When the glorious notion of 500 channels on cable television was first introduced to the world 20 or so years ago, the underlying promise was that there would be a specific channel for every possible demographic niche.
The reality has been rather different. These days, many basic cable channels rush to get their version of a popular programming trope on the air — wedding planning, tattoo parlors, crazy food, real estate, wealthy “working” professionals, etc. — no matter how far afield that trope strays from the channel’s seeming charter. The result: It almost doesn’t matter what channel you’re watching at all.
It is true that I could be turning into a fusty crank clinging to the days when the words “Travel Channel” and “History Channel” meant you’d be watching a show about travel and history. But as you take this quiz testing your ability to match the reality TV show with its corresponding channel, please take a moment to contemplate how we’ve all allowed our television landscape to drift into total chaos.