Serious question here. What's the difference between TLC, Discovery, Travel, History, Biography, A&E, NGC, even TWC these days? I just scrolled through the guide, where most of those channels appear together, and it's like a wasteland. The programs on all of those channels have become interchangeably irrelevant. What were once the most educational channels on the air have become an intellectual void. I just wish someone would take a moment to change the signage.
The problem is these reality drama cluster****s--which may have a more elegant name in the business, but I don't give a ****--are incredibly low risk. There's practically no investment necessary: They're not paying for talent, sets, effects, not even permits or licenses. That makes the barrier for success very low. You and I may tune out, but it doesn't take very many idiots tuning in to turn a profit.
If this isn't a readily observable manifestation of the least common denominator, I don't know what is.