25 years ago, Bruce Springsteen wrote and recorded the song 57 Channels (And Nothin' On).  The song's title was pretty much what the song was about, and seemed a little humorous back in 1992.  In 2017 it's downright hilarious.  The most recent count I could find on the internet was that there are 27, 831 television channels around the world today.  With Hulu and Netflix, DVR, and other technologies available, you can pretty much find something you want to watch, any time you want.

But think of the challenge for television programming executives.  In order for your channel to survive, you've got to attract an audience that is attractive to subscribers and/or advertisers.  To attract an audience you've got to offer entertaining programming that other TV stations don't.

Producing television shows is expensive.  That's why many channels have resorted to developing reality shows that attract an enthusiastic niche audience--they're less expensive to produce than original scripted shows.  If you are a true visionary genius--or just plain lucky--you might create a huge smash like SurvivorAmerican Idol, or The Deadliest Catch.  

The History Channel has stumbled upon a little-engine-that-could with its Forged In Fire reality competition.  The show features world-class bladesmiths competing in timed events to create what the show's website calls "history’s most iconic edged weapons."  The series grew to a Top 5 nonfiction cable series by pulling in 1.58 million total viewers in its Tuesday night time slot.  On the strength of that showing, the History Channel ordered 20 more episodes late last year, and those episodes are currently in production.

This Tuesday night local fans of Forged In Fire will get the chance to see a world-renowned bladesmith from right here in the Ark-La-Tex participate in the show's first international competition.  American Bladesmith Society Mastersmith J.W. Randall from Keithville will compete against three other international bladesmiths.

So, with almost 28,000 channels there is something on.  Watch Forged In Fire and cheer on J.W. this Tuesday night at 8:00 on the History Channel.