A channel for everyone

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Though there are many questions about the impending cable network explosion, what is certain is that more and more channels are coming whether you want them, need them or will ever even see them.

Here is a guide to some of the planned channels, with projected dates and some helpful explanations.

* FXTV: Fitness and Exercise Television (July 1994) -- Will feature every type of exercise program, from walking and jogging to aerobics and weights. The hosts will be athletes, instructors and some celebrities who probably don't know a thing about fitness but look good enough to pretend.

* Cable Health Club (January 1994) -- Hourly workouts and information, including aerobics, fitness training and healthful-living segments. Just because one fitness channel isn't enough.

* The Health Channel (mid-1994) -- Not to be confused with the other fitness and health channels, THC will air "fair and impartial" information about significant developments in medicine and wellness, revealing why all that bouncing around probably isn't good for you anyway.

* The Game Channel (mid-1994) -- Games, games everywhere. Interactive games, mostly: Viewers play along by using touch-tone phones. Winners get cash, merchandise and a few minutes of fame.

* The Game Show Channel (mid-1994) -- Plans on rehashing 35,000 episodes of 50 game shows we've come to love over the years, from "Wheel of Fortune" to "Jeopardy!" and "Family Feud." Wow.

* Gaming & Entertainment Network (March 1994) -- Featured programming: interactive games, live simulcast racing, shopping, news. Spotlights gaming venues (casinos, lotteries, cruise lines, riverboats). Sounds like The Gambler's Channel to me.

* Arts and Americana Network (late 1994) -- Which shouldn't be confused with Americana Network, even though it too focuses on country, bluegrass videos, news and information.

* Global Village Network (late 1994) -- International business and lifestyle programming. 'Nuff said.

* Our World Television (late 1994) -- News, sports, sitcoms, everything any other red-blooded American network offers, except that this one is aimed at gays and lesbians.

* The Golf Channel (spring 1994) -- Don't laugh; a lot of people thought that ESPN, which professes to cover all sports, would never fly.

* Arts and Antiques Network (December 1994) -- Live and taped coverage of cultural festivals and historic re-enactments; programs on the cultural aspects of art and antiques; the history of objects and their meaning in society; restoration, preservation, care. Sounds about as exciting as The Golf Channel.

* Camnet (late 1994) -- Hoping to ride on our love affair with video cameras, this is 24 hours of "I Witness Video": minidocumentaries shot with 8mm home video cameras, that sort of thing.

* Canal Sur (late 1994) -- Direct retransmission of broadcast TV from Central America, South America and the Caribbean. It's like having a shortwave radio with pictures.

* Canal + (late 1994) -- "The Best of Europe" channel from the successful French pay-TV service. For those with European sensibilities.

* Employment Channel (late 1994) -- Job listings, how-to segments on finding jobs, dressing for success, interviewing techniques.

* FYI: The Consumer Channel (late 1994) -- Infomercials all day, all the time. Magazine-style format with program-length commercials anchored by -- who else -- celebrities who need the dough.

* The World African Network (June 1994) -- Black-oriented network that will feature movies, television series, news, talk shows and information aimed at the country's 30 million African-Americans.

* Adam and Eve Channel (mid-1994) -- Fig-leafed soft porn aimed at the adult crowd.

* MOR Music TV (mid-1994) -- Music channel that features MOR (middle-of-the-road) pop and rock videos, news and information.

* Musivision (mid-1995) -- Hispanic music and entertainment for those who watch Spanish-language programs and wonder what they're saying. Just for you: the English version.

* Viva Television Network (late 1994) -- Movies, sports, comedy, news, children's shows and music for the Latino audience. (Not for those who haven't bothered to learn the language.) Exclusive programming will be featured from the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico and South America.

* QVC Fashion Channel -- Fashion news and interactive buying; sort of a home shopping network of top designers.

* Horizons Cable Network (late 1994) -- For the intellectually starved: 24 hours of lectures, debates, readings, forums and symposiums from cultural and intellectual institutions. (Perfect for first-time daters.)

* FAD TV: Fashion and Design Television (late 1994) -- A lifestyle channel whose programming will be devoted to fashion and design, travel and entertainment and "the latest cutting-edge trends and styles in modern-day culture."

* Worship (launch date unknown) -- The creators of this channel aren't promoting it or letting the public know when it will appear. Religious programming is a safe guess.

* Z Music Network (mid-1994) -- A Christian MTV that's been trying to get on for a couple years, at least. ZMTV will feature videos, news and programs focusing on contemporary Christian pop, rock and rap.

* The Advertising Channel (late 1994) -- Features hours of auto, fashion, travel, computer and beauty ads, along with five- to 10-minute infomercials produced by national sponsors and presented by (let's all join in) celebrities who need the dough.

* Golden American Network (late 1994) -- Targeting the "mature" audience, 48 years and up, with programs, classic movies -- that sort of thing.

* The How-To Channel (late 1995) -- Features half-hour how-to programs on home repair, recreational sports, money, health, cooking, travel, beauty and starting a cable channel (just kidding).

* Talk TV Network -- Nationally known talk-show hosts chair viewer call-ins from across the country. Early morning hours filled with infomercials featuring (here we go again) celebrities who need the dough.

* The Planet Central TV Network (late 1994) -- The what? It's aimed at "ecologically aware audiences." PCTN plans to broadcast environmental-themed programming: news, political round tables, health forums, documentaries, children's programming, live action dramas, comedies, videos, even music performances, all with the environment in mind.

* The ECO Channel (late 1994) -- Aimed at those same "ecologically aware audiences," ECO plans to provide trends, news, fiction and nonfiction programs about the environment in a variety of entertainment-driven formats.

* The History Channel (January 1994) -- Documentaries, movies and miniseries for history buffs who can't get enough.

* The Cable Jazz Network (mid-1994) -- Launched by Black Entertainment Television, it will include coverage of national and international jazz festivals, live in-studio performances, club exhibitions, videos, talk shows, documentaries and biographical films.

* Soap Channel (1995) -- Original and rebroadcast soaps, as well as the latest news and features on soap stars, shows, happenings. Based on the loyal followings of soaps, this could go over well.

* Romance Classics (January 1994) -- An entire channel devoted to romance, from movies to television series. Can you say Fabio?

* Turner Classic Movies (April 1994) -- Plans to feature 400 movies per month, commercial-free and without interruption. Cool.

* Sega (spring 1994) -- For the video junkie who needs video games on demand, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Subscribers can tap into a huge library of video games.

* XTV: Independent Programming Network (mid-1994) -- Film buffs will eat this up: It's for short-formatted independent and student films, with an accompanying alternative, fast-paced .

programming format appealing to Generation X, the age group of 13 to 32.

* Booknet: The Literary Channel (1995) -- Still in the planning stage; the format may range from the standard talking-head interviews to readings and book reviews to newscasts that focus on books and publishing.

* The Military Channel (spring 1994) -- Serving the interests of the 53 million aviators and military enthusiasts, the channel plans hours of war movies, news and current-events coverage.

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