Tuesday, August 23, 2016

We interrupt our usual programming...

How WNET--the biggest local PBS affiliate in the New York City area--treats viewers is baffling and maddening. I'm a fan of The Great British Baking Show--a baking competition program (minus the usual crappy trappings of competition shows) that's become a big hit. The PBS network finished its run of the season two weeks ago (August 12). But because WNET did not double up on a few episodes as the network as a whole did, this past Sunday (it's airing here on Sunday afternoons rather than Friday evenings, as on the network) was only the quarter-finals. And next Sunday should be the semi-finals. But it's not airing. That's because WNET is starting yet another fund drive this weekend, and regular programming is off the air so it can rerun medical quackery programs, financial advice shows, doo-wop extravaganzas, yet another salute to Downton Abbey (yes, a special called something like I Miss Downton Abbey, a show that literally just aired its final episode a few months ago!), etc. (And, I'm not kidding, wasn't there a fund drive in late June or early July?) The regular schedule won't be back for at least two, possibly three, Sundays. It's so far off in the future that the show is not even showing up in a search of Optimum's schedule (not even sister station WLIW appears to be showing it!). That's if WNET even bothers to show the last two episodes at all. A few years ago, WNET disrupted the run of the last season of Poirot for a fund drive, with one or maybe two episodes left. I could never find them, if it showed them--certainly, it didn't run them in the regular Sunday night slot. By the time the drive was over, Masterpiece Mystery was on to a new series. Is that really any way to treat viewers? (Can I watch the last two episodes on my computer? Sure, and I probably will. But why is WNET treating viewers so shabbily?) PS: I support my local public radio station, but, no, I stopped giving to public TV a few years ago out of sheer frustration.

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