Well well well, it seems that The History Channel is a big cable success story. The fifth most popular channel on all of cable! Only trails ESPN among middle aged men! How has The History Channel done it? By having nothing to do with history, or "true" things at all!

Nobody cares about history. That's boring stuff people sleep through in school. No way would Americans watch it on teevee. The History Channel is well aware of this. That's why The History Channel contains 0% history. Its formula for success is a mix of the following non-history topics:

Shows About Demonstrably Fictional Things, Which Are, Ironically, the Opposite of History: Ancient Aliens, The Bible Code: Predicting Armageddon, Cities of the Underworld, MysteryQuest, Clash of the Gods.

Shows About Hypothetical Events or Situations, Which Are Also the Opposite of History: Armageddon, Jurassic Fight Club, Life After People.

Reality Shows About Blue Collar Jobs That People Would Not Like to Have in Real Life: Ice Road Truckers, American Pickers, Ax Men, Big Shrimpin, Swamp People, Pawn Stars.

Violence: Gangland, Dogfights, Human Weapon.

Throw in "Sex in the Ancient World," and you've got yourself some "History!"

[NYT. Photo via]