E! Entertainment Television

Cable network devoted to round-the-clock entertainment coverage, often determined by the promotional agendas of its subjects. E! was originally founded in 1987 as “Movietime,” a channel sinking under heavy rotation movie trailers and stale infotainment segments; in 1989, the network was sold to a cooperative including HBO, Warner Communications, and United Artists (Disney/ABC and cable operator Comcast bought majority control in January, 1997).

Lee Masters, creator of such MTV successes as Remote Control and The Week in Rock, was appointed to mastermind the restructuring of the network; his dedication included frequent donning of a mohawk wig shaped like the E! logo.

The channel relaunched in 1990, rolling out new long-form programming, much of it produced on the cheap, including the talk-show round-up Talk Soup and a video syndication of print columnists calledThe Gossip Show. E!’s big draws are its televised version of Howard Stern’s radio show, and its reruns of… Continue reading