Perhaps due to poor ratings from a narrow target audience, TLC began to explore new avenues starting in the late 1990s, deemphasizing educational material in favor of entertainment.

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Also premiering on TLC in 2009 was Cake Boss, which focuses on the head baker at Carlo's Bakery and his staff, who mostly consist of his family.

A high definition simulcast of TLC was launched on September 1, 2007.

This new slogan came as TLC began to shift even more to personal stories, and away from the once-dominating home improvement shows.

Programs focused on family life became the core of the channel.

ACSN was privatized in 1980, and its name was changed to The Learning Channel in November of that year; the name was subsequently shortened to "TLC." (NASA immediately launched NASA TV as the ACSN's internal replacement.) The channel mostly featured documentary content pertaining to nature, science, history, current events, medicine, technology, cooking, home improvement, and other information-based topics.

These are often agreed to have been more focused, more technical, and of a more academic nature than the content that was being broadcast at the time on its rival, The Discovery Channel.During this period, there was a huge shift in content, with most new programming being geared towards reality-drama and interior design shows.The huge success of shows like Trading Spaces, Junkyard Wars, A Wedding Story, and A Baby Story exemplified this new shift in programming towards more mass-appeal shows.As part of the new campaign, the channel's original name, "The Learning Channel", returned to occasional usage in promotions.The new theme also played on life lessons, which featured heavily in the network's advertising and promotional clips.The non-profit Appalachian Community Service Network owned 35 percent of the network, and was also bought out.