The E4 TV channel was founded and is operated by the British network Channel 4 as a digital option available via a variety of services in the UK, including Freeview, cable and satellite TV providers. The network was founded in 2001 and was designed to appeal to viewers in the 15 to 35 years age group, with a large number of shows broadcast on the channel specifically aimed at a younger audience. E4 has become known for broadcasting a variety of the top rated and critically acclaimed US imports and also broadcasts shows from the UK that are produced specifically for the channel.
Amongst the shows that are regularly broadcast on E4 is the British soap opera Hollyoaks, which is set in a fictional area of the British city of Chester. Hollyoaks reflects the image and age range of E4 in the fact that the majority of the cast are aged between 15 and 35. The network also broadcasts critically acclaimed British shows, including The Ricky Gervais Show, Shameless and The Inbetweeners. E4 also broadcasts a number of imported shows from the US, often earlier than they air on the sister network of Channel 4. E4 has been the home to US shows including The Cleveland Show, Desperate Housewives and How I Met Your Mother.