Follow TV Tropes


Network Decay / Unique Situations

Go To

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.

    open/close all folders 

    Cartoon Network channels 
"We knew adults really didn’t care about the quality of animation. With children, if you had something brightly colored and moving, you could make it go. But with adults, they become bored pretty quickly with the dancing brooms unless it's exceedingly well done. From the start, words were more important than pictures."
Mike Lazzo, Cartoon Network executive who is in charge of [adult swim] and Toonami.

  • If a channel can be given the title of "the MTV of the Internet Generation", that dubious honor would very likely belong to Cartoon Network, originally used as a showcase for classic Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers cartoons, but these were eventually replaced by an increasing number of original productions and anime; the Boomerang network was created to serve that purpose that the parent network initially served at its inception. The decision to run original programming created an era that can be perceived as the network's Golden Age as well as becoming a major contributor to the The Renaissance Age of Animation, as it generated popular shows that broke out of the Animation Age Ghetto (like The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory) and helped fuel the anime boom at the turn of the century (thanks to Toonami and [adult swim]).

    The good times were not to last, sadly. Complaints of decay begun as early as 2004note , when Cartoon Network changed its logo to the abbreviated "CN", a move that coincided with many of the original Cartoon Cartoons ending their runs, being replaced by shows like Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Camp Lazlo, which were well-received but couldn't match the impact of their predecessors. In late 2005, they even began running a small amount of live-action movies (though at the time, they were mercifully rare).

    Then, in early 2007, already a turbulent year for television due to tensions between studios and the WGA, a major executive change at the network occurred when then-current president Jim Samples resigned over the controversy of the Boston Bomb Scare, with most of the network's execs (including Jay Bastian and Khaki Jones) becoming collateral damage. Shortly thereafter, then-Vice President Jennifer Davidson passed away due to a sudden illness. This resulted in Cartoon Network’s two head honchos both being replaced by Stuart Snyder and Robert Sorchernote .

    Some fans hoped that Snyder would restore CN to its 1997–2004 peak years, but it soon became clear that the once-famed network was never going to be the same—CN not only continued to phase out their older original series, including Ed, Edd n Eddy and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, but Snyder also ran the network more like its competition, causing considerable internal tension by imposing tie-in campaigns and constantly shuffling timeslots, the result being the defection of many creators, their shows being replaced with a large amount of imported Canadian animated shows, while original productions declined considerably, possibly in response to rumored labor issues (apart from the imminent writers' strike, some people claiming to have worked for CN at the time say have mentioned issues with either domestic or Asian animation teams). Before long, the network fell deeper and deeper into Network Hell as its executives tried to turn it into a generic boy-targeted network to compete with Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, (both of which had began to focus more on "tween" girls). This included emphasizing action-oriented cartoons, especially Ben 10, which alienated those who preferred humor-oriented series, with only two original comedy cartoon shows running between late 2008 and early 2010 (Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack). Toonami was scrapped to the horror of anime fans (as with its replacement, Miguzi), being replaced with more frequent showings of live-action films. The decay also forced [adult swim] and Boomerang to decay as well, to heavy disdain by their fanbases. This attempt to rebrand the network came to a head when CN Real, a block of live-action reality shows and scripted series, was created in 2009 (there is some dispute as to the direction of causality, with some claiming that the turn toward live action was prompted by losses of animators). To the surprise of nobody except the network higher-ups, CN Real tanked harder than anything the network had ever done before while the fledgling Disney XD channel became more successful with the pre-teen boys demographic the network had been after.

    Realizing where they went wrong, the network made a strong effort to return to their roots with reruns of Tom and Jerry, Looney Tunes and the like as part of their regular weekday morning lineup, and launching new animated series aimed at older audiences like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Adventure Time, and Regular Show. Meanwhile the channel attempted to reboot older properites through shows like Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and The Looney Tunes Show. CN also gradually phased out its live-action shows (which no longer carried the CN Real brand for obvious reasons, getting little to no advertising in stark contrast to the marketing CN Real initially got), to the point that all that remained of it was Hall of Game, an annual Kids Choice Awards-esque sports awards event which never got much attention and was effectively cancelled after the 2014 event (Nevertheless, the channel still airs live-action movies like Diary of a Wimpy Kid on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons). The much-appreciated Toonami revival and Cartoon Planet (the latter done as part of the network's 20th anniversary celebration) brought fans new hopes of Cartoon Network returning to its former glory, as happened after with the departure of Stuart Snyder as CEO in March 2014 (Christina Miller became his replacement that September).

    On the other hand, Executive Meddling is still very prevalent, as evidenced by the network's constant timeslot-shifting shenanigans and swift cancellations, this time regarding action shows such as Sym-Bionic Titan and Thundercats 2011 as well as DC Nation's Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice. Some of this can be blamed on the fact the network greenlit most of these aiming at certain demographics, but ended up becoming more popular among other groups (for example, the DC Nation block was conceived and timed to attract pre- and young teens, but attracted a young adult audience that was severely hampered by the time slot and didn't extend much beyond the vocal internet following that praised it). This wasn't helped by the network losing an hour of airtime to [adult swim] in 2014, all of which was used for more FOX reruns. The network also made it clear that the 6am Eastern timeslot on weekday mornings is where no show wants to be; Ben 10: Omniverse had a quick six-week early-morning burn off in the early fall to get it off the network's books. Despite all this, many fans were confident that CN was shaking off its late 2000s-era, and later early-morning burn-offs mainly consisted of contractually-obligated Canadian content shows from YTV or Teletoon note .

    However, complaints against the channel started to rise once more by 2015 and onwards, when Teen Titans Go! —an extremely divisive show that is also Adored by the Network— started to get more and more airtime on the network, older flagship shows such as Adventure Time and Regular Show stopped airing reruns completely, and it was announced that Steven Universe would have reduced reruns to make room for Teen Titans Go!, though in the latter case, the decision was rolled back after considerable backlash (Steven Universe now has reruns in special blocks themed around a certain character or concept). Many blame Christina Miller and often accuse her of being a Moral Guardian who finds Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Steven Universe too violent and raunchy for kids. With Uncle Grandpa unceremoniously cancelled and left to be burned off in a graveyard slot, Transformers: Robots in Disguise left to languish in another graveyard slot with no reruns, Regular Show and Adventure Time both wrapping up production for their shows and having aired their final seasons (the former ending on its seventh season in 2017, and the latter concluding on its tenth season in 2018), Teen Titans Go! being renewed for a fourth and fifth season and getting a theatrical movie despite flagging ratings, and the base-breaking reboots of The Powerpuff Girls and Ben 10, is uncertain whether the channel will continue its success or will enter another Dork Age. The Christmas 2017 week where TTG was the only thing to air besides a Unikitty! preview episode also seemed to anger Cartoon Network purists, but that may have been the network's main option in a week where more kids are going to watch programs through the network's app away from home, or are doing other things besides zoning out to a loop of TTG reruns.

    In the end, Cartoon Network is one of the most intriguing examples of Network Decay, if only because of how much of a rollercoaster ride the network's ridden in regards to the trope. CN, during the height of their live-action phase, could at one point spend as much as eighteen months showcasing live-action shows, only to go back to animation the next day as if nothing happened — and just when you get comfortable with that, return to live-action. The same thing can also be said with their obsession with Teen Titans Go, which constantly fluctuates between being overexposured and having a normal amount of airtime.
  • Boomerang, Cartoon Network's classic animation channel, has a run in with this. While the network, unlike its sister channels, doesn't generally air live-action programs (unless you count The Banana Splits); it followed CN's drift in shifting away from being a showcase of retro cartoons; adding more contemporary fare from CN and Warner Bros. as well as acquired programming from then-recent years. Boomerang initially tried to use the newer shows to promote itself as an alternative network for newer shows not broadcast on the CN, but later became a dumping ground for what had fallen out of favor on the primary network. As time went on more and more shows also began competing for the same limited airtime, even including reruns of shows still airing on the main channel in certain casesnote . Meanwhile, the remaining older programming Boomerang did use became subject to oddly selective programming choices, with Hanna-Barbera shows and post-2000s WBA cartoons getting top priority over other cartoons in the network's available catalogues.

    Adding insult to injury was that only two types of commercials that were actually related to the network (the American one, anyway) were shown on the channel when CN's decay was in full effect: "Boomer-Royalty" and a random commercial about a show they air; all of the network's promotions are never updated, meaning a Powerpuff Girls promo from 2012 strangely had to coexist with a Huckleberry Hound ad which has been part of their promo loop since 2001. Everything else was promoting (mostly) live-action shows on Cartoon Network, with Boomerang never promoting the airtime for shows that weren't on CN. And if there's a special event coming up on CN, commercials for the event would air between and after the show at least once or twice. The network has since changed their position to air advertisements for other products like other channels.

    All feeds of the network worldwide got a international rebranding throughout 2014 and 2015 with a new focus towards younger viewers, the inclusion of paid advertisements, and the addition of newly-acquired animated series—all of which introduced a series of interesting changes. During the summer of 2015, through their "Pet of the Week" event, the block featured the return of Courage the Cowardly Dog and the network premiere of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries. Boomerang has also recently dabbled in new series dealing in classic characters and franchises, such as Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production, Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! and Bunnicula, as well as airing new episodes of The Tom and Jerry Show and The Garfield Show. On a less popular side, the notorious Teen Titans Go! (as mentioned above) also started airing on Boomerang, even leading to a stint of running everyday by early 2016, though it didn't air as often as it did on the main Cartoon Network channel, and was pulled from Boomerang's line-up in April 2017. The rebranding also resulted in the loss of the long-running vintage format of the original network (right down to the logo, which now looks like a tweaked version of the 2010 CN logo), as well as older cartoons that weren't Cash Cow Franchises and/or popular with older CN viewers being dropped from the network, despite executives promising that classic cartoons would co-exist with the newer cartoons on the channel. While there were positives and negatives about the reboot at hand, things slowly started to look bright for the future.

    However, this was shortly succeeded by the network launching a subscription VOD service under the Boomerang name that was focused on classic cartoons, which has largely usurped the Boomerang channel's role on the remaining retro-based programming it had left. Aside from making available for viewing a large vault of Warner Bros. owned classic animation, the streaming service also gained exclusive dibs on broadcasting new content relating to the new classic-based series Boomerang was supposed to air.note  This has left the channel as a rerun/dumping ground feed for a handful of former CN/WB shows and acquired shows that CN doesn't really hold in high regard, with Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry shorts used to fill in roughly half of the schedule. (CN's lack of interest in the Boomerang network becomes pretty evident when one considers that out of all the television channels targeted towards kids/families available in US households, the Boomerang channel comes dead last in coverage by a large margin.)

Surprisingly for all, though, in January 2018, things started to become better for Boomerang, as Dexter's Laboratory, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, and Codename: Kids Next Door, which were dropped by Boomerang in April 2017, returned to the network's schedule, albeit only late at night at first. Then, Chowder returned to the network in March of that year, which was also when the network began airing an hour-long block where the five aforementioned classic Cartoon Network shows were aired during the day, with the block rotating which of those shows would air each week. This block was dropped the following month, but Boomerang reached the highest peak of its rebrand in the summer of 2018. In late May, Ed, Edd n Eddy and Johnny Bravo returned to Boomerang's line-up, making it the first time that they've aired on Boomerang since a few weeks prior to the rebrand note . Additionally, during May and June, Adventure Time, Regular Show, and Steven Universe began airing on Boomerang, to the excitement of viewers of those shows who felt like they were screwed over by the main Cartoon Network channel. Even better, the four Cartoon Network originals who returned to the schedule in January 2018 receieved daytime timeslots again (airing on weekends for an hour each). Unfortunately, the Eds and Johnny Bravo were taken off of the network only two weeks after originally returning, but the good news was that their replacement show was The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, airing on Boomerang for the very first time. However, even that change didn't last very long, as Flapjack as well as Steven left the network in late July. Thankfully, though, those changes led to some Hanna-Barbera cartoons returning to the schedule, such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, and Tom & Jerry Kids. At this point, though, it shouldn't be a surprise as to what happened to those shows (except for The Smurfs, which, surprisingly enough, still airs on Boomerang to this very day, and in a decent timeslot of 6 AM, too!). The pint-sized Hanna-Barbera gang's two shows left the schedule in late Sepetmber, followed by the prehistoric and futuristic families in mid-November. Then, the duos of Finn and Jake and Mordecai and Rigby left the network in February and April 2019, respectively note . The other five classic Cartoon Network shows still air on Boomerang, but only late at night again. Then, in late May 2019, the channel fell even further, with the classic Cartoon Network shows flat out disappearing from the channel. The network's schedule now mirroring Cartoon Network's in terms of oversaturation as now all that airs isLooney Tunes (including New Looney Tunes),Tom and Jerry (including The Tom and Jerry Show and Tom and Jerry Tales), and Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!. The only shows that don't fall into this trap are Care Bears: Unlock the Magic, the Ben 10 reboot,Bunnicula, and The Smurfs (each only getting around an hour of airtime a day, with the Smurfs still airing at 6 AM, and Bunnicula airing only on weekends at 4 AM). To make matters worse, the network now mostly just airs a selected few episodes from those shows, repeating them on an endless loop, and their daily movie block now only airs a handful of Scooby-Doo films (Such as The Mystery Begins or Stage Fright). It seems that Cartoon Network is trying to bore the few remaining viewers of the channel so they can use the network's streaming service instead, but we'll have to see if that's indeed the case, or Boomerang will reach another high point in its rebrand.
  • 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.
  • Although Cartoon Network eventually started returned to its roots in the USA (although depending on whom you ask, it could be teetering the line between the two more recently), it's hardly like this in Latin America, and is flip-flopping between this and Slipped. During their earlier years, the channel was simply a Latin American version of its parent channel in the USA (it was launched a mere six months after the U.S. channel), but by the end of The '90s they started to branch out on their programming choices, with the Latin American premieres of Pokémon, Cardcaptor Sakura, Rurouni Kenshin, and others before they added Toonami in 2002, airing shows also seen in the U.S. block like Dragon Ball Z, InuYasha and Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.

    It's quite debatable when exactly the channel dipped into Network Decay. For fans of classic animation it was right when the channel added anime, for otaku it was right when anime started disappearing, and for others it was when Ben 10 got literally all the channel's attention.

    It should be noted that the Latin American subsidiary has four different signals: one for Mexico, one for Argentina, one for Brazil, and one for the rest of Latin America. Around late 2003, in Mexico, all of Toonami's anime moved into a midnight timeslot due to complaints from parents that the series aired were too violent for their children. Not only that, the Mexican sponsors had a good regulation and patrol of this block, so rumors say that they were the ones who mandated to change the block's timeslot. In late 2004, the rest of the Latin American signals followed suit. Toonami itself was cancelled in March 2007, although its former timeslot still aired anime (in part due to their promise to air every single episode of Dragon Ball, from the original to GT, including the movies and special episodes), which depending on the feed, lasted until December 2008.

    In 2005, it was obvious that they were rapidly losing anime licenses, especially since Animax had just premiered. Around late 2005, CNLA announced that they were going to add [adult swim] into their weekend's late programming to fill the "dead" hours of Saturday and Sunday. However, it also started some debates in internet sites and forums when people started it to compare with the American version (that was still showing anime). Of course, the guys behind the Latin American AS went into their way to mock this and people didn't like it. However, this ended badly when the block was censored by some cable operators, and even separated from its own channel, in countries like Argentina and Chile. This was mainly because parents were letting kids stay up so late to see AS when the programming was obviously not directed at them. Eventually the block was moved to sister channel Isat in early 2008, and disappeared completely from there in January 2011.

    When Ben 10 premiered in 2006, it was extremely well-received so they went out of their way to focus on it. This had a few unfortunate side-effects, as the Grand Finales of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Codename: Kids Next Door, as well as the 10th anniversary special of The Powerpuff Girls were glossed over. Even worse, the remains of Toonami were pushed even further into overnight slots, with shows like One Piece and Ashita no Nadja that were clearly not meant for a 3 AM timeslot airing at said time. Eventually, Pokémon and Naruto were the last remaining anime on the channel.

    By 2008, the channel was inheriting the American network's Network Decay in the States, and though it had CN's original series and late-night showings of classic Looney Tunes, Ben 10 was still Adored by the Network, at almost 10 showings a day. Then they started showing live-action movies - to be fair though, the movies were where most of the live action was. Live-action shows like Kamen Rider Dragon Knight and Unnatural History were the first to premiere in the Latin American channel, as former CN Real shows like Destroy Build Destroy and Dude, What Would Happen? would not be added until FOUR years after premiering in America, and they vanished swiftly after premiering. In the same year, the channel adopted a new slogan that perfectly summed up their programming choices for the majority of CN viewers: Hacemos lo que queremos (literally "We do what we want to").

    At the time the channel passed into their own Noods era in 2010 (Toonix) and a little bit before the Check It one (the LA signals were the LAST ones to get into it), the programming schedules were at least somewhat stabilized with Adventure Time and Regular Show... and then the channel started to be beaten up in ratings by Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. A controversial decision was also to add, in late 2010, reruns of the Mexican classic series El Chapulín Colorado and El Chavo del ocho, which many CN fans did not like due to the fact both series have reran constantly for decades in other channels (they did not last much in CNLA, however, and were later moved to Boomerang and then to the LA version of TBS). CNLA then tried to beat Nick and Disney at their own game with new live action like Level Up and the original Latin American co-production with Televisa entitled La CQ, basically a mix-up of every U.S. sitcom aimed at teens that takes place in middle/high school (its name is the spelling of secu, abbreviation for secundaria, Spanish for middle school or high school depending on the region), and which got much criticism among the channel's older viewers up until it ended in 2014 and was removed from the channel in early 2015. CNLA also began censoring content on several of its programs, most notably on Regular Show, and for unknown reasons, it began to speed up or cut the opening and closing credits for most of their programs. Not only that, the commercial breaks started to become longer than usual, as the channel's series began airing for blocks of 15 minutes with some animated shorts playing between them.

    As of 2017, the channel has been really in a rollercoaster, and it still gets criticism for the censoring done to several programs and for having most timeslots dominated by CN's current animated lineup (Adventure Time, Regular Show, The Amazing World of Gumball, Steven Universe, Uncle Grandpa, Teen Titans Go!, Clarence, We Bare Bears and The Powerpuff Girls (2016)) to the expense of everything else. Thankfully, unlike the U.S. channel, it has not been outright invaded by Teen Titans Go! Outside of Power Rangers Megaforce (which got transferred from Nickelodeon as they were not interested in any further series after airing Samurai) and some movies, however, the live-action content is thankfully now nonexistent. In regards to anime, besides Pokemon, which has never stopped airing (unlike in the U.S., where it switched over to Disney XD), the only series they have aired since the decay are Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Dragon Ball Kai,note  and Digimon Xros Warsnote . Compared to the U.S. channel, it seems that they aren't going to come out of their own Dork Age yet. As is the case with Stuart Snyder and Christina Miller in the U.S., many people blame the current manager of CNLA, Pablo Zuccarino, for the decay (it doesn't help he has publicly said his objective is to make CNLA a channel completely appropriate for all children).

    Latin America also had Boomerang's situation worse during the late 2000s/early 2010s. In 2006, the classic shows format was changed to an equivalent of India's POGO, first aimed at a family audience, but in 2008 changed to showing only programs aimed at teenage girls, including CN Real shows and many MTV shows like Parental Control and Date My Mom. Later, they created Tooncast, which fulfilled Boomerang's original purpose. Then, on April 1, 2014, Boomerang L.A. suddenly rearranged their programming grill to get animation and classic shows back (in a move seemingly induced to homogenize the international feeds) and moved all their live action shows to the late night-early morning slot, to the happiness of almost everybody but the teens who followed Pretty Little Liars. The live-action shows were finally dropped in 2015.

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).
    • 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.
    • Advertisement:
    • 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", 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. Perhaps it was for the best, as many of the new shows went on to attract considerable acclaim. 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. Although Hasbro still has 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 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, as of its launch, it uses reruns of shows from the actual Discovery Channel and still shows general kids' fare. Many feel the whole thing is bittersweet, because after Littlest Pet Shop (2012) and Transformers: Rescue Bots was axed following their respective fourth and third seasons, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic remains as the network's only original offering that's 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 not just the show, but the network as a whole; as without it, Discovery Family has otherwise decayed into a Discovery/Hasbro rerun dumping ground, with the network's schedule now filled with shows that were either cancelled and/or already air(ed) on sister Discovery networks. 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 are already aired enough on their parent networks) have been added to its lineup, almost overtaking the other Discovery shows on the network (beyond Too Cute!).
  • 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 has seen 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.
  • 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!.
  • 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 when it was focused mainly on competition in general and not just game shows). It originally focused on classic Canadian game shows (such as The Mad Dash, Test Pattern, the Canadian version of Supermarket Sweep, Bumper Stumpers, Monty Hall's Split Second, 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 (although when the channel launched, it promoted these with a contest feature as "Watch & Win Movies"), and since its acquisition by Anthem Media, 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 Dragon's 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, classic Whose Line Is It Anyway? (the British, and later the U.S. runs), Super Password, reruns of the current ABC Celebrity Family Feud and To Tell the Truth, and most unexpectedly, Peter Tomarken's Wipeout (1988). With GSN's growing de-emphasis of classic game shows (it has historically been available on digital cable in Canada. However, it has also syndicated reruns of its second Chain Reaction reboot), and the lack of Buzzr in Canada (it, for a time, syndicated some late-night programming for Yes TV, but this arrangement ended in September 2018), it has shown its work in being a decent alternative.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: