Who says there's nothing good on television? Not the people of Columbia, S.C., where Cablevision, in the throes of adding capacity, last year found itself with a spare channel and nothing to air. It aimed a borrowed video camera at an aquarium filled with tropical fish, donated by a local pet store in return for an on-air plug. Add soothing background music and, presto: the "Relaxation Channel."
The low-budget, seemingly innocuous programming drew a loyal audience of thousands--so loyal that when the fish got the hook to make way for the Sci-Fi Channel, outraged fans besieged Cablevision with calls and letters denouncing the slimy move. Now the marine celebrities (starfish?) are back for 12 hours a day, sharing a slot with a movie channel. Plus, there's a bonus: an all-new, saltwater tank--and subscribers won't even have to pay a premium.