Network TV, Don’t Look Now But History Channel is Right Behind You

Nowadays, it pays to be groundbreaking on television. With shows and programs being something of a dime a dozen, networks really need to stand out. Perchance that’s the sole reason why The History Channel has become so innovative in recent years. Gone are the days of bland documentaries. Instead, viewers are treated to scripted fare and surprisingly entertaining reality shows. I would just like to know when the heck this overhaul happened…and, more importantly, what took it so freaking long.

Growing up, history was never my favorite subject. Don’t get me wrong – Abraham Lincoln was my homie, but learning about the Great Depression made me, well, greatly depressed. Come to think of it, I believe I may have despised history as much as I do those tacky reality shows on VH1. Well, almost. Still, that certainly didn’t stop me from tuning into The History Channel’s (or just History as it’s come to be called in recent years) wonderful miniseries The Bible this past Sunday night.

Um, can you say awesome?

The first two hours gripped me like an episode of FX’s Justified. That’s right, folks – it seems History may have struck gold. TV Guide is reporting that the miniseries cost 10 million dollars to produce. Color me intrigued. Not only does this show that History is looking to be as accurate to the good book as possible, but it also indicates that they are in the game of winning. Word on the street is that over 12 million viewers tuned in to watch the first installment of the miniseries. I’d just like to know when this many viewers started watching this channel. Seriously, when did this happen?

Did you know the last episode of Grey’s Anatomy averaged just eight million viewers? And to think that ABC still considers that program a hit. I really like this new direction that History is taking – not because it’s exploring The Bible, but because the minds behind the network are really finding a way to make history intriguing.

I don’t want them to sensationalize anything. I’m a firm believer in keeping things accurate, and while I may not have been particularly fond of history class in high school – which was nearly 10 years ago – I do see the value in knowing where one came from. To that end, I do find some of the documentaries to be pretty interesting. History does have a way of keeping things fresh. Last year’s miniseries of the Hatfields and McCoys, starring Kevin Costner, proved to be successful. The same can be said of the channel’s reality shows including Ax Men and Swamp People.

I’ve never been one of overly gushing about something so I think I’ll quit while I’m ahead. Nevertheless, it is nice to know that the executives at History are striving to keep things as fresh as the produce at your local Walmart. I can respect that. It can be a challenge trying to stay relevant with subject matter that may be dull to some people. So, will History be the next NBC or CBS?

Absolutely not.

They’d have better luck building an ark. But if History keeps pulling in viewers like it did in the premiere of The Bible then there’s no doubt that it’ll trump The CW…and maybe even NBC. Hmph. Now isn’t that funny?

I guess it really does pay to be groundbreaking.

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