The 40-Year Transformation Of How TLC Went From The Learning Channel To Home Of Honey Boo Boo

extreme cougar wives

Photo: TLC screencap

When did The Learning Channel stop teaching? We asked ourselves that after seeing a clip for the network’s recently aired “Extreme Cougar Wives.”

The latest show from “The Learning Channel” follows (much) older women who prey date younger men.

Sure, the show explores the unusual relationship trend; however, what are we taking away from this show other than the underlying theme that “love knows no bounds” and the knowledge that 76-year-old Hattie is always willing to put out on the first date?

It’s not just this show. 

One simple look at the rest of the channel’s lineup today, and it’s much of the same.

We celebrate the “Queen of Couponing,” award strange addictions with a giveaway contest, and, hail pop-culture sensation Honey Boo Boo and her go-go juice.

The channel wasn’t always riddled in reality shows.

Before the pint-size pageant divas, and even the room renovations, “The Learning Channel” was just that … about learning.

The Department of Health, Education, and Welfare along with NASA founded what was meant to be an informative and instructional network in 1972. The channel was to be distributed for free via a NASA satellite.

In 1991, Discovery bought the network for a reported $31.5 million a move which added more reality television shows to the mix.

There was an entire episode entitled 'Dino Sex.'

Both shows ran throughout the '90s on the network with 'Home Savvy' ending in 2000.

Soon after, in 1998, the channel rebranded itself as TLC and the programming began to drastically change.

That year, the network also bid farewell to its kid's lineup. Instead, it became a part of the Discovery Kids lineup, which is now known as The Hub.

Reruns for 'Trauma: Life in the E.R.' air on Discovery's Fit & Health station.

'Medical Detectives' is now known as 'Forensic Files' on truTV.

Paleoworld makes appearances on Discovery's Science channel.

Today's shows, while they may be informative (who knew you could get $2000 worth of groceries for nearly $100 with enough coupons) consist of shock value.

'Long Island Medium' and 'Breaking Amish' come in ahead.

Here's a list of other comings and goings from TLC in the past few years:

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