first airing of an event.
    • Tennis Channel is in a similar situation. During major tournaments, particularly the four Grand Slams, it features nearly round-the-clock coverage, but at other times has to fill out its schedule with original programming — Tennisography, "classic" matches (sometimes cut down to half an hour), Best of 5, Destination Tennis (a travel show), but all tennis-related. The farthest the channel has drifted from its actual subject (except for the requisite late-night/early-morning filler of infomercials) is an occasional flirtation with badminton or ping pong, but as those are net sports they still easily count (since there will never be a market for The Badminton Channel in the States). It has also begun to move into the rising net sport of pickleball, which has been positioned as a more reasonable and affordable alternative to tennis.
    • CBS College Sports mutated into the CBS Sports Network, and still shows all their college programming (including NCAA events and analysis shows), joined mostly by Jim Rome's show (after he got Screwed by the Network by ESPN) and sports leagues too tiny to be taken by any other network like pro lacrosse, the Arena Football League (it too got screwed over by ESPN), the United Football League and Alliance of American Football (which both fell apart in the middle of their first seasons, we must add, although the AAF did do relatively better) and the NBA D-League. One night, they even aired college paintball; one began to wonder if laser tag was on the horizon (of course, Neil Patrick Harris would have to host that). The network has gained some moderate sports rights recently, including the 3-on-3 Big3 basketball league (hopping from Fox), a new package of WNBA games, and more unexpectedly, a portion of a new contract for the UEFA Champions League beginning in 2021.
    • Networks operated by specific pro sports teams go through similar issues during their team's offseason. The most common solution for filling airtime is broadcasting games of local/regional teams in other sports with different schedules; mostly these are teams who share ownership groups, but sometimes specific deals are made for TV rights. One example is the New York Yankees' YES Network, which airs live Brooklyn Nets NBA games when baseball season is done (with a bit of overlap), and has even branched out to airing replays of English Premier League soccer matches. In years past, the latter was confined to the occasional Arsenal match. But owing to Yankees ownership partnering with Manchester City for MLS expansion team NYCFC, YES now airs replays of Man City games, both Premier League and Champions League, in addition to team-focused programming from Man City's own dedicated network in the UK. The channel also has "filler" shows such as Running as well as a live radio simulcast, formerly Mike & the Mad Dog (later just Mike Francesca) and now Michael Kay. In 2014, Fox acquired a majority stake in YES Network, acquired broadcast rights to the partially Yankees-owned New York City FC, and became the new FSN affiliate for the NYC/Tri-State metro area (that was previously MSG Plus, which was once FSN New York).
  • The TV Guide Channel/Network, which started its life as the Prevue Channel, formerly existed as a channel which was half-devoted to 'barker' ads for cable movies and shows, with the bottom half devoted to an endless roll of a cable provider's TV listings. Over the years smaller things such as local weather and news headlines, along with junket interviews by the channel's movie 'critic' were added to the loop, until TV Guide's parent purchased it in 1998. From here, original programming was further added until digital cable, which provided programming listings with the boxes, came into vogue. Soon, the programming on top became more like that of Entertainment Tonight, and eventually the network attempted to kill E's red carpet coverage monopoly by hiring Joan Rivers, to little success. By 2009 and the digital transition, it was becoming clear that the future of cable and satellite would be electronic listings, so the channel began a slow phase-out of the listings roll. From there, corporate upheaval among the TV Guide properties left the TV Guide Network in the hands of Lionsgate, which finished off the promotional original programming altogether and turned the network into a rerun/movie farm until 2013, when CBS purchased it, added Big Brother After Dark, along with The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful same-day repeats in place of the dying Soapnet, and launched an HD version of the channel without any listings infrastructure at all.
    • In 2015, the channel was relaunched as Pop TV, abandoning its original format for good.
  • When Pittsburgh's local PBS note  station WQED-13 first bought the former WENS-16 in 1959, it established a sister station, WQEX, in order to showcase educational programming it couldn't fit on the main channel. Then in the 1980's, after the original broadcast tower breaking necessitated a switch to colornote , WQED began running WQEX as its own station, showing imported British Sitcoms, reruns of old PBS shows such as Masterpiece Theatre, Movies, as well as Local oriented programming. The station became popular for this programming as well as its nightly sign-off, which featured "credits" that donors could have their name listed in. But during the 1990s, as the costs of writing original content, getting rights to broadcast the imports, and broadcasting increased, the station began to switch to a simulcast of WQED, save for some programming in the evening. As the new millennium dawned, WQED began having financial issues after the end of their old original show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, leasing out the station to the Home Shopping Network, then ShopNBC while looking for a permanent buyer; this is usually verboten for a public television operation since most use non-commercial television licenses, but since WQEX still retained a commercial license, was perfectly legal to do. The station was finally sold to Ion Media Networks, (which had been waiting for years to get a Pittsburgh station; a previous 1999 deal to acquire another station and swap the WQEX license with another religious broadcaster who could use it under that definition was shot down by the FCC), and became WINP in 2010.
  • GSN, originally called the Game Show Network, has had an on-again, off-again relationship with 1950s through 1980s classic game shows. At one time it wasn't unusual to find the likes of the black and white episodes of What's My Line? and To Tell the Truth filling up a programming block known as "Black and White Overnight," and reruns of the CBS Password and the original ABC version of Family Feud with Richard Dawson as host. When GSN lost the rights to many of those shows, older games were banished, and classic game show fans refer to this as "The Dark Period". When the network got a new management team, GSN brought the older shows back and even added few, like reruns of the Peter Marshall version of The Hollywood Squares and the original version of Press Your Luck. In addition, the network began concentrating on its own first run shows like Lingo and Whammy, in an effort to pull in younger demographics. While it's still not unusual for the network to remake game shows, older fare like the original The Hollywood Squares has become rare again. Still, Match Game reruns from the series' 1973–81 run have managed to remain a staple of the network. (Note that it's not unusual for fledgling cable networks to fill up their schedules with old movies or reruns of old TV shows, as they build a network and find ways to attract younger, 18-34 demographics. Even Comedy Central once reran ancient 1950s series featuring the likes of Steve Allen and Spike Jones as they built a network with first run fare like Mystery Science Theater 3000.)

    Of course, it still had a couple more missteps along the way as it got overrun with poker tournaments and reality shows on game show hosts in the late 2000s. Eventually these all but vanished and it started to focus on original programming once more with shows like The Chase, Minute to Win It, The American Bible Challenge, and Idiotest. Of course, the channel tends to be filled with reruns of Steve Harvey's Family Feud and moves the reruns of classic game shows to the early mornings, but game shows are still its primary focus.
  • In 2010, Discovery Kids, an outgrowth of the Discovery Channel which showed mostly educational programming similar to the fields of the parent channel, was replaced by The Hub, a channel backed by Hasbro which focused on the company's Merchandise-Driven franchises. However, this wound up being a major blessing in disguise, as many of the new shows went on to attract considerable acclaim and popularity. Of the international versions that were around at the time, only the Latin American feed remains: the UK version was replaced with Discovery Turbo (cars, bikes, boats, and planes), and the Canadian version was replaced on most providers by Nickelodeon (it is legally a separate channel, but the channel allotments were re-used on most providers). Strangely, shortly after the American version of Discovery Kids was replaced by The Hub, they launched an Asian feed of Discovery Kids. Carrying gems such as Wild Kratts, FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, and Peep and the Big Wide World, the Asian feed is still alive and well today.
    • Sadly, the good times were not to last. Only four years and three days after the birth of The Hub, the hammer came down again. In July 2014, The Hub's president Margaret Loesch disclosed plans to step down by the end of the year. In September 2014, Discovery then announced that it would increase its stake in the network to 60% from 50, replace Loesch with Henry Schleiff (who leads some of Discovery's other digital networks), and re-brand it as Discovery Family in October 2014 with Hasbro still having partial control over the network's programming (specifically daytime shows, meaning that The Hub's original programs still have a home). The primetime entertainment programming was thrown out the window and the network turned into a family-friendly permutation of Discovery Channel shows that have already been treated with blatant adoration. Oddly enough, this shift almost brings it back in line with Discovery Kids' original format, except that it uses reruns of shows from the actual Discovery Channel and still shows general kids' fare. Many feel the whole thing is bittersweet; after Littlest Pet Shop (2012) and Transformers: Rescue Bots were axed following their respective fourth and third seasons, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic remained as the network's only original offering that was still active, with the days of the network having a solid lineup of original content now a thing of the past. Some have even expressed concern that My Little Pony's toyline is the only thing keeping afloat the network as a whole; without it, Discovery Family has otherwise decayed into a Discovery/Hasbro rerun dumping ground, with the network's schedule now being filled with shows that either ended, were cancelled, and/or already air(ed) on sister Discovery networks, or shows co-produced by Hasbro subsidiaries that were previously broadcast on YouTube or Netflix. Not helping matters is that the network has no western feed either, meaning that if you live in the Pacific Time Zone, you best be early to watch the shows there before 2:00 PM, or you'll be screwed, unless you have a DVR to record the morning shows.
    • In March 2018, Discovery acquired Scripps Networks Interactive, thus adding HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network and other sister channels to its lineup. Soon afterwards, endless reruns of Renovation Realities and DIY's various Crashers shows (which already air more than enough on their parent networks) were added to its lineup, almost overtaking the other Discovery shows on the network (beyond Too Cute!).
    • 2019 would see My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic end its 9-year run and the premiere of Transformers Rescue Bots Academy, followed in 2020 by My Little Pony: Pony Life. By March 2021, the latter two shows were the only original series on Discovery Family that were airing new episodes, as well as the only active series on the network that weren't acquired from a different network or platform—a major far cry from a network that years prior had an active, eclectic lineup of original content and acquired series.
    • In February 2021, it was announced that the new My Little Pony film and subsequent animated series will be Netflix originals, singlehandedly severing the link between Discovery Family and My Little Pony going forward. Certain seasons of Friendship is Magic have also been pulled from the rerun cycle, possibly due to a combination of syndication rights expiring and Discovery beginning a process to slowly burn off Hasbro content from the channel in hopes of finding a new Cash-Cow Franchise that can keep it afloat post-2021. Somehow, however, most of the withdrawn seasons were brought back to broadcast for a limited time in 2022.
    • As of June 2021, both the previously mentioned spin-off series Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy and My Little Pony: Pony Life have ended their runs on Discovery Family. The Transformers and My Little Pony franchises are now gearing up to premiere new animated content on Nickelodeon and Netflix respectively. In fact, both cancellations spell out that there are no new original series airing on the network at all at the moment, and there hasn't been any original programming announced to remedy the situation the channel is in right now. Not only is the writing on the wall for Hasbro and Discovery severing ties before the end of 2021, but it also looks like the writing is on the wall for the fate of the channel entirely.
      • Although there were rumors of Hasbro and Discovery's contract ending in 2021 having been circulated for years, the contract has been renewed to at least 2023. Discovery's merger with WarnerMedia in 2022 also had hardly any effect on Hasbro's ownership of Discovery Family.

  • The Science Channel, or Science, zigzags between slipping and recovering every few months. Conceived as a channel that aired shows about real science, it shifted into becoming a more general STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) channel and from this new baseline alternatively slips and recovers. The one show that has always remained prominent on the channel despite any other changes is How It's Made, mostly due to its low production costs, enormous episode library, and Fun for Some nature. Everything other than that, though, is up in the air - Science seems to zig-zag between showing largely real-science shows and showing, something else. It has at times run so much alternative content to have been nicknamed Sci-Fi 2 (Firefly, Fringe), the Survival Channel (Survivorman and kin), the Aliens and Conspiracies channel (The Unexplained Files, Unsealed: Alien Files, various questionable documentaries), and more, but it always tends to drift back to its core content of science and engineering-oriented shows and Speculative Documentary specials before going off in another unrelated direction again.
    • Its earlier (2014-2015) attempts to diversify its lineup away from 16-hour blocks of How It's Made caused dramatic slippage as mainstays of the channel's programming became science-fiction shows like Firefly and Fringe, the science-related but sensationalized Dark Matters: Twisted but True, and the Pawn Stars knockoff Oddities. They then started advertising heavily for An Idiot Abroad, a travel/reality show. These shows vanished with the later recovery and only Fringe and Oddities make rare appearances in the lineup.
    • This recovery then led to several knockoffs of How It's Made being made due to their cheap production costs, most prominently How Do They Do It, and it became rare for any non-manufacturing programming to appear for a while.
    • Circa 2016, the sensationalized "science" programs have taken hold once again, with Unexplained Files episodes (they also have a series dedicated to outer space, under the name of NASA's Unexplained Files) showing up in gluttonous numbers. Also prominent is What On Earth, a show about oddities found by satellites and what they are, often sensationalized with many conspiracy-theory explanations before revealing the actual cause. The Fringe reruns have also returned in very small numbers.
    • Late 2016 and early 2017 saw many of the new shows attempt to capture the 'pop science' phenomenon that MythBusters did, such as Outrageous Acts of Science (a show that very briefly examines the science behind popular viral videos), Street Science (demonstrating simple but visually interesting scientific concepts in front of an audience), and a reality show to find hosts for a MythBusters revival, on top of marathons of the original show. How The Universe Works was one of the last bastions of 'pure' science that still got new episodes and decent advertising, though it was later joined by Space's Deepest Secrets, Strip the Cosmos (a Spin-Off of Strip the City), Impossible Engineering, and the last season of Through the Wormhole as the channel recovered. In recent months, old programs like How the Universe Works have been returning.
  • Comet is a free over-the-air multicast diginet (it's also available as a free mobile/TV app) that was launched in 2015 to fill the sci-fi television void left by Syfy. The network mainly airs sci-fi and fantasy movies, as well as shows like Stargate SG-1 and Mystery Science Theater 3000. From 2015 to mid-2017 it also aired Ring Of Honor Wrestling. Unlike Syfy, however, Comet had a valid reason to air professional wrestling on a sci-fi network; both Ring of Honor and Comet are owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group, and ROH Wrestling had nowhere else to go to nationally after their twenty-six episode deal with Destination America came to an end. It helped that Comet is still a relatively new network and remains committed to stay true to its original format, and it was only an hour out of the 126 it programs per week. ROH is now on fellow Sinclair action diginet Charge!note 
  • The Canadian cable channel CGTV (Casino Gaming Television) started with a focus on casino and gambling-related programming (mainly poker and a show about sports betting among other things). In 2007, CGTV re-branded as GameTV and essentially turned into a Canadian version of GSN (albeit the era of GSN when it was focused mainly on competition in general and not just game shows). It featured reruns of classic Canadian game shows (such as The Mad Dash, Test Pattern, the Canadian version of Supermarket Sweep, Bumper Stumpers, Monty Hall's Split Second (1972), and Talk About), and Australian and British reality shows. However, it eventually dropped many of these rarely-seen classics. Since its launch, it has also padded out its schedule with primetime movies (when the channel launched, it promoted these as "Watch & Win Movies" with a contest feature, but this was later dropped).
    • In 2016, it was acquired by Anthem Media; it soon began to add assorted sporting events (particularly reruns of Impact Wrestling from its new sister Fight Network, Toronto Wolfpack rugby, and obligatory filler such as poker and lumberjack competitions), reruns of CBC's lifestyle talk show The Goods, and other reality shows (such as the Canadian Dragons' Den, Shark Tank, Undercover Boss, etc.). The channel was nearly sold to the RFD TV-funded Remuda Media (who wanted to turn it into a rural/country lifestyle channel. It had received approval for such a channel, but presumably wanted GameTV for the carriage instead), but the deal fell through.
    • In 2018, after a period when the now-cancelled Inside the Box and Celebrity Name Game were the only actual game shows left on the entire schedule (the rest being the aforementioned reality shows, sports, and movies), the network began to steadily recover in this department by picking up U.S. game shows for its daytime schedule, with series such as Tom Bergeron's Hollywood Squares for a period, Pyramid (initially the Donny Osmond version, but later the Dick Clark $100,000), Eubanks-era The Newlywed Game for a period, Match Game (the Gene Rayburn version, and later reruns of the Alec Baldwin version), and Whose Line Is It Anyway? (initially the British version, and later the U.S. Drew Carey version), Super Password, Sale of the Century, Tic-Tac-Dough, and most unexpectedly at one point, Peter Tomarken's Wipeout. The network later began to pick up reruns of Family Feud (the Steve Harvey syndicated version, ABC Celebrity Family Feud, and CBC's Family Feud Canada) and other recent U.S. primetime game shows, and went as far as producing a documentary series on Canadian entries in the genre. By 2022, it had also begun to make more British acquisitions, including picking up The Masked Singer (UK) to compliment its off-network reruns of the U.S. Fox version, Gino D'Acampo's Win Your Wish List, and Dara Ó Briain's Go 8-Bit.
  • Animal Planet is all over the place:
    • In the first half of the The New '10s, the network decreased its focus on wild animal documentaries (and to a lesser extent, Animal Planet Heroes) and shifted more towards shows about cute puppies; slightly animal-themed shows such as Tanked, which look like they would be more at home on Discovery or, at some point, TLC; shows like Whale Wars and "Blonde vs. Bear"; supernatural-themed shows like Lost Tapes, "The Haunting", and "Finding Bigfoot"; and shows that outright demonize animals such as Infested or Fatal Attractions. About the only show that did fit in with the old Animal Planet paradigm during this time was River Monsters. In later years, between 2010 and 2015, the animal programming seemed to be few and in between, with the weekend lineup being some 80% catsNote , so, for a lot of viewers, if the shows weren't "surprisingly human", it was cats.
    • Around 2016, they got shows like Ice Cold Gold (about American gold-miners trying to find gold in Greenland) and Wild West Alaska (about guns and hunting bears), and Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters, which seemed wildly out of place. Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters was pulled almost immediately because of the backlash.
    • By 2018, the network returned to its roots of nature and animal themed programming, complete with a new logo and shows like Crikey! It's the Irwins and Amanda to the Rescue.