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EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting Categories

EMMYS: British Continue To Invade Acting CategoriesCor blimey, the British aren’t coming — they’re here to stay. Including Ricky Gervais’ surprise Emmy nomination as Lead Actor in a Comedy series for Derek this morning, there are 15 nods for Brits in the acting races this year. If we add voice-overs, Jeremy Irons and Daniel Craig would make it 17 performance nods. Last year, there were 14 total.

British actors have been plying their trade in U.S. series for ages, but this crop boasts a lot of British-based (or instigated) productions and co-productions rather than U.S. shows à la Homeland. The UK TV tax credit has encouraged British broadcasters to strive for increasingly ambitious productions.

dancing on the edgeAlong with Gervais, whose Derek was originally commissioned for Channel 4 before being picked up by Netflix, there’s a big group from perennial Downton Abbey, a co-pro of Carnival Films and Masterpiece; a first Emmy nod for Golden Globe nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor in BBC miniseries Dancing On The Edge, which Starz airs Stateside; Idris Elba in Luther, another BBC show that goes out on BBC America; and Helena Bonham Carter playing the British-American Elizabeth Taylor in BBC and BBC America co-pro Burton & Taylor. And, of course, Sherlock is back this year. Benedict Cumberbatch scored a Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie spot … Read More »

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Official: ‘Sherlock’ Returning For Special, Followed By Three New Episodes

Official: ‘Sherlock’ Returning For Special, Followed By Three New EpisodesThe game is on — again!, BBC One tweeted this afternoon. That was following clues it left Monday night alerting Sherlock fans that a surprise was in store for today. In the first missive, the channel — which had changed its handle to “Sherlock – #221back” for the occasion — posted a GIF of Andrew Scott as Moriarty from the last episode of Season 3, and the question, “Did you miss me?” An hour later, BBC One wrote, “It’s all gone dark… Something’s coming… Or someone. Details at 2.21pm tomorrow.” And now we’ve solved the mystery. The BBC has confirmed the sleuthing drama will return for a special, followed by a series of three new episodes. Shooting on the special will start in January 2015, with the series shooting later next year. “We’re ready to unleash the most shocking and surprising series of #Sherlock yet. The only thing is to expect is the unexpected…,” said BBC One today. A fourth season has unofficially been afoot for some time, but dates have never been specified — a lot of juggling is necessary given the big screen demands on stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Today’s confirmation follows reports on Sunday that the high-functioning sociopath and sidekick/best pal Dr John Watson would be back for a special in 2015. Freeman told The Telegraph a period of filming looked “pretty likely” in early 2015 and that he thought it “might be for next Christmas.” Either way, fans have had to wait long periods before to catch up with the characters, and their fervor has not abated. When Season 3 kicked off on BBC One and PBS in January this year after a two year hiatus, it was the series’ most-watched episode ever, on both sides of the Atlantic. Read More »

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‘Downton Abbey’s’ Crowd Climbs To 13.2 Million, ‘Sherlock’ To 6.6 Million With Delayed Viewing Added

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 8:20am PDT

DOWNTON ABBEY S 3 DEBUTDownton Abbey‘s fourth season nabbed an average audience of 13.2 million viewers with the addition of  +7 viewing — up nearly 2 million viewers compared to season 3 — securing its status as PBS‘s highest rated drama in its history. Meanwhile, Sherlock‘s third season audience grew to 6.6 million in its new 10 PM timeslot, compared to 4.4 million viewers in Season 2. That’s great news for PBS’s Sunday night, where primetime household ratings jumped 30% since the 2012-13 season, and for PBS’s Masterpiece franchise which, not so long ago, went begging for a corporate sponsor after ExxonMobile bailed. “The success of Downton Abbey and Sherlock proves again that superb storytelling and first-class acting are an unbeatable combination,” Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton crowed Wednesday morning. “If this is indeed a Golden Age of television, we’re proud to be right in the middle of it.”

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UPDATE: Benedict Cumberbatch Sentimental About ‘Sherlock’ But Mum About More Seasons After Season 3 Premiere Scores In Ratings

sherlock-season-3-finaleUPDATED WITH TCA PANEL, 4:24 PM: Moving Sherlock has paid off for PBS. Last night’s third-season debut clocked an average audience of nearly 4 million viewers — the franchise’s biggest audience yet, according to Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton. That’s compared to the 3.2 million who’d watched the Season 2 launch. Sherlock’s move also boosted Downton Abbey last night — the drawing-room drama’s third episode of its fourth season reached an average audience of 8.4 million, up compared to the second episode’s audience of 7.9 million.

Star Benedict Cumberbatch ducked a question as to how many more three-episode seasons of Sherlock he thinks he can handle while appearing this afternoon at the TCA Winter TV Press Tour. Someone with him onstage noted BBC reportedly has said they’ll continue making them until Cumberbatch gets too famous and refuses. “Why is it always me,” Cuberbatch complained/simpered. Masterpiece chief Rebecca Eaton asked PBS chief Paula Kerger to commit to taking as many seasons as Cumberbatch thought he could handle. Kerger, seated in the audience, agreed. Read More »

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TCA: PBS Chief Paula Kerger Announces ‘Vicious’ Premiere Date, Teases Ken Burns Country Music Docu, Talks ‘Downton Abbey’

By | Monday January 20, 2014 @ 12:19pm PST

TCADeadlinePBS has announced the premiere date of the Britcom Viciousstarring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as a gay couple who have been together nearly half a century. The six-part series, which PBS acquired from Shine International in October, will air on Sundays and premiere July 6 at 10:30 PM. Meanwhile, Jacobi’s drama Last Tango In Halifax has been ordered for a second season, returning June 29, PBS chief Paula Kerger2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 12 announced this morning at TCA. Also unveiled: Ken Burns is working on a a documentary series about country music — though it won’t air until 2018, Kerger said this morning. Country Music will follow its evolution of over the course of the 20th century as it “eventually emerged to become America’s music,” PBS claimed in its announcement.

And, PBS will never, ever air Downton Abbey seasons closer to its UK run, Kerger indicated — hopefully putting a stake in that debate for press tours ever after. Kerger cited this month’s Season 4  debut audience –  10.2 million viewers, which was a 22% jump compared to the Season 3 opener (7.9 million), which 2014 Winter TCA Tour - Day 12itself had been a leap from the series Season 2 launch crowd of 4.2 mil. Downton is PBS’ highest rated drama ever. ”It’s become a bit of tradition after the holidays to come together to watch Downton,” Kerger said happily. “The audience build over the years…argues to keep the January time frame,” she said.  And, of course, a fall launch coinciding with the UK’s Downton season would put it in the teeth of the commercial broadcast network’s fall-season rollout, which, she noted, TV critics in the room had criticized PBS for doing in the past. Not to mention that the series’ UK broadcaster determines its debut date not terribly long before it actually happens — no weeks and weeks of promotions, as is the norm in the U.S. PBS cannot upstage the show in the UK. Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Sherlock’ Season Finale Draws 8.77M UK Viewers; BBFC Changes Criteria For UK Movie Ratings; More

‘Sherlock’ Season Finale Ratings Tops Weekend In UK
A roundly lauded finale for Season Three of Sherlock was the weekend’s most-watched TV program in the UK. The modern detective series’ third installment, entitled “His sherlock-season-3-finaleLast Vow,” drew 8.77M viewers for a 32.1% share, according to the overnights. While it was possibly the best-reviewed episode of the current season, it also was the lowest-rated. Last week’s 90-minute turn, “The Sign Of Three,” had brought in 8.84M viewers and the January 1st opener, “The Empty Hearse,” was the show’s most-watched episode ever at 9.2M on BBC One. In March last year, star Benedict Cumberbatch said there would be a fourth series of a three more episodes. At a BAFTA screening and panel discussion last week, Sherlock co-creator Steven Moffat said the next season will be made “as quickly” as possible. Season 3 kicks off in the U.S. on PBS on January 19.

UK’s BBFC Changes Its Movie Ratings Criteria
After a spending nearly a year polling more than 10,000 members of the British public, the UK ratings board is tweaking its guidelines. Beginning February 24, the bbfcBBFC will give greater weight to the theme and tone of a film, especially around the 12A and 15 certificate levels (12A is similar to PG-13 in the U.S. and 15 means suitable only for 15 and overs). The board will also pay particular attention “to the psychological impact of horror” and strong visual details like gore. The BBFC has previously shown itself to be squeamish: In 2012, Lionsgate UK shaved seven seconds off The Hunger Games when it appeared the board was going to stamp it with a 15 certificate. Fixes were made in four scenes of violence and one showing details of injuries. It secured the 12A with a warning that it had “occasional gory moments.” While the BBFC will be stricter with language at the U level (equivalent to an MPAA G), it will also be more flexible about allowing very strong language at the 15 rating. “Context, not just frequency, is the most important factor in how language in films is perceived by the public,” the BBFC said today. Further, the group’s findings show that the public is notably concerned about the sexualization of girls in mainstream films and about risks to vulnerable adolescents, including what some described as the onscreen ‘normalization’ of behaviors which parents consider inappropriate. According to findings of the poll, 95% of parents with children under 15 say they check the BBFC rating before watching a film and 89% of moviegoers ratings important. The most complained-about film over the past four years was 2012′s The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe. Eleven percent of moviegoers polled thought it had received too low a rating at 12A and should have been given a 15. Read More »

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‘Sherlock’ Episode 2 Down Slightly, Still UK’s Most-Watched Program On Sunday

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 4:08am PST

sherlock_series_3_0While U.S. audiences were treated to the Season 4 premiere of Downton Abbey on PBS Sunday night, folks in the UK were tuned in to the second installment of the latest season of Sherlock. The 90-minute episode, titled The Sign Of Three, pulled in 8.84M viewers for BBC One and a 31.9% share. That was down slightly from the Season 3 debut on New Year’s Day which was the show’s most-watched episode ever at 9.2M. Still, The Sign Of Three was Sunday’s most-watched program of the day by a large margin. The final episode of Sherlock airs next Sunday in the UK while S3 starts on PBS on January 19th. On Britain’s ITV, meanwhile, Dancing On Ice returned in its final season Sunday night and scored its lowest ever launch with 6.76M viewers and a 26.5% share. That show is on its way out and will likely be replaced next January by the British adaptation of hit Israeli format Rising Star.

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‘Sherlock’ Makes Explosive Return To BBC In Series’ Most-Watched Episode Ever

By | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 2:14am PST

SherlockBenedict Cumberbatch came back to life as Sherlock Holmes in The Empty Hearse, the first episode of Season 3 of Sherlock which aired on BBC One on New Year’s Day. The 90-minute installment was the series’ most-watched episode ever in the UK. Overnight ratings show that 9.2M viewers tuned in to learn how the high-functioning sociopath faked his own death in the last episode of Season 2, The Reichenbach Fall — and to witness his reunion with Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman). The Empty Hearse drew a 33.8% share to be yesterday’s most-watched program, peaking at 9.7M viewers, while provisional figures also make it the the most-watched drama of the whole holiday period in the UK. The run-up to Sherlock‘s return has been frenzied, with the BBC providing a host of goodies to fans who have waited nearly two years to revisit the character. A mini-episode titled Many Happy Returns was released by the BBC online on Christmas Eve and as of December 31st had been viewed over 1.5M times across the BBC iPlayer and BBC Red Button with millions more watching on YouTube. The next 90-minute Sherlock Season 3 episode, The Sign Of Three, airs in the UK on January 5th. Season 3 begins in the U.S. on PBS on January 19th. Until then, beware abundant spoilers around the Web. Here’s another look at the interactive trailer for S3 that … Read More »

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BBC Teases New ‘Sherlock’ Series With Mini-Episode ‘Many Happy Returns’ (Video)

By | Tuesday December 24, 2013 @ 10:50am PST

Sherlock returns to the BBC on New Year’s Day and to PBS on January 19 for three new 90-minute installments of the detective drama. As a pre-holiday treat, the BBC has posted a seven-minute mini-episode that provides some exposition for the new go-round. (The move is similar to the BBC’s tease of the 50th anniversary Doctor Who movie Day Of The Doctor last month.) The network also offers a new blog post by Dr John Watson promising it will be his last, as it’s time for him to “move on” (read it here). Watson (Martin Freeman) and Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade (Rupert Graves) feature in the mini-ep, titled “Many Happy Returns”, as does Benedict Cumberbatch‘s titular high-functioning sociopath — with a wink. Check it out:

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Global Showbiz Watch 18 – The EFA BIFA Winning Time Podcast

Global Showbiz Watch podcast 18Deadline’s International Editor Nancy Tartaglione talks in this week’s podcast with host David Bloom about winnin’ time on the Continent, as the prizes are handed out in the British Independent Film Awards and the European Film Awards, including wins for Oscar contenders The Act Of KillingThe Great BeautyPussy Riot: A Punk PrayerThe Broken Circle Breakdown and Metro Manila.

Separately, David and Nancy take a look at just-unveiled British tax credits that should be a boon to film projects of all budget sizes and also may entice more overseas visual effects work to the country’s post-production houses. They also applaud the innovative new interactive trailer the BBC has trotted out to tout the imminent return to air of Sherlock, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, two years after its last episode aired.

Global Showbiz Watch episode 18 (.MP3 version)
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Hot TV Trailer: Interactive ‘Sherlock’

By | Sunday December 8, 2013 @ 3:54pm PST

The BBC has let loose an interactive trailer for the upcoming 3rd series of Sherlock. It includes goodies in the form of onscreen messages – reminiscent of the series’ use of flashing texts – that when clicked upon, delve deeper into what’s in store. This is the most revealing look so far at the upcoming season of the detecitve series that stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The new installments begin airing in the UK on BBC One on January 1st and follow in the U.S. on PBS on January 19th. Have fun below with the new clues:

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‘Sherlock’ To Return To BBC One On New Year’s Day

By | Friday November 29, 2013 @ 2:47am PST

In a sly publicity stunt in London this morning, the BBC confirmed the UK airdate for the return of hit detective drama Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will be back as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson on January 1, 2014 on BBC One; they return to PBS in the States a couple of weeks later on January 19th. The first episode in the new three-part series is titled The Empty Hearse, and this morning just such a vehicle made the rounds of some Sherlock shooting locations in the British capital, sending Twitter wild – and bringing confirmation of the news from the show’s producers. The hearse wasn’t entirely empty, though, since it contained a funereal floral arrangement spelling out the New Year’s return date which sees the series pick up two years after Holmes was last seen plummeting from St Bart’s Hospital in Season 2 finale, The Reichenbach Fall. Here’s a pic courtesy of the BBC:

sherlock lives2

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Global Showbiz Watch 16 – The Emma Thompson Backward Glance Episode

Listen to (and share) episode 16 of Deadline’s audio podcast Global Showbiz Watch, With Nancy Tartaglione. Deadline’s international editor talks from London with host David Bloom about a series of UK-based stories the past several days, including the very big audiences that turned out for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebration on the BBC, BBC America and in dozens of other countries; what the BBC has planned at Christmas time for the newest doctor in Doctor Who, and the much-awaited third season of Sherlock; Oscar winner Emma Thompson’s long look back with BAFTA at her career so far, even as her latest film, Saving Mr. Banks, builds its own awards buzz; and Pinewood Shepperton, busy counting its cash after a strong quarter, presses for approval of a major expansion of its London facilities amid a serious studio capacity crunch that’s turning away work in the city.

Global Showbiz Watch, Episode 16 (.MP3 version)
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BBC Unveils ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special Details; ‘Sherlock’ To Return At The Holidays

By | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 5:30am PST

The BBC has outlined its holiday programming with yet more clues about Matt Smith’s last outing as Doctor Who. The series’ Christmas episode has been titled The Time Of The Doctor, following the Season 7 finale, The Name Of The Doctor, and last weekend’s The Day Of The Doctor (along with online mini-ep, The Night Of The Doctor). The episode will air December 25th and mark Smith’s departure as it introduces Peter Capaldi as the 12th Time Lord. It will also feature Fringe‘s Orla Brady in a new role. The BBC synopsis goes like this: “Orbiting a quiet backwater planet, the massed forces of the universe’s deadliest species gather, drawn to a mysterious message that echoes out to the stars… Rescuing Clara from a family Christmas dinner, the Time Lord and his best friend must learn what this enigmatic signal means for his own fate and that of the universe.” The Day Of The Doctor smashed records on Saturday for BBC America which traditionally airs the Christmas special in step with the UK.

Showrunner Steven Moffat’s other series, Sherlock, also returns to the BBC over the holidays. (It starts on PBS on January 19th). The first episode of the new three-part series, titled “The Empty Hearse”, will pick up two years after the titular high-functioning sociopath jumped from a building in “The Reichenbach Fall”. With London under the threat of a huge terrorist attack, Holmes will make his return from the dead.

Related: Hot TV Teaser: ‘Sherlock’ Season 3 Read More »

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Hot Teasers: ‘Sherlock’ Season 3 & ‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special

By | Saturday November 23, 2013 @ 4:51pm PST

BBC‘s Sherlock returns for its 3rd season on January 19 on PBS in the U.S., picking up after Season 2′s “Reichenbach Fall” finale. Here’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the 30-second teaser for Sherlock‘s return that was unveiled during today’s 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special:

But wait, there’s more! BBC also dropped a new teaser for its Doctor Who 2013 Christmas Special: Read More »

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First Official Photo: ‘Sherlock’ Season 3

By | Tuesday November 5, 2013 @ 11:46am PST

When Sherlock was filming its third series earlier this year, producer Sue Vertue pleaded with fans not to post about the show’s daily locations. She made the move after pictures of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman started popping up on the internet, leading to potential spoilers. Now, the BBC has released its own first official photo. Sherlock returns to U.S. television on January 19th in the 10 PM slot following Downton Abbey, PBS said last month. The BBC has not released its start date for the next three-episode installment of the crime series, but will air ahead of the U.S. The episodes promise to answer how Sherlock faked his own death in series 2 ender The Reichenbach Fall, and, how John Watson will take the news:

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PBS Makes It Official: ‘Sherlock’ Returning January 19 At 10 PM, Following ‘Downton Abbey’

By | Wednesday October 23, 2013 @ 9:30am PDT

UPDATED, 9:30 AM: Benedict Cumberbatch, fresh off his feature film flop The Fifth Estate, will return in the better-reviewed Sherlock starting January 19 in the 10 PM time slot following Downton Abbey, PBS announced this morning. In the UK, BBC has not yet announced Sherlock’s return date, but promises the three episodes will launch there before the PBS debut. PBS also confirmed Downton Abbey’s January 5 return. Scheduling Sherlock’s three 90-minute episodes to follow Downton, PBS said in its first-quarter scheduling news, “reinforces PBS’ move into 10 PM programming on several key nights.”

In this morning’s flurry of PBS announcements, the network made a special fuss over “Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office UK) returning as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in the contemporary reinvention of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, created by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss. In a separate announcement, Masterpiece exec producer Rebecca Eaton cooed, “The genius Sherlock team has done it again,” adding, “These people are GOOD!” The Fifth Estate, in which Cumberbatch received good reviews playing WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, has nonetheless gone into the books as having the worst opening weekend this year to date.

PBS also said it was announcing a number of new programs, though we’ve known for ages that American Masters had gotten its hands on the much-ballyhooed biopic Salinger. Anyway, in this morning’s announcement, PBS also says per Nielsen that its 2012-13 primetime programming saw an overall average ratings increase of 7% over the previous season and that PBS now ranks eighth among all broadcast and cable networks “in overall general audience content.” We’ll get back to when we figure out what PBS is talking about, and we advise you not to hold your breath while you wait for numbers. PBS also claimed this morning it is now surpassed, in this PBS metric, by only the four major broadcast networks, USA, Univision, and Disney — overtaking ESPN, History and TNT in the ratings. Previously, PBS says, it ranked No. 11.

PBS’s upcoming primetime schedule is, per usual, thick with Brit on Sundays, science and nature shows on Wednesday, and arts and performance programming on Fridays: Read More »

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Hulu Back In Action With BBC Deal For ‘Sherlock’, ‘Doctor Who’ & More

In what is its biggest content deal since it was taken off the auction block, Hulu has partnered with BBC Worldwide North America to bring some iconic TV shows to the service. Included in the multi-year package are programs like Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock and Luther. For the time being, this will be library, rather than current, content. Doctor Who launches today, while Sherlock, Luther, Blackadder, Top Gear and others will be available starting in the fall. The deal will bring some 144 titles to Hulu in the first year; many will be accessible via subscription service Hulu Plus. In all, there are more than 2,000 episodes with a few hundred available from this week. The non-exclusive arrangement follows the July announcement that Hulu owners Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast would not sell the company and instead would supply $750M to accelerate its growth. Of the BBC deal, acting CEO Andy Forssell told The Wall Street Journal, “We’re kicking back into action. This is us doing a bunch of stuff that we’ve really wanted to do and had been put on hold for a while.” Last month, Hulu gave a 10-episode series order to Deadbeat, a subversive half-hour comedy from co-creators Cody Heller and Brett Konner, Lionsgate TV and Brad Pitt‘s Plan B Entertainment.

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TCA: PBS Chief Paula Kerger Credits ‘Downton Abbey’ In Part For Ratings Spike; Series To Return January 5

By | Tuesday August 6, 2013 @ 11:10am PDT

Add PBS CEO Paula Kerger to the list of network chiefs not buying what NBC Entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt was selling at Summer TV Press Tour about Flat being the new Up, ratings-wise. PBS is up 5% in primetime this year versus last, Kerger noted this morning at the tour. A chunk of that increase comes from the whopping 26% ratings spike PBS is enjoying on Sundays, thanks largely to Downton Abbey – which, irony of ironies, is a property of NBCUniversal International. Downton, Kerger noted, clocked around 8 million viewers in its most recent run,  which makes it PBS’ most watched scripted series ever and the second most watched program of any genre, behind only Ken Burns’ docu The Civil War. “We are living in a golden era of drama in television…Sunday night on public television has become a great night for drama,” Kerger gloated.

She thanked cable networks that once gave PBS stiff content competition for “pivoting” in their programming strategy which “left a big opening” for public broadcasting. Read More »

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