From the completely strange to the completely emotional, TLC sure knows how to entertain its audience!!
I have to admit, I am a total TLC fan… let’s call it my guilty pleasure. There are some strange shows on TLC today (Toddlers and Tiaras, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, My Strange Addictions, etc.) but it has not always been this way! Remember the days of Trading Spaces, Junkyard Wars, and What Not to Wear (this is still on, just less frequently)? Believe it or not, there was a TLC before the TLC we know and love today. The Learning Channel (TLC) was founded in 1972 and was meant to primarily air documentary content relating to nature, science, history, current events, medicine, technology, cooking, home improvement and other information-based topics. The channel continued to be focused on educating the network through television through much of the ’90s despite their narrow audience and low ratings. Slowly, the channel began to air more shows centered around popular consumption and mass-marketing and less documentaries. This change was meant to hit the housewife audience with more shows about cooking, crafting, and home improvement. At last, the TLC we recognize emerged in the late ’90s and early 2000s with Junkyard Wars, A Baby Story, Trading Spaces, and A Wedding Story.
TLC has gone through a few changes even recently! In 2006, the new slogan, “Live and Learn”, was attached to many promotions and centered around ‘life unscripted’ with decorating shows, reality shows, and shows that taught valuable life lessons. Even more recently, in 2008, the slogan “Life Surprises” was introduced. This change meant more personal stories about daily life and family life. During this new period, Jon & Kate Plus 8 , 17 Kids and Counting (much more kids nowadays…), Little People, Big World, and Cake Boss emerged as new hit programs. This most recent change has stuck with the channel probably because people responded so positively towards this type of entertainment. Whether you’re interested in weddings, pageants, crazy obsessions and addictions, makeovers, or unique families, TLC is certain to have a show to keep you entertained.
However, some seem to think TLC has gone a little over the top lately with some of the shows they air. Many have criticized shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and My Strange Addiction for their questionable material… but hey, people watch it, don’t they? As much as these critics want to slam TLC for being ‘money-hungry’ by promoting these shows, I don’t think you can really blame the station. These shows get ratings and isn’t that what a TV station’s main goal is? I think so (and it’s not because I may or may not be in love with TLC).
What do you think? Has TLC taken their material too far, or is it all in good fun? Are you a fan of TLC, if so, what’s your favorite show? I know my favorites are Bride Day Fridays with Four Weddings and Say Yes to the Dress on all night… such fun ;)
Leave a Comment! I’d love to hear what you think!