PBS weighs new night for Indie Lens, POV, after uproar

PBS has agreed to consider “alternative scheduling options” for the independent production showcases Independent Lens and POV, which lost carriage and audience after the network moved their shared time slot from Tuesday to Thursday nights.

By late last week, several hundred producers had signed an online petition started by Chicago-based Kartemquin Films after Current reported March 15 [2012] on negotiations over scheduling of the series. The petition concludes: “We are deeply concerned that PBS’ poorly considered decision could jeopardize both the meeting of public broadcasting’s mission and . . . the innovation that is crucial to the future of public broadcasting.”

Bill Moyers, one of the signers, wrote an op-ed urging PBS to reverse its “bad decision” affecting the two series that showcase independently produced documentaries.

PBS told Current in a statement: “PBS, POV and ITVS [which packages Independent Lens in partnership with PBS] share a common commitment to independent film and are dedicated to working together towards our shared goals. Our joint conversations have been productive, and we agreed to alternative scheduling options for Independent Lens and POV” PBS aims to reveal those plans in May at its Annual Meeting in Denver.

“ITVS is pleased with the progress the joint Task Force is making,” it said in a statement. “The partnership between independents and public broadcasting is … important to all of us.”

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