What happened to The Learning Channel?


The Learning Channel, now just called TLC, has fallen so far from it’s roots is nothing like the great network it once was.

The Learning Channel It first began as what many older millennials remember, a network to learn and explore academic topics. It was founded by The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare with NASA in 1972. They had so many great shows that anytime you tuned into the channel, you learned something new.

Then around the early 90s when it’s parent company filed for bankruptcy, it was purchased by Discovery Channel purchased it. That seemed like a perfect fit. Instead, it began add more reality shows to it’s roster. Many were medically based and while remaining educations began to become more sensational like the very popular “Trauma: Life in the ER”

Then in 1998 the network changed its name to TLC and made a hard shift from it’s original mission. The educational shows that still existed were moved to other Discovery networks.

The shows that replaced them seemed to be focused on housewives with shows like names like “Baby Story” and “Wedding Story” which were unscripted shows following couples during those important and intimate times in their lives. People love them and so the network add more show like them to the line up.

Soon enough shows like of “19 Kids and Counting”, “Toddlers & Tiaras”, which spun off “Honey Boo Boo”, and others were the top shows on the network. Along with those were shows like “My strange addiction” and “Hoarding: Buried Alive” which allowed viewers a peek into severe mental illness without much in the way of education.

Now the are tying complete the move and are trying their first scripted program. What did they choose as their first foray into this realm? A Tyler Perry created show that cribs from the very popular series “Scandal. “Too Close to home” is the story of a woman from a trailer park who becomes an intern on Capitol Hill and gets into an affair with a Senator.

The Learning Channel has gone from a network that was one that promoted learning and the expansion of the mind to that of a a reality show network that couldn’t even try and be original with it’s newest idea.


Written by


Trying to bring back civility to civilization and kill the haters with kindness. Don’t lean Left or Right; Stand tall for all.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade