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Welcome to the January edition of highlights in cable entertainment and programming news. Here you will find insider information on TV ratings, show renewals, new networks and shows, unique programmer news, show-runner updates and more! Also, for previews of new cable seasons and sneak peeks for shows, don’t forget to check out NCTA’s TV Trailer Page.
American Heroes Channel to Bring Back What Military Channel Historically Loves
American Heroes Channel
January 9, 2014 | The Military Channel is the latest network in Discovery’s diverse offerings to undergo a re-brand, becoming the American Heroes Channel (AHC). Targeting male viewers 25-54, Discovery describes AHC as “a rare glimpse into major events that shaped our world, visionary leaders and unexpected heroes who made a difference, and the great defenders of our freedom.” The network will kick off with 17 new shows in its first year, pushing out four of them during week one. AHC will still inhabit the intersection of military and history but promises to deliver more of the narrative-style documentary stories about unexpected heroes, bravery on the battlefield, historic top-secret missions, and real-life bands of brothers that Discovery viewers love.
True Detective Nabs Record Viewership
January 13, 2014 | This month saw the premiere of True Detective, HBO’s new anthology series starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as homicide detectives on the hunt for a serial killer. The series opener garnered an impressive 2.3 million viewers, making it HBO’s most-watched debut in four years. True Detective’s plot is a mystery that twists and turns throughout 17 years, proving that this is no ordinary cop show. Three episodes in, and we still have scant details about the crime, the killer and why our two lead’s working relationship appears to come to a bitter end. If you haven’t given this drama a shot, we highly recommend that you do, especially because you have an extra week to catch up. True Detective returns on February 9th.
Discovery Strikes Gold with Klondike Miniseries
January 20, 2014 | Although Discovery Channel’s Klondike centers on harsh wintery conditions and desperate, dangerous characters, the show was red hot in January. The premiere of the first scripted miniseries for Discovery Channel averaged 3.4 million viewers, giving the cabler its most-watched Monday in prime time ever. Klondike is a man-versus-nature story of two best friends in the late 1980s fighting desperate conditions and greedy competition during the height of the gold rush. Even though this three episode mini-series is over, you can still catch the whole thing on Discovery. But we hope its golden success means more of this kind of content is in the works from the network.
Take A Bite Out of This – Dark Rye The TV Show
January 22, 2014 | Whole Foods Market is expanding beyond its niche in healthy foods like 83% organic kombucha (only kidding, we love Whole Foods, even their parking lots.) The organics grocery giant is getting into the TV business, taking its award-winning online magazine, Dark Rye, to the small screen on cable network PivotTV. Similar to its online counterpart, the show will tackle everything from social issues to culinary questions. Dark Rye gives us a glimpse into the lives of dreamers, positive doers, and the people who make the world a more interesting place to live in. Dark Rye premiered January 22nd hosted by Bay Area fisherman Kirk Lombard, and airs every Wednesday at 9:30 PM EST. Give it a try—it just might be the next quinoa in your life.
Flesh & Bone is the Latest New Series for STARZ
January 27, 2014 | What do you get when you combine TLC’s Dance Moms with Quentin Tarantino? The answer is Flesh and Bone, STARZ newly announced drama series from the creative minds of Breaking Bad writer Moira Walley-Beckett and Inglourious Basterds’ producer Lawrence Bender. Flesh and Bone takes the frill and lace out of professional ballet, showing us instead the dark, gritty world of Claire, a talented yet mentally unstable dancer who has joined a prestigious ballet company in New York. Production is set to start in New York City this year. STARZ is quickly becoming a TV destination with both The White Queen and Black Sails enjoying record-breaking premieres.