WASHINGTON, August 6, 2013 —Out of History Channel’s 38 listed shows on their website, only 14 are related to actual history. This includes counting scripted dramas like “The Bible,” “Vikings,” and the upcoming “Bonnie & Clyde.” Ratings have proven that people love the scripted dramas from History Channel, but the vote is definitely still out when it comes to their never-ending parade of “reality” TV.
Tonight when “The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man” premieres on History Channel, it will further reinforce History Channel’s current trend to dismiss history in favor of histrionics. Drama for the sake of drama we don’t need. If the TV viewer wants contrived drama, all they have to do is turn to any news channel and watch as the talking heads posture and protest over the latest talking point, whatever that may be.
To be fair, “Pawn Stars,” American Pickers,” “Counting Cars” and “American Restoration” on History Channel deal with the history of the various items featured on these shows. A ’67 GTO, a Colt Peacemaker or a vintage Indian motorcycle all had a place in the history of America, but none of these will ever be the topic of a lecture in a history class.
These shows definitely blur the line, but at least we can learn little tidbits of history when we choose to watch them. But other shows on History Channel like “Big Rig Bounty Hunters,” Swamp People,” “Chasing Tail,” “Mountain Men,” and now “The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man” have nothing to do with history. For this reason, the History Channel should create a spin-off network and call it “The Man Channel” to avoid confusing anyone who tunes in to watch actual history.
By now we all understand reality shows are so popular with basic cable net-heads because they are cheap to make. In the best case scenario the new network would generate enough additional revenue to enable the real History Channel to get back to what it does best, teach the viewer history.
Eventually the people willing to sign on for reality TV and the people willing to watch these shows will wear thin, but history has an endless source of topics that are worthy of further exploration.
A word of advice for the History Channel; relegate the gators and the urban deer hunters to other venues and return to your original premise. In other words, dance with the one who brought you.
All times are EDT:
ABC: Extreme Weight Loss: (New) Chris travels to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to train Alyssa with the help of celebrity trainer Drew Manning and gold medalist Lindsey Jacobellis.
CBS: NCIS: (Repeat) Gibbs teams up with FBI agent T.C. Fornell on a joint investigation when Fornell becomes the target of a shooting. The case gets more complicated when their mutual ex-wife, Diane, becomes involved. Meanwhile, rumors run rampant when Diane stays overnight at McGee’s place.
FOX: So You Think You an Dance: (Live) The top 12 dancers perform to win America’s votes.
NBC: Hollywood Game Night: (Repeat) The celebrity players are Tom Arnold, Stacy Keibler, Patricia Heaton, Rose Byrne, Anthony Anderson and Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Included: Contestants must identify cat-theme movie moments.
CW: Whose Line is it Anyway?: (New) Hosted by comedian Aisha Tyler, cast members Ryan Stiles, Wayne Brady and Colin Mochrie, along with guest comedian Gary Anthony Williams (“Mad”) put their comedic skills to the test through a series of spontaneous improv games that are prompted only by random ideas supplied by the studio audience.
CW: Whose Line is it Anyway?: (Repeat) Candice Accola appears.
CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (Repeat) A Navy lieutenant dies and a pilot is hospitalized after they both drink from a communal water jug.
NBC: America’s Got Talent: (New) Twelve more performers take the Radio City stage to prove that they have what it takes to make it to the AGT semifinals.
CW: Capture: (New) Luke Tipple introduces a new element to the game when he reveals a chance for one team to sabotage another during the hunt. Tensions run high after a team deliberately destroys the food supply so the others can’t have any.
ABC: Body of Proof: (Repeat) During a murder investigation, a woman bites Tommy; Megan turns to the new health commissioner for help uncovering the truth behind strange rabies cases.
CBS: Person of Interest: (Repeat) : Reese is tasked with protecting a reporter, but he must do so on the sly so she doesn’t start investigating him.
New episodes of:
Pretty Little Liars at 8 p.m. on ABCFAM
Nine for IX at 8 p.m. on ESPN
Return of Jaws: Sharktweeto at 8 p.m. on DSC
Property Virgins at 8 and 8:30 p.m. on HGTV
Mythbusters at 8 and 9 and 10 p.m. on SCI
The Haves and Have Nots at 9 p.m. on OWN
Face Off at 9 p.m. on Syfy
Covert Affairs at 9 p.m. on USA
Twisted at 9 p.m. on ABCFAM
Rizzoli & Isles at 9 p.m. on TNT
Airport 24/7: Miami at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
I Escaped Jaws at 9 p.m. on DSC
Who Do You Think You Are? At 9 p.m. on TLC
Shelby’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1 at 9 p.m. on A&E
Perception at 10 p.m. on TNT
House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV
Catfish: The TV Show at 10 p.m. on MTV
Doomsday Preppers Bugged Out at 10 p.m. on NGC
Spawn of Jaws at 10 p.m. on DSC
Chopped at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Suits at 10 p.m. on USA
The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on History Channel
House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV
For movie lovers:
O Brother, Where Art Thou? On AMC
Entrapment on CINEMAX
Spaceballs on ENC
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on FLIX
Seven Pounds on FXM
Something Borrowed on FX
Rise of the Guardians on HBO
Slumdog Millionaire on IFC
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest on SUND
Rebecca on TCM
Velvet Goldmine on TMC
Freeloaders on MOMAX
The Odd Life of Timothy Green on STARZ
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel on HBO
Jack and Jill at 9:40 p.m. on ENC
Heavenly Creatures at 10 p.m. on FLIX
Chernobyl Diaries at 10:20 p.m. on MOMAX
Mercury Rising at 10:31 p.m. on AMC
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