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Shows we'd like to see

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So many channels, so many shows — how can any self-respecting pop-culture fiend possibly keep up? If only cable execs would combine a few of their myriad programs, we’d all save some time — and get quality entertainment to boot. Here are a few mutations we’d really like to see:

· POP-UP C-SPAN
VH1’s fun factoid show goes inside the beltway. Sample bubble: ”Newts weigh two ounces. Newt Gingrich weighs 240 pounds.”

· OPERATION & A DINNER
All the blood and gristle of The Learning Channel’s surgery show with the lip-smacking goodness of TBS’ Dinner & a Movie. First recipe: liver and kidney beans.

· THE HISTORY CHANNEL’S GOSSIP SHOW
Inspired by the E! dish-fest, watch A.J. Benza spill the dirt on Alexander the Great’s penchant for toga-wearing water bearers, Leonardo da Vinci’s cross-dressing, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s secret lesbian love nest.

· WEATHER CHANNEL AT NITE
A nostalgia network for meteorology buffs — see what the dew point was in 1972. Hosted by John Amos, Gordy Howard on The Mary Tyler Moore Show!

· THE PEPPER GRIND
Scantily clad chefs get downright steamy on the Food Network’s version of MTV’s R-rated dance show.

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