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CHANGING CHANNELS: HI to H2, HDTheater to Velocity
September 26, 2011  | By Diane Werts
 
h2-tv-logo-history-international.jpg

Are you ready for some new networks? Well, actually, old networks, reinventing themselves in search of new viewers.

History International is now H2. And on Tuesday (Oct. 4), Discovery's HD Theater becomes Velocity.

HI hasn't actually been "international" for awhile now, unless you think Secret Missions of the Civil War has a global focus. But it's probably now more "history" than ever -- certainly more than its elder sibling, currently called simply History, which whiles away its hours (and hours and hours) with reality shows like Pawn Stars and Ice Road Truckers.

Execs say they're ramping up H2's original productions to offer "a deeper perspective" on the past. So of course the big showcase for that is History of the World in 2 Hours (Sunday 9-11 p.m. ET on H2; encoring Thursday, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. ET on History).

So much for depth.

But H2 is also picking up premiere episodes of longtime History favorite Modern Marvels (Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on H2), as well as The Universe (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on H2). So we're hoping for the best out of what might otherwise seem a disappointing decision to move another niche channel toward the mainstream.

(H2 repositioned itself on Monday. Here's the H2 schedule.)

HD Theater pretty much had to change, of course, since its mission of showcasing high-def content for the Discovery-owned channels has since been superceded by Discovery HD, Animal Planet HD, et al. Ah, for those early days of high-def -- way back five years ago -- when just airing the static camera and nature sounds of Sunrise Earth was enough to make it all worthwhile.

velocity-tv-logo-discovery-hd-theater.jpg

The channel's mission has also been superceded by more overt commercial concerns: Velocity is aiming squarely at the "underserved" upscale demo of men making $150,000 or more. Because, you know, there just aren't enough homes on the tube for commercials pitching pricy Porsches, Mercedes and investment firms. (Otherwise known as "golf advertisers.")

Excuse my snark, but this move (taking place next Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. ET) seems as money-mindedly pandering as ABC's new product-placement-friendly daytime cheerleader The Chew. The Velocity hype is full of verbal testosterone injections like "turbocharged" and "high-stakes."

Initial Velocity promos are mostly automotive, with the occasional turn toward that other hard-to-find TV genre -- poker.

Is there no Speed channel? Are there no poker games on a dozen other channels? And I know I haven't seen anything like Velocity's Tech Toys anywhere else since, I dunno, yesterday.

Myself, I'm eagerly awaiting that splashy new downscale channel that just has to show up any week now. Give me some demolition derby and lawn mower races! And some international offerings, too. Like sumo. Now we're talkin'...

 

1 Comments

 

Glenn Jacobs said:

The H2 logo is WAY TOO BRIGHT AND LARGE. It is distracting.

 
 
 
 
 
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