War is arguably the greatest of human dramas, and its inherent appeal as a dramatic subject has made it one of the most long-lived and prolific of TV genres. Military- and war-themed programming is a staple of the TV schedule, whether it's in the form of historical nonfiction, drama, action or even situation comedy.
Military history is the single most popular form of historical nonfiction TV programming. For the early part of its lifespan, the History Channel's schedule was virtually filled from morning ?til night with military history; now spin-off channel Military History handles most of the war-related programming while History concentrates on reality programming. PBS has seen its share of military history programming, too, including Ken Burns' landmark "Civil War" miniseries.
In the realm of fiction, war and military dramas have been somewhat uncommon on TV. "JAG" is an example of a drama that looks at the inner workings of the military, while "World War II: When Lions Roared" is a fictionalized portrait of the leaders who took the world to war in the 1930s and 40s.
War wouldn't seem to be a funny subject, but a handful of network sitcoms have tried to find laughter among the horror. "Hogan's Heroes" had an absurdist perspective on World War II that was entirely unconnected to reality, while "M*A*S*H*" got its laughs by poking fun at the Korean War in a semi-serious way.