Masterpiece Theatre productions from the past
I was wondering if you could possibly show some of the old shows over again. I know you've shown Pollyanna recently, but I think showing some of the classics over again would be enjoyable.
I'm noticing how many people are requesting the re-broadcast of the Poldark series as well as some other "old friends." First what is the Poldark video you do have for sale? The one with an entire new cast? Also you always answer, "we no longer have the rights to re-broadcast, they ran out" -- well, what about renewing your "right to rebroadcast?" As you can see by your letters this will be extremely popular. You could air the series during a pledge drive and introduce many new members to the program. Perhaps you could hold a drawing for the videos, you know if you pledge $100 you'd be put in the pot to win! I truly think you are missing a grand opportunity here and depriving your fans of a beloved old friend, Captain Ross, and the lot of them. Please do reconsider.
PBS has a wonderful set of archived shows that have been run over many years; I would love to see all of them again but cannot afford to order tapes. Is there any way they could be run on pay for view basis from PBS, as I would be happy to pay for them that way? One time a week is not enough. I would love to watch them "on demand" as some cable companies do.
Costa Mesa, CA
For years now, people have been begging for a repeat of Poldark (first series) which was wildly popular when first played and continues to have a fanatical following. The videos, which are widely available in Canada and the U.K., are generally unavailable in the U.S. video format and when available, are prohibitively expensive and command enormous sums on eBay as there are so few sets made in a U.S. format. Wouldn't it be a great fundraiser for public television if the series were to be repeated with big fanfare and then the DVDs were used as membership gifts? There are millions of people in this country who would jump at the chance to own these videos. I think public TV should wake up and give the public what it wants rather than spend money on some of these series that have a limited appeal. If you need money, MAKE MONEY.
New Haven, CT
One of the most common questions we are asked is "Can you re-air a program from the past? The answer is included in the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of our Web site, but certainly bears repeating here -- unfortunately, we do not have a vault of programs we own and can air at any time.
We do not hold the broadcast rights to many favorites from the past, and this includes the Poldark series from the 1970s. And acquiring rights to those shows -- even if it were possible -- would preclude our ability to schedule new productions in the Masterpiece line-up. Many older titles are available on home video and DVD and more are being released all the time.
I would dearly love to see once again the great Masterpiece Theatre series Shoulder to Shoulder, about the Pankhurst family as well as How Green Was My Valley. A whole new generation has not seen these wonderful productions and do not know what they are missing!
Oklahoma City, OK
Check out your local library for videos of past Masterpiece Theatre or other PBS productions! I thoroughly enjoyed I, Claudius, once again, and a few of the Upstairs, Downstairs series.
A suggestion: run the entire Poldark series during a pledge drive and watch contributions soar through the roof. I certainly would. The Poldark series and I, Claudius were the most spectacular Masterpiece Theatres, although there are so many honorable mentions.
New York, NY
I would love to see The Peacock Spring replayed, as well as The Politician's Wife. Both are from 1995.
More than 25 years ago I had a teenage crush on this woman when I saw her on the Love for Lydia series. I can't remember now, but I've done umpteen searches for portraits of her on the net with very little success. Anyone got any ideas?
Does anyone have either Precious Bane or The Tale of Beatrix Potter on tape? Cannot find them anywhere.
Mary Ann Cupples
I would like to add my kudos to your production of Martin Chuzzlewit. I taped the original production when it was broadcast on my local PBS station; however, I am also hoping for a re-release of this excellent production on DVD.
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