Do you love great documentary films? Would you like to see them on your local public television station? A recent Center for Social Media report showed strong public support for public-purpose programming and popular anger that many public television stations decide to repeatedly air programs like Antiques Roadshow during prime viewing hours, while relegating meaningful documentary films few slots, frequently in the middle of the night. In addition, many public television station choose not to air many meaningful documentaries at all.
Please help make sure that your local public television affiliate knows what you value. POV and Independent Lens both fund and distribute some of the best new docs on public television stations throughout the United States. They publicize these films and release schedules for when they are going to air. However, if you have ever tried to watch a documentary on your local public television station, you have likely found that the show that you want to watch is not airing on the date or time that was advertised. Local affiliates have discretion over which shows to air and when to schedule them. Here in the Washington DC area, we are lucky to have three public television stations, WHUT, WETA, MPT. Unfortunately, WHUT, WETA and MPT frequently air ITVS’ Independent Lens, and POV and other great documentaries not on the dates and times advertised for national distribution, but mostly if they choose to air them at all, they air them days or weeks later, in the wee hours of the night.
Nationally, Public Broadcasting Service (“PBS”) has decided to promote documentaries into a more desirable time frame. This fall, PBS will program POV documentaries to air on Monday early evening time slot. The purpose of this blog post is to encourage documentary lovers and all lovers of great films to encourage your local PBS affiliate to follow PBS’ lead and air Independent Lens and POV documentaries on Monday evenings, at the times and days that they air nationally. To the uninitiated, this seems like a relatively minor issue. However, for documentary filmmakers, the issue is quite important for building audiences and promoting their films. Obviously, it is not desirable to have your film air at one in the morning, but having it air on a different date in every major city is also a tremendous impediment to viewers like you and me. Please contact your local public television affiliate and encourage it air these great films during the same days and times are they are intend to be seen nationally.
Click here to send an email WETA: http://www.weta.org/contact
WETA, 3939 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206
Or contact Maryland Public Television here: email@example.com
Maryland Public Television
11767 Owings Mills Boulevard
Owings Mills, MD 21117-1499
Or contact WHUT here: http://www.whut.org/whut/?page_id=28
Howard University Television
2222 Fourth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059
For more context, see: