4 Signs That Educational TV Is Totally Dead
By David Christopher Bell, August 12, 2013
It’s hard to believe now, but there was a brief moment in history when the idea of “educational television” was a godsend for a world being sullied by the two-headed demon temptress of MTV and Skinemax. Yes, back in the early years of cable, there were entire channels devoted to educating the masses: Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel (TLC), et cetera. Unfortunately, something terrible has happened in the last few years and the idea of using TV to make people smarter has been flushed down the toilet. Here’s why:
#4. “Educational” Is a Bad Word
Considering that it’s typically called “educational programming,” you’d assume that the first thing TV executives would look for in an educational show is whether or not it teaches something. That’s what one Emmy-nominated children’s show host thought after launching a hugely popular program that taught American Sign Language to children. People loved and awarded her first show — why not launch a whole other show that taught kids stuff? Here’s why: Because her new concept was considered “too educational for television” [by television executives]. The problem, according to creator Rachel Coleman, is that she’s trying to package too much information — in fact, a whole year’s worth of preschool — into a series.
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