What's the Better Channel: Investigation Discovery or NatGeo?

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Another day, another slaughter! By a HUGE margin, one more of Ted Turner's lovelies has been laid to rest in a poppy-covered grave. Congratulations goes to...


But let's be honest. It's really more like THIS:


These comments should help explain USA's massive victory:

VerRonnieCa: "TNT doesn't have Psych or Matthew Bomer."

TheKeaton: "USA, because it airs a show with Bruce Campbell in it!"

daddydriz: "TNT canceled Men of a Certain Age. That fact alone means that TNT loses."

quinan: "Matthew Bomer, that is all."


Special shout-out to genius mathematicians TrevPlatt, MelodyParis, and bkyle2429 for using such an impressive point system. I like your style.


Now onto the next match-up...


This week's contest promises to be both real and sensationalized!


Background: Sometime in the mid-1990s, somebody must've splashed some water on the Discovery Channel and fed it after midnight because dang! So many Discovery Channel spin-offs popped up. One of them was christened with the very distinguished moniker of Discovery Civilization Network: The World History and Geography Channel. The name pretty well sums up its primary subject matter at the time, but in 2003 the channel was rebranded to Discovery Times in honor of new co-owner, the New York Times. The partnership was short-lived and in 2008, Discovery's then wholly owned child was renamed yet again to Investigation Discovery and given a higher purpose: to be the most incredibly entertaining murder-themed channel on the air.

Original Programming: As long as folks are getting murdered, Investigation Discovery will keep cranking out the hits. Deadly Women, On the Case with Paula Zahn, Main Street Mysteries, Disappeared, Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry, and I (Almost) Got Away With It are among countless other nearly interchangeable (in a good way!) shows that prove just how bizarre and horrifying non-fiction can be.

Reruns: The most prominent reruns featured on Investigation Discovery are the true-crime shows that originally aired on other networks, particularly 48 Hours and Dateline. However, many of these reruns have actually IMPROVED since their original broadcasts, in that many of them have been updated with additional information on how their respective cases have developed since then.

Why It's The Best: Almost any time of day one can flip to this channel and be confronted with a living nightmare. Crime is horrible! But also endlessly fascinating.

Why It's The Worst: Once you've seen one terrible re-enactment, you've seen them all. (I want to see them all, but that's just me).


Background: Although the National Geographic Channel (NatGeo for short) is a relative newcomer on the scene, its pedigree is one of the oldest and most respected nature publications in the world. NatGeo first launched in America in early 2001 as a co-production between Fox Cable Networks and the National Geographic Society, the latter of which had been producing respected nature specials for television since the 1960s. Additionally, the actual print publication has featured award-winning journalism and photography since 1888! That is so many naked ladies! But anyway, yeah, to make a cable channel out of this thing was a no-brainer.

Original Programming: NatGeo's lineup is similar to the lineups of many ostensibly educational channels, alternating between one-off documentary specials and more faddish blue collar occupation-based series. Current featured series include: Alaska State Troopers, Knights of Mayhem, Rock Stars, Border Wars, Rocket City Rednecks, Outback Wrangler, and Swamp Men.

Reruns: NatGeo avoids reruns of traditional syndicated series and instead gives plenty of play to its enormous library of documentary specials.

Why It's the Best: NatGeo's respected journalism background means that any subject is fair game as long as it has some kind of informational value, and unlike the sensationalized overproduction of much of, say, Animal Planet's programming, NatGeo tends to favor entertainment that's—dare I say it?—educational.

Why It's the Worst: How many shows do we really need about hicks battling nature?



Official TV.com Verdict:
Call me morbid, but Investigation Discovery is pretty much my go-to channel on a daily basis.


But now it's your turn! COMMENT BELOW and tell us your verdict: Investigation Discovery or NatGeo? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?


Click below to see the full tournament bracket:

Note: Because we started with an odd number of channels, we gave some of the bigger ones a first-round bye.


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

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