Arts & Culture TV Shows

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