Arts & Entertainment Television launched in 1984, a joint venture of ABC's Alpha Repertory Service and RCA's The Entertainment Channel. In the beginning A&E TV shared channel space with Nickelodeon, but it got its own home in 1985 and began airing its programming 24 hours a day. As its name suggests, A&E was originally intended as a high-brow arts channel that would air drama, music and performing arts programming in the vein of PBS. Later in its life, A&E went the way of most basic cable channels and shifted its programming to include primarily mainstream reality series.
During its arts era, A&E's schedule included movies and miniseries adapted from classic literature, classical music performance programs, as well as some educational and historical programming and the popular documentary series "Biography."
A&E's transition to reality programming was one of the most dramatic among cable channels, as the once artsy network began airing sensational series such as "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels."