/// H2, History’s Sister Network, Is Doubling Down on New Shows

April 14, 2014  |  Media Week

In his midtown office last week at A+E Networks, Paul Cabana managed to sound both completely reasonable and incredibly enthusiastic, as though he were simply describing a happy accident that had led to quarter after quarter of uninterrupted growth at H2 , History’s sister network. H2 of late has been on a tear; in Q1 2014, the net improved 11 percent in prime time among adults 25-54, topping the likes of CNN and Hallmark Channel. But it’s no accident. “Everyone’s moving into scripted … and we’ve had a lot of success in counterprogramming,” said Cabana, svp, head of programming for H2. “Everyone’s moving into scripted, no one’s doing great documentary.” Among those new shows: Brad Meltzer’s Secret History (hosted by the mystery novelist behind History’s Decoded); an event series titled The Civil War , set to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox; and most promisingly, The Shift, an ancient-history/far-future special about what the planet looked like millions of years ago and how it’ll look millions of years from now. Cabana said H2’s programming strategy exists partly to protect the History brand, which saw some of its brainier fare “being outpaced by these big rockets” like Vikings , Swamp People and Pawn Stars. The shows weren’t anti-historical, exactly, but the network wanted to have all that ratings cake and eat its educational cake (educake?) too. Hence H2

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H2, History’s Sister Network, Is Doubling Down on New Shows

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