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As Time Goes By, History Channel Blossoms

Television: Since launching 18 months ago, it's become one of the fastest-growing cable networks in a decade.

July 26, 1996|MICHAEL OLLOVE | THE BALTIMORE SUN

The documentaries tend to be informative and balanced if not necessarily provocative. That doesn't mean that the network hasn't been inventive. It recently showed a documentary in which the children of Holocaust survivors were brought together with the children of SS troops. It also showed a documentary on Canadian airmen who had escaped from the Buchenwald death camp but were unable to get anyone to listen to what they had witnessed there.

"What we hope to do is tell dramatic stories with a new slant of some kind," Raven said.

Although the network focuses on the past, it also tries to be topical. This summer, it will do shows on the history of the Olympics. Next fall, in "November Warriors," it will inaugurate a series on American presidential campaigns, starting with George Washington's.

The History Channel is planning an ambitious fall season that will include "The Great Ships," a series that each week will examine a different sea vessel, from the dreadnoughts to the PT boats; "History Undercover," a series on espionage operations; and "True Action Adventures."

With the channel adding about a million new subscribers every month, Davids sees no reason to look back.

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