Ready for another "variety channel"? Well, ready or not, here it comes. Actually, it's kind of been here for awhile, albeit unofficially.
The A&E Networks owned cable channel BIO has long since shifted away from its original mission statement, that being the broadcasting of episodes of A&E's 'Biography' series and other programs of a historical or biographical bent. The station now primarily broadcasts true crime shows like 'The First 48,' 'Notorious,' and 'Cold Case Files,' along with general reality shows like 'Flip This House' and 'America's Supernanny.' BIO's namesake series is only broadcast once or twice a day now, and not always even that much.
Still, if turning niche channels into general audience channels didn't increase ratings, companies wouldn't do it. To that end, A&E Networks announced today that BIO will soon fully transform into a new channel called FYI. In the proud tradition of MTV and TLC no longer standing for anything, FYI are also just initials that abbreviate nothing. Said to be next on the revamping block for A&E is Lifetime Movie Network, or LMN. Details about what that will turn into are as yet undisclosed.
BBC executive Jana Bennett (who was instrumental in making TLC what it is today, for better or worse) will oversee BIO and LMN's respective metamorphoses. This type of re-branding has worked for A&E Networks in the past. H2 (formerly History International) was re-branded back in 2011, and has seen its audience shares explode in the two years since.
Am I the only one that misses when cable networks broadcast different types of programming, instead of everything having the same general mix of reality shows, sitcoms, cop dramas, and movies?