7 November 2013 1:40 PM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

When it launched in 1984, A&E was called The Arts & Entertainment Network and aired the type of performing arts, British mysteries and doc programming previously reserved for PBS. The channel quickly became known by its current label and as the home of "Biography," a series so successful that in 1999 it was spun off into its own separate cable channel. A&E's first forays into scripted programming started in the mid-'90s with a focus on movies and miniseries, among them two original drama series in 2001 -- "A Nero Wolfe Mystery" and Sidney Lumet's "100 Centre Street" – each which lasted just two seasons. Along the way, A&E dropped its longer name as well as most of its "arts" programming, and in 2002 began to focus on reality programming, its lineup dominated by shows like "The First 48" and "Intervention" as well as character-driven series like "Dog the Bounty Hunter" and "Gene Simmons Family Jewels. »


- Aaron Dobbs

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