Somebody call 911, because a cable channel just got straight-up murdered! Congratulations goes to...
Sorry, NatGeo. After bravely defeating Animal Planet all those months ago, you should've known you'd meet your match against the most dastardly killer on the cable spectrum. These commenters know what I'm talking about:
klose_09: "Investigation Discovery. Death in itself is fascinating. Death caused by other people is horrifying. Fascinating and horrifying are a combination I can get behind."
Arch_Angel88: "Investigation Discovery: Because murder never goes out of style."
CrimeDramaBee: "Investigation Discovery. Because if I had to choose between a documentary about murder and a documentary about Alaska, I'd pick murder."
Now onto the NEXT matchup...
This week's contest is a David vs. Goliath story if ever there was one! You know, if David was Goliath's newborn baby brother.
Background: Unlike most present-day cable titans, the origins of MTV are as close to common knowledge as it gets... THAT's how important the channel is (or was). Launched in 1981 (pun alert: its first images were of the Apollo 11 lift-off), MTV was the first cable network dedicated to the airing of video clips set to music (later termed the "music video"). Its 24-hour music schedule was modeled on Top 40 radio, complete with a weekly playlist and a regular roster of VJs. The timing ended up being just right: MTV's interstellar success coincided with artists like Madonna and Michael Jackson fully embracing the video format, which in turn fueled their album sales like crazy. Slowly though, the music programming gave way to news, game shows, lifestyle programs, and, of course, the reality show. For at least fifteen years now, MTV has not been the best place to find music videos, although the pop culture sensibility it helped create remains firmly embedded in all its programming.
Original Programming: The MTV vault is as jampacked with stuff as that of any other network on television. In addition to its granddaddy reality series The Real World, MTV also took early chances on The Jon Stewart Show, The Tom Green Show, The Osbournes, Punk'd, Jackass, and The State. After more or less inventing the young-people-living-together reality series, it created even more dastardly strains of reality TV with Laguna Beach, The Hills, and celebrity-specific shows like Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica. Even its most respectable documentary series, True Life, has spawned some of television's most notoriously low-brow content, specifically My Super Sweet 16, Teen Mom, and, of course, Jersey Shore. In recent years, however, MTV's managed to bring us some surprisingly decent scripted shows, particularly Teen Wolf, Awkward., and a revival of Mike Judge's still-excellent Beavis and Butt-head.
Reruns: While MTV certainly has a large back catalog to draw from, it still manages to air outside material on the regular. For example, a two-hour block of That '70s Show? Sure. A random showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Why not? But I think we all know what MTV's good for, and that's airing six- or seven-hour weekend marathons of whatever addictive series it's currently promoting. Diabolical!
Why It's The Best: It's time to let go of our collective grudge against the music video thing. These days most music videos just aren't as good as The Challenge, am I right?
Why It's The Worst: We can't be expected to eat candy for dinner every night.
Background: Back in 2005 -- which was a year that happened so long ago that nobody remembers it and the fact it even happened at all can only be proved using math and theory -- the MTV Networks corporate overlords decided to create a high-definition music channel called MHD. Its purpose was to fill the burgeoning demand many cable providers had for hi-def content, and also perhaps play music on the air again? Not sure. MHD was first broadcast live from Vail, Colorado complete with interstitials hosted by Olympic skier/heartthrob Jeremy Bloom. After making its way into more and more households, MHD rechristened itself Palladia in 2008.
Original Programming: The term "original" may be used loosely around Palladia, seeing as much of its content is shared by MTV and VH1, but there's no better source for music festival footage and concert premieres. It also regularly airs blocks of new music videos from the rock, rap, and country scenes.
Reruns: Reruns are Palladia's strongest suit, particularly the new-ish episodes of Storytellers and Unplugged, two terrific music shows that regrettably disappeared from the network's sister channels. Not to mention full rebroadcasts of awards shows and musical feature films like Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Who's Tommy.
Why It's the Best: If you're a music fan, it's nice to know there's still a cable channel that has your back.
Why It's the Worst: Sometimes you don't WANT to watch two full hours of a Jack Johnson concert, you know?
Official TV.com Verdict
While Palladia is a valuable channel I frequently watch, MTV's definitely been bringing it lately in the scripted programming department.
But now it's your turn! COMMENT BELOW and tell us your verdict: MTV or Palladia? And make your case! What do you love or hate about each channel?
Click below to see the full tournament bracket:
Want to catch up on past battles? Head over to the America's Got Cable archives.