Has any cable channel kept its identity? Spike TV used to be the MAN CHANNEL, and now its biggest show, between nerd show reruns, is swing choir on easy mode, especially since G4 became the MAN CHANNEL, Esquire. Court TV decided it’d rather run abstract comedy and prank shows as TruTV. And now Oxygen, the network for women, has decided to become the murder channel, as it’s changing its name to Crime Network.
Leaving aside the baffling refusal to rename it “Lack of Oxygen,” the move is a total rebrand. The network is ditching shows like Bad Girls Club and Sisterhood Of Hip-Hop in favor of reviving Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf’s Cold Justice, a reality show about heinous offenses, and The Jury Speaks, which interviews the juries behind high profile cases. They’re joining Three Days To Live, a show about abductions, you know, because kidnapping is a nice palette cleanser after brutal homicide.
As we noted, Oxygen going criminal isn’t the first cable network to switch their focus, and it probably won’t be the last. And it’s well known true crime has a huge female audience. Just what it says, though, that a network conceived as being for women has decided they can best cater to their audience with reality shows about murder is an exercise best left to the reader.