The trend started with Rupert Murdoch's foray into infotainment programming with A Current Affair. Soon after, a series of copycat shows appeared throughout the airwaves: Inside Edition, Hard Copy, Entertainment Tonight, Extra! and an entire cable network, E!.
All infotainment shows have followed a simple formula of titillating, sensationalist journalism, mostly focusing through a prism of the world of celebrities. Additionally, these programs go out of their way to exclude substantive news stories and debates about issues facing most citizens. They air before or after nightly network news, which in turn have become more slick, more packaged. Often, it's difficult to distinguish between the two, and infotainment - or tabloid - programs rival the traditional nightly news in attracting viewers.