What happened to the Discovery Channel and TLC? Trash TV, the New Norm

Television has been on a steady decline for many years now — not just fewer eyeballs watching glowing rectangles, but also due to a severe drop in content quality. There was a time, believe it or not, when there was intelligent and educational programming on TV. Unfortunately, those days have come and gone.

What happened to the Discover Channel and TLC?

Both the Discovery Channel and TLC have seen dramatic changes to their programming over the last decade or so, a dramatic shift from stimulating and educational to low-brow, sensationalist “reality TV”. There was a time when you might refer to TLC as The Learning Channel. Alas, that time is no more.

I grew up watching these channels, learning about the diversity of wildlife, history, science and technology and can honestly say that a good portion of what I know about the world came from these two channels that I used to watch religiously with my father. I cannot imagine what would happen to a child that were to grow up watching these channels now. Would they end up as a societal travesty like Honey Boo Boo?

TLC is undoubtedly the winner of the “Biggest Drop in Content Quality” award but Discovery comes in a close second with the History Channel as an honourable mention. While TLC has completely discarded any semblance of its former self, Discovery has tried to camouflage its content decline. While Discovery has kept a select few reasonable shows like Mythbusters, it has largely abandoned quality content as well with few shows that are not reality shows and car modification train wrecks.

Hilariously, Discovery will occasionally air a documentary to try and maintain this camouflage, however it recently blundered badly. Last month, on August 4th, 2013, Discovery aired a fake documentary about the Megalodon, a prehistoric shark that is believed to be extinct for the last 1.5 million years. They eventually confessed by adding a disclaimer at the beginning of the mockumentary the next time it was aired.

I still haven’t answered the main question posed in this post but the answer should be obvious. Discovery and TLC used to be extremely popular with intellectuals that love to learn about the world around them. Unfortunately, it seems intellectuals are too “niche”. So they have ditched their old high-brow content for something that appeals more to the “average” person.

What is truly unfortunate, is that they must be making more money as a result because they have not gone back to their previous ways yet. They pursued the dollar to the detriment of everything they used to stand for.

Thankfully, there is still one way out: Discovery World. It seems to have taken the place of the original Discovery Channel. It is still not the same, but the content is much closer to the way it used to be.

Unfortunately, it looks like intellectuals will be left to suffer in the new world of television. It’s okay, just close your eyes and do your best to block out the Honey Boo Boos and Jershey Shores in this new hell.

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7 thoughts on “What happened to the Discovery Channel and TLC? Trash TV, the New Norm

      1. You nailed it. I’ve seen 3 people I know just this week cancel their cable completely. What a great idea if you can do it! TLC is a JOKE. I swear this was bought by Sally Jesse Raphael or something to exploit every creepy carnival side show group — and there are apparently people who watch this crap!! Unbelievable.

  1. I have actually deleted the discovery and history channel from my TV. I am sick and tired of turning on disc only to see a marathon of “Fastn ‘N Loud” or watching history channel oinly to see Swamp People. I have no clue what so ever how any of those have any relevance to either history, or intelligence. I am done with these channels and have finally given in to the fact that they are one step away from airing honey boo boo reruns and claiming those are a form of discovery, or history.

    1. Good for you, I might do the same if doing so doesn’t cancel some other decent channel I use. If everyone did this, they might get it through their thick heads.

  2. TLC aired a show called 90-DAY FIANCE, HAPPILY EVER AFTER?, and this video proves that Discovery & TLC are 100% TRASH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_J1oQm9Mno&ab_channel=90DayFianc%C3%A9 Since they used to be The Learning Channel, we learned that Chuck and Andrei are trash. Want to enjoy real men fighting? Watch USA Network’s Monday Night Raw, ESPN’s Ultimate Fighting Championships, and pay-per-view boxing. I also learned one thing about 90-Day Fiance: at least they’ve been longer than Kim Kardashian Jenner Simpson and 3rd-string NBA power forward Kris Humphries (yes, I know about E! Channel’s KarJennerSimpson family)! Possibly the Clinton Administration sold the Learning Channel to Discovery to let Dave Zaslav & friends jam Honey Boo Boo, Jon Gosselin and Chuck & Andrei down our throats! Want to learn real stuff in primetime? Get a history book. Most of Discovery’s shows are TRASH, and Discovery’s fall from grace started when Animal Planet’s Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin was killed by that sting ray back in 2006. Maybe that sting ray can take care of Jon Gosselin, Honey Boo Boo and both Chuck & Andrei today…at least Chuck’s dad can feel good about that! TLC: Trash, Losers and Chumps!

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