Indie docs lose viewers, carriage as they’re moved to Thursdays

Posted: March 12, 2012

The shift of Independent Lens from Tuesdays to Thursdays this season has created ratings and carriage woes for the indie-doc showcase and highlighted two often-conflicting objectives of programmers: winning larger audiences by serving highly valued loyal viewers, and getting more diverse and sometimes daring programming into the public TV lineup. Continue reading

Downton gives public TV a ratings blockbuster

Posted: February 23, 2012

The Season 2 finale of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Classic, aired Feb. 19, won the biggest audience for a PBS program since the premiere of Ken Burns’s National Parks: America’s Best Idea in September 2009. Nielsen estimated that 5.4 million … Continue reading

Unusual rights delay: hint of budget strife?

Posted: January 17, 2012

PBS’s ongoing negotiations to curb per-hour costs of producing programs and to assert more control over content are increasing friction with its largest producer, Boston’s powerhouse WGBH, according to sources at other stations with knowledge of the situation.

For a period until just four days before the second-season premiere of the gem of this season’s PBS schedule, Downton Abbey from Masterpiece Classic, the approval of PBS broadcast rights for the series hung in the balance as WGBH protested the network’s contract demands…. Continue reading

Next, PBS Tuesday schedule goes for the flow

Posted: January 17, 2012

If this is Tuesday, it must be history. At least, that’s what PBS hopes viewers think as the service moves forward with plans to identify specific program genres with days of the week. “People have had difficulty navigating through our … Continue reading