TLC, formerly "The Learning Channel," broadcasts shows like "Toddlers & Tiaras" which follows three families on their quest for sparkly crowns, big titles, and lots of cash generated from baby beauty queens.
They tell us "What Not to Wear" and to "Say Yes to the Dress." We've learned about Homemade Millionaires, Mall Cops and My Strange Addiction. Not to mention the "Cake Boss" and "BBQ Pitmasters." And, most famously, that "John & Kate Plus 8" equals big ratings.
It seems The Learning Channel is positioning itself as the queen of Middle America faux-reality TV. The shows are not documentaries. They're not reality-competitions. They aren't news or fact-based programming, but more scripted storylines with "real" people. TLC seems to be tapping into the American obsession that "regular folks" can be celebrities too, as long as folks are willing to air their dirty laundry and create a little drama.
TLC is home to anyone's 15 minutes of fame.
Recently, TLC has also become home to wayward celebrities like Sarah Palin, and Ted Haggard.
Ted Haggard is the latest to join the TLC family with a show clearly designed as a PR device to redeem the popularity of the Christian pastor disgraced by a drug and prostitution scandal, wrapped in his closeted homosexuality.
The TLC show is titled "Ted Haggard: Scandalous."
Haggard says that "showing the world the new chapter of our lives will hopefully inspire others to find their own path to overcome their struggles and embrace the power of acceptance."
And good ratings.