When taking a look at TLC's programming, it's sort of hard to remember that TLC at one time stood for The Learning Channel.
"Oh, my god! How beautiful! Light-up shoes!" (Video via TLC / "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding")
"My name is Adam. I live in Hollywood, California. And I'm addicted to being Madonna."(Video via TLC / "My Strange Addiction")
"It seems like whenever you have sex, you pass out." (Video via TLC / "Sex Sent Me to the ER")
Hard to believe TLC was originally founded as an instructional channel by NASA and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in 1972. It was — back then — known as the Appalachian Community Service Network.
Eight years later, the ownership of the channel was privatized and its name was changed to The Learning Channel. It showcased documentaries on a variety of topics, like "Paleoworld" and "Amazing Space."
Those documentaries evolved into more reality-style educational programming like "A Baby Story" and "Medical Detectives" in the late 1990s. (Video via TLC)
Then in the late 2000s, TLC programming started moving in a totally different direction. Goodbye education. Hello drama.
There was the infamous Jon and Kate Gosselin in "Jon & Kate Plus 8."
And the equally drama-filled "Toddlers and Tiaras," where audiences got to watch parents force their 3-year-olds to compete in beauty pageants.
"Bella, do you like pageants?"
"No! No, no, no!"
An entertainment writer for the Los Angeles Times told CNN in 2010, "TLC is doing what a lot of other cable networks have done... If you look at the History Channel, there's not an awful lot of history on it anymore."
And focusing on the bizarre has worked for TLC.
And in January, the premieres of "Kate Plus 8" and "My Big Fat Fabulous Life" raked in enough viewers, 1.8 million and 1.3 million respectively, to help TLC beat out Lifetime and Bravo in the ratings.
It looks like the bizarre is here to stay, though. TLC announced its new lineup of shows for later this year includes a marriage show where parents get to pick their child's future spouse and a series about a man who recently learned he's the King of the Isle of Man.
Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.