Arts & Culture TV Shows

About Arts & Culture

Almost from the inception of television, lovers of the fine arts and high culture have been both excited by the potential for TV to bring the arts into homes and concerned about the possibility that TV won't live up to that potential. Since Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton N. Minow called television a "vast wasteland" in 1961, programmers have been trying to prove him wrong by producing cultural TV designed to enlighten viewers. Even Minow admitted that "when television is good, nothing - not the theater, not magazines or newspapers - nothing is better," and arts-oriented programming aims to be TV at its cultural best.

In America, the loftiest of arts TV has long been associated with the Public Broadcasting Service. PBS regularly airs televised performances of opera productions, ballets, symphonic concerts and musical productions that lie outside the mainstream of popular music, as well as original adaptations of classic literature and fine arts documentaries.

Arts and culture were also a focus during the explosion of new cable networks in the 1980s. The Arts & Entertainment channel dedicated itself specifically to cultural programming, and other documentary-oriented channels such as The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel and The History Channel produced their share of cultural programming, too.

As the marketing of TV evolved into the 1990s, cultural offerings on cable began to fade. A&E, TLC, History and Discovery shifted their focus from high-brow educational content toward mainstream entertainment, and now these networks offer primarily reality programs and original entertainment series. These days it?s a bit harder to find arts programming on TV, but the arts will always find a niche somewhere in the television landscape.

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Masterpiece: Inspector Lewis
Masterpiece: Inspector Lewis
The Lawrence Welk Show
The Lawrence Welk Show
New York Live
New York Live
David Tutera's CELEBrations
David Tutera's CELEBrations
Kink
Kink
Salvage Hunters
Salvage Hunters
CHIC.TV Fashion
CHIC.TV Fashion
A French Affair
A French Affair
Little Big World
Little Big World
Akhenaten and Nefertiti
Akhenaten and Nefertiti
Test Drive
Test Drive
The Meaning of Food
The Meaning of Food
FXM Presents
FXM Presents
Moving Art
Moving Art
Jeff Koons: Beyond Heaven
Jeff Koons: Beyond Heaven
Made in Spain
Made in Spain
The Art Show
The Art Show
Wood Works
Wood Works
China's Lost Girls
China's Lost Girls
The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker
Street Art Throwdown
Street Art Throwdown
Confidential
Confidential
1st Look
1st Look
Between the Folds
Between the Folds
Art of The Western World
Art of The Western World
The Thunder Show
The Thunder Show
Pilgrimage to Karbala
Pilgrimage to Karbala
The Impressionists
The Impressionists
Skating Gold
Skating Gold
Let's Come Out: Gay & Lesbian
Let's Come Out: Gay & Lesbian
Raiders of the Lost Art
Raiders of the Lost Art
Slamdance TV
Slamdance TV
Understanding Art: Impressionism
Understanding Art: Impressionism
Made Here
Made Here
Culture X
Culture X
TEDTalks: Global Villages
TEDTalks: Global Villages
Artbound
Artbound
The High Road With Mario Batali
The High Road With Mario Batali
IGN @ Comic-Con
IGN @ Comic-Con
Beethoven's Piano Concerto
Beethoven's Piano Concerto
The New West with Will Hearst
The New West with Will Hearst
Lost on the Atlantic
Lost on the Atlantic
China's Great Wall
China's Great Wall
NBCU Short Film Festival
NBCU Short Film Festival
The Grantland Oscar Preview
The Grantland Oscar Preview
Great Hearts of Courage
Great Hearts of Courage
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
Lyndey Milan's Food & Lifestyle
XP Guide
XP Guide
Howcast Arts & Crafts
Howcast Arts & Crafts
OHM:TV Culture & Society
OHM:TV Culture & Society
NBC Shortcuts Festival
NBC Shortcuts Festival
NBCU Short Cuts Festival
NBCU Short Cuts Festival
Icons Among Us (2009)
Icons Among Us (2009)
Playing It Forward
Playing It Forward
The Flog
The Flog
Anyhoo
Anyhoo
The Tommy Edison Experience
The Tommy Edison Experience
Metropolis II
Metropolis II
Beautylicious.tv
Beautylicious.tv
CHIC.TV Dining
CHIC.TV Dining
CHIC.TV Models
CHIC.TV Models
CHIC.TV Supercars
CHIC.TV Supercars
The Digg Reel
The Digg Reel
Diggnation
Diggnation
Fashion Television
Fashion Television
Herbie Hancock's The Imagine Project
Herbie Hancock's The Imagine Project
The Playbook
The Playbook
Uncorked
Uncorked
Three Sheets
Three Sheets
Beer Nutz
Beer Nutz
Beyond The List
Beyond The List
Billionaires Car Club
Billionaires Car Club
Destination X
Destination X
Eventurer: The Great American Race
Eventurer: The Great American Race
FashionMojo
FashionMojo
Ford Models
Ford Models
The MEN7 Show
The MEN7 Show
Simple Living With Wanda Urbanska
Simple Living With Wanda Urbanska
Art and the City
Art and the City
Designer People
Designer People
The Big Drugs Debate
The Big Drugs Debate
A Reggae Session
A Reggae Session
Bars and Tones: The Quest
Bars and Tones: The Quest
Dance on Camera
Dance on Camera
Richard Roeper & The Movies
Richard Roeper & The Movies
The Genius of British Art
The Genius of British Art
Natural Born Dealers
Natural Born Dealers
MAN
MAN
Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem
Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem
FORA.tv Culture
FORA.tv Culture
El Espiritu De La Salsa
El Espiritu De La Salsa
Conversations with Norma Kamali
Conversations with Norma Kamali
Art of the Heist
Art of the Heist
Artland
Artland
The Artful Codgers
The Artful Codgers
Halloween Block Party
Halloween Block Party
The Nutcracker From the Royal Ballet
The Nutcracker From the Royal Ballet
One Country 5 Books
One Country 5 Books
Great Artists Two with Tim Marlow
Great Artists Two with Tim Marlow