A&E, Hold The A

When the cable networks Bravo and A&E (Arts & Entertainment) launched, many saw it as the final death knell for PBS – after all, if not one, but two profit-driven cable networks could air highbrow arts programming and script-driven Victorian dramas and make money doing it, what reason was there for the existence of a subsidized network airing the same stuff? These days, however, Bravo and A&E have remade themselves in the reality-TV model, and neither seems even remotely interested in airing any arts-related programming at all. A&E, in particular, now disdains the idea of highbrow TV, and points out that its viewer demographics are much improved since changing formats.