Washington DC Metropolitan Area Public Television WETA launches an All British programming TV station, WETA UK on June 2. This is very exciting news for DC Area Anglophiles.
What is even more exciting for this Anglophile is that in the preview videos, you can see one by clicking HERE and the other below.
I caught glimpses of the Sharpe series starring Sean Bean, and MI5 (Spooks) and Robin Hood starring Richard Armitage.
In their press release and website WETA says it will be different from BBC America (BBCA) because it is not affiliated with just one UK Television provider but will show programming from all UK television networks. I also hope that WETA UK will show programming that BBCA has neglected because of their need to show growing ratings and attract the 18-35 year-old demographic in order to charge and attract advertisers. WETA is supported by audience donations, foundations, US Government funding, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (PBS) and not dependent on advertising dollars. I hope donations do come in to make it possible for WETA UK to purchase rights to new and exciting UK programming.
Right now looking at the lineup for this 24- hour seven day a week channel the program lineup is made up of what PBS calls "classic" programming that we've all seen for years and years. Though I love my classic UK TV (see Sharpe, MI5, and Robin Hood note above), I really hope this new channel becomes what many of us hoped BBCA would be.
I do wonder if this idea of an all UK TV channel will catch on with PBS (US Public TV) networks across the United States, or at least in major TV markets. Many of us pay a premium to our Cable TV stations or other providers so that we can watch BBCA, but the PBS stations are "free".
Oh, and by the way WETA UK, how about showing North & South with Richard Armitage on the new channel! Richard Armitage will soon be starring in The Hobbit and featuring this great series may mean a new and growing audience for WETA. You may start another innovative trend across the PBS universe by doing so.
I'll be watching WETA UK starting on June 2 and will report back from time to time on what I think about the new channel and on any exciting UK shows we may have the good fortune to see in the DC Area. Thank you WETA and Happy 50th Birthday!
To read more about it, click HERE.