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Discovery Networks to return to its unscripted programming roots

UPI News Service, 10/30/2005 

The head of U.S. cable TV's Discovery Networks says he wants to return programming to the net's original intent -- interesting shows that educate.

Discovery started as a single channel 20 years ago and has grown into a multibillion dollar global enterprise, Daily Variety noted Sunday.

More salacious reality-type offerings from rival cable networks like Court TV, VH1, E! and Bravo have knocked Discovery's family-oriented shows out of the Top 10 and ratings have been in a two-year slump, Variety said.

Shows like "Monster Garage,""American Chopper" and "Trading Spaces" -- which lead the reality TV wave -- are getting old and Discovery President Billy Campbell says it's up to him to lead the charge for a turnaround.

Campbell says he's going to tackle the ratings challenge by looking back in time, focusing more on the types of shows and documentaries that first drew viewers to the Discovery Channel.

"We've gotten back to the core," Campbell says. "We're refocused and I feel very confident in our shows going forward. I fight every day to defend the brand."

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Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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