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Nearly 67 million viewers tuned into news coverage of the 2012 presidential election on the night returns came in. Recent history tells us that the 2016 tally will come in way, way north of that stat, though there will still be a handful of viewers who watch results on less conventional channels or indifferently shirk the big night altogether.
Fortunately for them, the Anderson Coopers and Megyn Kellys of the world aren’t the only option. Most cable networks don’t even cover the election, instead padding the night with repeats of Chopped or something called Vegas Rat Rods. Anybody with the big bundle and no news outlet allegiance can blindly flip through the channels looking for an alternative. But why waste your time? The Hollywood Reporter has scoured (read: “casually glanced at”) Tuesday’s primetime channel guide for less conventional offerings and can confirm that there is no shortage. Choose your own adventure.
The View Live Election Special (Lifetime)
Like Stephen Colbert, the ladies of The View have no slot on their network during Election Night. Unlike Colbert, it’s not exactly clear why they should. Well, they do anyway! Joy Behar, Jedediah Bila, Candace Cameron Bure, Sara Haines and Sunny Hostin will anchor live, on corporate half-sibling Lifetime, for two and a half hours. Come for celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito; stick around to see why Whoopi Goldberg decided to sit this one out.
Escape the Election (The Weather Channel)
Peak counterprogramming may go to the Weather Channel, which plans to disrupt Election Night with “clouds, rainbows, autumn splendor and smooth jazz [to] evoke tranquility.” That’s about all of the details the network will share about its nine-hour “chill marathon,” which announced the plan to program visual Muzak in an effort to showcase the world as a “beautiful and magical place.”
Desus & Mero (Viceland)
For those not yet familiar, Viceland is a new cable network based off of a website that was based off of a magazine that a few ostensibly cool people decided also was cool back in the late ‘90s. The whole thing is now valued around $4-ish billion, and that kind of money demands you acknowledge the election in some way. Emcee honors go to brand-new show Desus & Mero, starring podcasters Desus Nice and The Kid Mero. Their credentials include live-tweeting the first presidential debate and having their own TV show for less than a month, so maybe flag them if you’re looking for some wildcard coverage.
Founding Fathers: Masters of Deceit (American Heroes Channel)
Here’s an option for those so disenchanted that they want to be let down by American history in addition to the American present. The name “American Heroes Channel” evokes a sense of blind patriotism, but a look at the lineup reveals something far more subversive. Special Founding Fathers: Masters of Deceit, which first aired earlier in 2016, tattles on our beloved revolutionaries — outing one as a blasphemer, suggesting that another “used sex as an instrument of diplomacy” and basically calls them all liars. At least that’s what the logline says.
A Bevy of Patriotic-esque Movies (various)
For those who want to check out completely, but don’t want to deal with all of the decision-making over on Netflix, movies are aplenty. HBO Signature seems to subtly be saying “I’m With Her” with an airing of Meryl Streep starrer Suffragette, and Starz has former first lady feature Guarding Tess on deck for some equally subliminal Clinton vibes. Showtime Showcase has the loosely patriotic (at least in name) Live Free or Die Hard, and, for the Trump supporter who hasn’t achieved peak disgust with Hollywood, there’s always another viewing of the Entourage movie over at More Max. Several networks are already airing Christmas programming. But seeing as how it’s only Nov. 8, we’ll spare them the embarrassment of calling them out by name (they know who they are).
Check your local listings for showtimes … or just watch the news like every other civilized human.
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