When you are channel surfing, it’s initially very hard to distinguish TBS (Turner Broadcast Station) from many other networks. It’s basically one sitcom after another. This is the format of most networks, but in recent years TBS has focused on showing exclusively sit-coms and comedy movies. If you’re not in the mood for sit-coms, then this network will be torture. If you love sit-coms, then you’re in for a treat.
TBS has gone through a lot of costume changes over the years since it was first called WTCG (short for “Watch This Channel Grow”) in 1976. It originally only aired in the Atlanta market. When it grew outside of Atlanta and spread over the South, it became known as WTBS. It was eventually was called a “superstation,” which really isn’t that much different from a television network.
When this writer first saw TBS in the late 1980’s, it really was a network nearly identical to any of the local traditional channels. It offered a mix of sports, movies and syndicated shows. The only difference seemed to be in the choice of what shows it bid on to syndicate. They tried for progressively better and better shows to syndicate, rather than just being left second or third-rate series, as was the fate of most cable channels in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
TBS finally has an identity as a comedy channel (which must annoy Comedy Central to no end). It has become what Comedy Central was once thought to be – a channel devoted to showing humorous television series and movies. The movies are generally presented with a (hopefully) witty host. However, TBS has a lot of the acclaimed and far more recent comedy programs such as the American version of The Office, the animated Family Guy and Corner Gas (the comedic pride and joy of Canada). However, I usually only watch it for Big Bang Theory marathons.
On the one hand, you always know what to expect when you click over to TBS. On the other hand, you always know what to expect when you flip over to TBS. If you prefer your television to be different, challenging, provocative and informative, then TBS will not be for you. However, if you are a fan of the more recent comedy shows in North America, then you should feel at home.