So says San Francisco Chronicle TV critic/columnist Tim Goodman:
Consider the issue facing the History Channel, which came to the Television Critics Association summer press tour Wednesday and brought along, of all people, Matt Damon and Marisa Tomei, to promote the documentary “The People Speak.” The film is littered with stars, including Don Cheadle and Viggo Mortensen and musicians like Eddie Vedder, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, all touting the merits of grassroots democracy. This might be something a diverse audience – maybe even a younger audience than the History Channel is used to – might want to watch. But the History Channel is jammed with non-scripted, popular but substantively suspect series: “Ice Road Truckers,” “Ax Men,” “MonsterQuest” and “UFO Hunters.” Conversely, the History Channel still has a love affair with World War II and will be premiering a new series, “WWII in HD.”
Is there one viewer who will watch all of that? Is there one family who will watch the channel enough to see the promos for these disparate upcoming series? Probably not. Read more
I think there’s definitely something to the points Goodman makes. Unfortunately, either due to a bad editor back at the mothership or having too many cocktails down at the TCA show, Goodman’s column didn’t offer the counterbalance of networks like USA, TNT, Disney, and Nickelodeon that succeed in having far, far less disparate schedules.