America's Got Cable: Food Network vs. WE tv

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Welcome to another braid-whipping week of America's Got Cable: The Search for the Nation's Finest Basic Cable Channel!

OLD BUSINESS: It may be called Current, but it just got sucked down into the cable news RIPTIDE. Congratulations goes to...


*****************************************MSNBC*****************************************

But in this case, the winner might also be the loser! These comments pretty much sum up voter enthusiasm for MSNBC:

TheLittleOne00: "What if I said I hate both channels, and DON'T watch either one of them? Since I have to vote I think I will go with MSNBC. MSNBC IS STILL A LOSER CHANNEL!!!!"

Lance_Corporal: "Gotta go with Current, if only because MSNBC usually has its head way too far up its own ass."

GreendaleAlum: "MSNBC because I've heard of it."


NEW BUSINESS: Pay attention, fellas—this next matchup involves snacks and women!


Food Network

Background: Food Network was founded way back in 1993 in a partnership between Adelphia, Continental Cable Vision, and multimedia corporation the Tribune Company. Interesting, right? Haha, anyway, it was originally known by the even more generic name "TV Food Network" and its purpose was simply to be a single-subject cable channel you'd find in the 400s somewhere. Since then, it's become the most prominent food-based cable channel, attracting a passionate following to its double-tiered schedule: Tutorials during the daytime and reality shows during primetime. Its influence is pretty huge, having launched the TV careers of Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Paula Deen, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown, among many others.

Original Programming: In addition to host-centric daytime cooking shows like Barefoot Contessa, Down Home with the Neelys, 30-Minute Meals, and Paula's Home Cooking (plus tons more), Food Network boasts a highly addictive primetime schedule. Current signature shows include: Iron Chef America, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Food Network Challenge, The Worst Cooks in America, and Next Food Network Star.

Reruns: Because of the huge array of original programming the Food Network has produced over the past 18 years, its schedule is mostly limited to reruns from its own archives. So basically, you won't be seeing reruns of Fear Factor on here anytime soon.

Why It's The Best: Food Network figured out how to make genuinely engaging programming that's actually educational

Why It's The Worst: It's kind of tough watching three straight hours of gourmet cooking tutorials and then remembering there's nothing in my refrigerator except dijonaise and Sunny D.


WE tv

Background: The Romance Channel was founded way back in 1997 as a sister station (and I do mean SISTER) to American Movie Classics. While they remain siblings, AMC has gone off to college while the Romance Channel got a job mopping floors at Victoria's Secret. When it rebranded itself WE (Women's Entertainment) in 2006, it quickly came to embrace celeb-reality shows and wedding-based programming that make the shows on Lifetime look like Masterpiece Theater.

Original Programming: Wedding-themed shows include: Bridezillas, Amsale Girls, Girl Meets Gown, I Do Over, Platinum Weddings, My Fair Wedding, Rich Bride Poor Bride, and Amazing Wedding Cakes. Celeb-reality shows include: Braxton Family Values, Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?, and Sinbad: It's Just Family.

Reruns: Never thought I'd say this, but THANK GOD for reruns. In addition to airing pretty decent movies, we also get Golden Girls, Frasier, Charmed, Ghost Whisperer, Girlfriends, and (my favorite) 48 Hours Mystery.

Why It's The Best: Hopefully WE tv balances out all those equally gross "man" channels in the cable lineup.

Why It's The Worst: Seriously, ladies, this thing is like some kind of estrogen ghetto.


Official TV.com Verdict: No contest—Food Network for sure.

But now it's your turn! Vote below, then COMMENT and tell us your verdict: Food Network or WE tv? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?



Want to catch up on past battles? Head over to the America's Got Cable archives.


Follow TV.com writer Price Peterson on Twitter: @pricepeterson

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