They’re vérité documentaries, you Philistine

The New York Times interviewed Nancy Dubuc, president and general manger of the History Channel, for a piece on their new “America” mini-series.  The conversation turned to the torrent of non-historical programming that has inundated the network.  Here’s an excerpt:

“The History channel under Ms. Dubuc has expanded what qualifies for its programming lineup, incorporating popular series like ‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Ice Road Truckers.’ Ms. Dubuc, apologizing for being ‘testy,’ dismissed criticisms that the new shows take History away from its core mission, saying they aren’t reality shows but ‘vérité documentaries on people doing history today.'”

Oh, vérité documentaries on people doing history today.  Now I get it.

That reminds me, there’s a penetrating exposé on age disparities in American relationships that I need to TiVo.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “They’re vérité documentaries, you Philistine

  1. Interesting comments by Dubuc, especially the rationale for non-historical programming for the History Channel. Anyone who thinks these shows are really about “history made every day” makes me cringe.

    On the other hand, I was able to watch the first episode of the new series. I really liked it! That’s what I really enjoy about the History Channel – that kind of programming about real history!

  2. Michael Lynch

    I think she’s really, really reaching with her justification of the new shows as “documentaries.” I’m hoping this new series will be successful enough to re-orient the network back to its roots.

    –ML

  3. If you thought “Pawn Stars,” “UFO Hunters,” “Ax Men” and “Ice Road Truckers” were a reach, then you’ll love this:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/28/AR2010042805511.html

  4. d_ustin

    Wow, Gordon beat me to it by about a half a day. And snce I went through all the effort to cut and paste the link(different but similar article) here it is:

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118018450.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

    This is the scariest part I think, “When History announced this ambitious project in December, our goal was A-list auspices behind and in front of the camera,” said History prexy/GM Nancy Dubuc — a day after Dubuc added oversight of Lifetime to her duties. (It’s been a good week for Dubuc, who’s also celebrating April as History’s most-watched month ever.)”
    So Duboc isn’t leaving for Lifetime just adding it to her job description. That “Ice ROad Truckers” spinoff we talked about today may still happen.

  5. Pingback: Peddling crap and frivolity pays big dividends for History Channel | Past in the Present

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