A&E (TV network)

  (Redirected from A&E (TV channel))

A&E is an American basic cable network, the flagship television property of A&E Networks. The network was originally founded in 1984 as the Arts & Entertainment Network, initially focusing on fine arts, documentaries, dramas, and educational entertainment. Today, the network deals primarily in non-fiction programming, including reality docusoaps, true crime, and miniseries.

A&E
A&E Network logo.svg
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaUnited States
Canada
SloganWe are A&E
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
Programming
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
(480i letterboxed for the SDTV feed)
Ownership
OwnerA&E Networks
(Hearst Communications/Disney Media Networks)
Sister channels
History
LaunchedFebruary 1, 1984; 37 years ago (1984-02-01)
ReplacedAlpha Repertory Television Service
The Entertainment Channel
Former names
  • Arts & Entertainment Network (1984–1995)
  • A&E Network (1995–1997)
Links
Websiteaetv.com
Availability
Cable
Available on most cable providersChannel slots may vary on each operator
Satellite
Orby TVChannel 110 (HD)
Dish NetworkChannel 118 (HD)
DirecTVChannel 265 (SD/HD)
Shaw Direct (Canada)Channel 520 (SD)
Channel 124 (HD)
Bell Satellite TV (Canada)Channel 615 (SD)
Channel 1721 (HD)
DirecTV CaribbeanChannel 256
IPTV
Verizon FiOSChannel 181 (SD)
Channel 681 (HD)
Optik TV (Canada)Channel 300 (HD; east)
Channel 9300 (SD; West)
Bell Fibe TV (Canada)Channel 615 (SD)
Channel 1615 (HD)
Zazeen (Canada)Channel 86 (HD)
VMedia (Canada)Channel 270 (HD)
Gemstelecom (Canada)Channel 101 (HD)
Start TV (Canada)Channel 201 (HD)
Streaming media
Philo, FuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV

As of July 2015, A&E is available to approximately 95,968,000 pay television households (82.4% of households with television) in the United States.[1] The American version of the channel is being distributed in Canada while international versions were launched for Australia, Latin America, and Europe.

HistoryEdit

LaunchEdit

A&E launched on February 1, 1984, initially available to 9.3 million cable television homes in the U.S. and Canada.[2] The network is a result of the 1984 merger of Hearst/ABC's Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS) and (pre–General Electric merger) RCA-owned The Entertainment Channel.[3]

In 1986, the network premiered one of the first classical music videos to be broadcast in the United States and Canada, the Kendall Ross Bean: Chopin Polonaise in A Flat.[4][5][6]

By 1990, original programming accounted for 35 to 40 percent of A&E's content.[7] Biography, a one-hour documentary series that was revived in 1987, was considered to be the network's signature show.[8] In 1994, airings of Biography went from weekly broadcasts to airing five nights a week, which helped boost A&E's ratings to record levels.[7] The nightly series became A&E's top-rated show and one of cable television's most notable successes.[8] Biography received Primetime Emmy Awards in 1999 and 2002.[citation needed]

In 1994, the channel picked up reruns of Law & Order on an eight-year agreement, which would help bring in additional viewers.[9]

In May 1995, the channel's name officially changed to the A&E Network,[10] to reflect its declining focus on arts and entertainment.[11] The following year, the network had branded itself as simply A&E, using the slogans "Time Well Spent" and "Escape the Ordinary." "The word 'arts,' in regard to television, has associations such as 'sometimes elitist,' 'sometimes boring,' 'sometimes overly refined' and 'doesn't translate well to TV,'" Whitney Goit, executive vice president for sales and marketing, stated. "Even the arts patron often finds arts on TV not as satisfying as it should be ... And the word 'entertainment' is too vague. Therefore, much like ESPN uses its letters rather than what they stand for – Entertainment Sports (Programming) Network – we decided to go to just A&E." Of the network's tagline, Goit said, "Intellectually, 'Time well spent' defines a comparison between those who view a lot of television as a wasteland, and their acknowledgment that there are good things on TV and that they'd like to watch more thought-provoking TV."[12]

A&E and Meridian Broadcasting commissioned Horatio Hornblower (1999), winner of two Primetime Emmy Awards, and the seven subsequent dramas in the series; Dash and Lilly (1999), which received nine Emmy nominations; and The Crossing (2000), which won the Peabody Award. The network created two original weekly drama series, Sidney Lumet's 100 Centre Street[13] and Nero Wolfe, both[citation needed] of which lasted from 2001 to 2002.[13]

2002–2013Edit

In 2002, the contract for Law and Order had expired with the renewal asking price at four times the original per episode fee. Dropping that show allowed the channel to move to more "brand-defining scripted and nonfiction series."[9] That same year, A&E would shift its focus toward reality television in order to attract a younger demographic[14] and cancelled the network's two original scripted series. In May 2003, A&E launched a marketing campaign with the network's new tagline, "The Art of Entertainment."[15] Between 2003 and 2007, the channel gradually retired several long-running series, moving several shows to The Biography Channel and introducing new reality programming.[16]

In 2005,[17] A&E launched their feature film production arm A&E IndieFilms.[18]

The docudrama Flight 93, about the hijacking of the plane which crashed in Pennsylvania during the September 11 attacks, was the most watched program on the network; it attracted 5.9 million viewers for its initial telecast on January 30, 2006. This was later surpassed by Duck Dynasty's third season premiere. The previous record-holder for the network was a World War II docudrama, Ike: Countdown to D-Day, starring Tom Selleck and broadcast in 2004, with 5.5 million viewers.[19] A&E later acquired rights to rerun the HBO series The Sopranos; its A&E premiere on January 10, 2007, averaged 3.86 million viewers, making it the most-watched premiere of a rerun off-network series in cable television history at the time.[20] The series has continued to perform well for A&E, and the network now regularly ranks in the top ten basic U.S. cable channels in prime time ratings.[21]

On May 26, 2008, in conjunction with the premiere of the original film The Andromeda Strain, A&E rebranded with a new logo and slogan, Real Life. Drama., representing its shift to a more contemporary network with a focus on scripted programming.[22][23] Additional shows in this major scripted push were drama series The Cleaner and The Beast, which both lasted two seasons.[13] A&E ordered several dramas for Fall 2009, including projects from Jerry Bruckheimer, Shawn Ryan and Lynda Obst, and a Western miniseries from Kevin Costner.[24]

2013–presentEdit

On December 11, 2013, A&E unveiled a new on-air brand identity built around the slogan "Be Original", emphasizing the network's lineup of original productions and positioning it as a "much lighter, more fun place to come and spend time".[23][25][26] The success of Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel and Storage Wars put A&E fourth in 2013 among cable channels in the key 18-to-49 age demographic.[9]

On February 20, 2014, A&E Networks UK announced a UK version of the channel to launch on Sky channel 168 on March 24, with a Virgin Media launch date planned for next year. In Spain and Portugal, the channel was launched on October 1, 2014, replacing The Biography Channel in that market.[27]

In 2015, A&E picked up the CBS drama Unforgettable for a fourth season as well as the second season of docuseries Married at First Sight, which will move from sister network FYI. The network also announced the revival of Intervention following its cancellation in 2013.[28][29]

In October 2016, A&E premiered Live PD, a live series that followed U.S. police departments on patrol in real-time. The show would quickly garner commercial success; in 2018, a survey by Inscape found Live PD to be the most-watched program among non-live (DVR and VOD) and over-the-top viewers in 2018.[30][31] Live PD was among the most-watched programs on cable television during its run and was credited for allowing A&E to reverse the trend of systematic viewership declines seen across cable television networks.[32]

On January 19, 2017, A&E announced a reboot of Cold Case Files, over a decade after its final season premiered in 2006.[33] A revival of the Biography franchise would also launch on June 28, 2017, with The Notorious Life of Biggie Smalls.[13]

ProgrammingEdit

Notable original series seen on A&E have included Breakfast with the Arts,[34] The First 48, Duck Dynasty, Intervention, Live PD, Storage Wars, and Wahlburgers.[13][35]

Original and co-produced movies and miniseriesEdit

Criticism and ControversyEdit

A&E has been criticized for some of its programming, with detractors viewing the network as an aberration of its original focus on fine arts programming. For example, Maury Chaykin reflected on the cancellation of the A&E original series A Nero Wolfe Mystery in a 2008 interview: "I'm a bit jaded and cynical about which shows succeed on television. I worked on a fantastic show once called Nero Wolfe, but at the time A&E was transforming from the premiere intellectual cable network in America to one that airs Dog the Bounty Hunter on repeat, so it was never promoted and eventually went off the air."[36]

On December 19, 2013, A&E placed Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty on indefinite hiatus following remarks on homosexuals in an interview with GQ.[37][38][39] A&E said in a statement, "We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson's comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community."[40][41][42] On December 27, 2013, A&E announced they would begin filming again with the entire Robertson family on the heels of large public outcry and discussions with the Robertson family and numerous advocacy groups.[43]

The 2014 cancellation of Longmire drew viewer backlash over the network citing that the show skewed an older audience as one of the reasons.[44][45] The series was later picked up by Netflix.[13]

In June 2020, Live PD was cancelled by the network in the wake of protests over the murder of George Floyd, and after reports were confirmed that the show's production staff had recorded and then deleted footage of the killing of Javier Ambler under police custody.[46][47] The show's cancellation, and replacement by its reruns, resulted in the network losing half its viewership from June to July, during that time slot.[48]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "List of how many homes each cable network is in as of July 2015". TV by the Numbers. Zap2it. July 21, 2015. Archived from the original on January 2, 2016. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  2. ^ Parisi, Paula, "New look bows A&E's 2nd 10"; The Hollywood Reporter, December 29, 1993
  3. ^ "Freud, Warts and All, Sits for the Camera". The New York Times. January 20, 1985. Archived from the original on July 27, 2018. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
  4. ^ "KSL Channel 5 TV". TV Entertainment Magazine. KSL. 1 July 1986.
  5. ^ Brown, Steven (24 July 1986). "Roll over, Chopin - music video takes cue from MTV". Article. The Orlando Sentinel.
  6. ^ Ulrich, Allan (23 July 1986). "Get ready for Chopin on Video". Article. The San Francisco Examiner.
  7. ^ a b Hoover's Company Records, July 12, 2011
  8. ^ a b Gay, Verne (Newsday), "Biography: Top Show on Cable's A&E Network"; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 21, 1996
  9. ^ a b c Block, Alex Ben (March 28, 2014). "A+E at 30: How a Tiny Network Became a $26 Billion Success Story". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on June 8, 2020. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Carmody, John, "The TV Column"; The Washington Post, May 2, 1995. "The Arts & Entertainment cable network has officially changed its name to A&E Network."
  11. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (May 9, 2008). "On TV". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 26, 2017. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  12. ^ Ross, Chuck, "Cable Marketer of the Year: A&E"; Advertising Age, December 8, 1997
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  14. ^ Salamon, Julie (June 22, 2004). "When Group Therapy Means Coming Clean on TV". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2017. Two years ago Nick Davatzes, president and chief executive of A&E Television Networks, called his executives to a retreat, to 'wallow in the mud,' as he described the exercise. From that wallowing emerged an overhaul in management and outlook, including the conclusion that reality television could not be ignored if the network wanted younger viewers.
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  19. ^ Steve Rosenbaum (February 1, 2006). ""Flight 93" Breaks A&E Records". Docu-Blog/Steve's POV. Archived from the original on 2006-10-18. Retrieved September 30, 2006.
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  21. ^ Fitzgerald, Toni (February 14, 2007). "True grit: Remaking the A&E network". MediaLifeMagazine. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 21, 2007.
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External linksEdit