A&E Television Networks
235 E 45th St # 9
New York, NY 10017-3305
The A&E Network is a cable and satellite television network based in New York City. A&E stands for "Arts & Entertainment," which for many years was in the channel's full title.
The channel, which originally focused programming on biographies, documentaries, and drama series (especially crime dramas and mysteries), and has expanded to include reality television programming, reaches more than 85 million homes in the United States and Canada. A&E is a joint venture of the Hearst Corporation 37.5%, The Walt Disney Company, 37.5%; and NBC Universal, 25%.
The A&E channel is the flagship of the A&E Television Networks group, which also includes The History Channel and The Biography Channel. Unlike most other major American television networks, it has often shown programming from abroad, particularly the United Kingdom, one of the highest-profile outlets British programming has had in the United States.
The service is a result of a merger in 1984 between a service called ARTS, the Alpha Repertory Television Service, launched in 1981 by Hearst/ABC Video Services, and The Entertainment Channel, started by NBC in 1982. ARTS would air on Nickelodeon in the late time.
Between 2003 and 2005, the channel gradually retired its long-running series, including Murder, She Wrote and Agatha Christie's Poirot (these programs have moved to The Biography Channel), in favor of reality programming such as Dog The Bounty Hunter, Growing Up Gotti, Family Plots, Airline, Inked, King of Cars, and Criss Angel Mindfreak. In addition, A&E has garnered favorable notice for "true-crime" documentary series such as Cold Case Files, American Justice, City Confidential, Investigative Reports, and The First 48. The station has also cut back on its broadcasts of Biography from its original twice-daily airings to once-weekly showings. Notably, the station also retired its long-held slogan "Time Well Spent." The changes are apparently an attempt to lure higher ratings, as reality programs have done for other stations. A&E has continued to rank in the top twenty-five U.S. basic cable outlets in prime time ratings.
A&E's highest viewed program ever was the docudrama Flight 93, which was about the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001.