The Times West Virginian

Life

August 22, 2012

TLC's gamble: Sticking to reality

(Continued)

TLC's next big hit, "Trading Spaces," which launched in 2000, lured viewers with the unpredictability of people's reactions to home makeovers led by their neighbors. The show, averaging 4 million viewers, helped catapult TLC into the ranks of the top 10 cable networks.

But by 2005, the show's fifth season, "Trading Spaces" had lost about 40 percent of its audience and TLC had lost its luster. Washington Post TV critic Lisa de Moraes said, "The show was a victim of its own success, as TLC cloned it and other networks jumped on the makeover bandwagon."

TLC's popularity flat-lined for the next few years.

"After the 'Trading Spaces' heyday, we started evolving The Learning Channel concept into a live-and-learn kind of thing," Winter said. "We realized that people don't mind learning, but they don't want to be taught. We had a lot of experts on the air but shifted that to people whose life experiences have turned them into an expert."

Winter pointed to the docu-series "Jon & Kate Plus 8" as an example of average people whose experience in raising eight children made them "a kind of expert in parenting."

"Jon & Kate," which debuted on TLC in 2007, became a ratings powerhouse, drawing 10.6 million viewers at one point, when the couple's marriage fell apart two years later.

Critics lambasted TLC for profiting from the family's troubles.

O'Neill, who was instrumental in developing "Jon & Kate," acknowledged that it was difficult deciding whether to proceed with the show in the midst of the divorce. Yet the decision came down to what the family wanted to do.

"They always had the opportunity to stop," she said.

Text Only
Life
  • An alternative diagnosis to ADHD: Schoolchildren need more time to move

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that in recent years, there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2011.

    July 18, 2014

  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 18, 2014

  • wheat1.jpg Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters

    The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can plants hear? Study finds that vibrations prompt some to boost their defenses

    They have no specialized structure to perceive sound as we do, but a new study has found that plants can discern the sound of predators through tiny vibrations of their leaves - and beef up their defenses in response.

    July 8, 2014

  • "A Hard Day's Night" getting better all the time

    The Beatles' classic film, "A Hard Day's Night," is getting a fab makeover for its 50th anniversary.

    July 6, 2014

  • The science of shyness

    Shy people have quite a bit to contend with - not least the word itself. 
    It has a number of different meanings, none of which are flattering. To "shy away" from something implies avoidance; to "shy" can also mean to move suddenly in fright; to "be shy of" something can mean to come up short, or be insufficient.

    June 27, 2014

  • breaking-up.jpg Thinking about breaking up? Flip a coin

    In their latest book, 'Think Like a Freak," Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner suggest that, contrary to what many people have told you in life, you should quit. That is, when things get tough, you shouldn't always tough them out and stick with it. Instead, you should quit and do so sooner rather than later.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • baby-generic.jpg For millennials, out-of-wedlock childbirth is the norm

    This month brings us yet another reminder that, for young Americans, having children outside of marriage is very much "the new normal," as The New York Times once put it.

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Each glass of bubbly has at least a million reasons to drink it anytime

    So don't wait for a special occasion. Make one: a lousy day, a minor victory at the office, a tough commute home. That chilling bottle of bubbly might be just what's needed.

    June 24, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-25 at 4.52.16 PM.png Don't download these: 3 totally unnecessary apps

    There are apps to help you manage your time, your money and your health. If you have problems waking up or going to sleep, there's an app for that. But there are a few apps that absolutely no one needs.

    April 28, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Ads