TV Worth Blogging

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - May 29, 2013

New Shows Coming to PBS Beginning This Fall

Programming notes from the PBS Annual Meeting.

Last Tango in Halifax joins an exciting night of British drama, but there's also music, history, science and much more!

by David Thiel

The cast of Last Tango in Halifax.

In May, public broadcasters gathered in Miami Beach for the PBS Annual Meeting, a four-day work conference and preview of the new programs we’ll see on WILL-TV in fall 2013 and beyond. Highlights included a new drama, Last Tango in Halifax, premiering this September. Read on for more about what's coming to PBS in the months ahead!

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - May 29, 2013

Other Fish in the Sea

Pardon me while I step on this here soapbox...

Remember when PBS was going to be replaced by cable? Next up: Mermaids.

by David Thiel

Look, I try not to be one of those people with holier-than-thou attitudes about television. People watch TV for all sorts of reasons: information, enlightenment, entertainment...or background noise. it's not like I go home at the end of the day and plop down on the couch for a ten-part history of the Merovingian dynasty. My DVR is set to record every new episode of E's pop-culture snark-fest The Soup.

But, but...every once in a while, a show comes along that makes me ruefully recall those days when this or that pundit or lawmaker would declaim that PBS was no longer necessary, as cable would serve our needs for news, arts, and science. This week, Animal Planet debuted its highest-rated special ever...Mermaids: The New Evidence.

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - May 10, 2013

Downton Delayed ‘Til 2014

Not on PBS' fall schedule.

No worries, Downton will return. It'll just be later than you may have hoped.

by David Thiel

Highclere Castle, the main location used for "Downton Abbey." Photo has been retouched to add a sign reading "Reopening 2014?"

U.S. fans of Downton Abbey already feeling the absence of new episodes will have to wait a bit longer, I’m afraid.

Yesterday PBS announced their fall lineup, and Downton was noticeably absent. While there’s absolutely no doubt that Series Four will be coming to WILL-TV, it’s now looking likely to be in January 2014. (UPDATED: The premiere has been announced as January 5, 2014.)

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - March 20, 2013

Market Warriors Cancelled

The auction house is closed.

An attempt to create another signature PBS series fizzles out after a 20-episode run.

by David Thiel

The cast of "Market Warriors."

Market Warriors seemed to have the makings of a hit TV show. From the producers of the American version of Antiques Roadshow--for many years, PBS' most popular series--Warriors had a telegenic cast, a solid premise and a plum, post-Roadshow timeslot. Unfortunately, it never caught on the way that any of us hoped.

I've known about this since last week, but an article published Saturday in the public broadcasting industry newspaper Current made it official: Market Warriors will not see a second season. PBS has declined to produce any more episodes past the initial order of twenty.

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - March 19, 2013

Britcom Icon Dies

Another "Are You Being Served?" actor has died.

Frank Thornton passed away in his sleep last Saturday at age 92.

by David Thiel

Captain Peacock looks disapprovingly at Mrs. Slocombe.

While Frank Thornton spent many years gamboling in and around Holmfirth as Truly in Last of the Summer Wine, he is perhaps best known to most WILL-TV viewers as stuffy Captain Peacock in Are You Being Served? and its sequel Grace & Favour (aka Are You Being Served? Again!). 

According to a BBC News report, Thornton died peacefully in his sleep at his London home. He isis survived by Beryl, his wife of 67 years, their daughter Jane and three grandchildren.

Thornton's passing means that the sole remaining main cast member from Are You Being Served? is actor Nicholas Smith, who portrayed Mr. Rumbold. Smith, who turned 79 earlier this month, visited WILL-TV in September 2009.

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - February 27, 2013

Beautiful Days

Ten years ago, there was an empty space in my heart.

A remembrance of Fred Rogers, who died on February 27, 2003.

by David Thiel

David Thiel and Fred Rogers.

I’m reminded that it was ten years ago today that Fred Rogers left us. Here’s the tribute that I wrote that morning, which was subsequently picked up by the public broadcasting news outlet Current as well as several PBS station program guides.

Mister Rogers was one of the first programs that I can remember watching. I was, of course, part of the show’s target demographic back then. I can’t recall much from my preschool years, but I do know that I loved the trolley, I loved the neighborhood and I loved Fred Rogers.

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - February 13, 2013

Sunday Nights Will Be British Drama Nights

"Midwife" to return, "Mr. Selfridge" to debut.

Jeremy Piven will star as Mr. Selfridge in the hit drama beginning March 31, alongside a new series of Call the Midwife. And that's not all!

by David Thiel

The midwives of Call the Midwife.

There's something exciting happening on Sunday nights. Buoyed by the massive success of Downton Abbey, PBS is investing heavily in fresh British drama. 

A second series of Call the Midwife will air on WILL-TV Sundays at 7:00 pm CT starting March 31. In eight new episodes, Jenny, Trixie, Cynthia and Chummy continue their challenging work in London's East End of the 1950s. Babies and bicycling ensue. And will romance come to Nonnatus House? 

WILL - TV Worth Blogging - October 30, 2012

It’s a Beautiful Day in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood

by David Thiel

Daniel Tiger

In September, preschoolers across America welcomed Daniel Tiger to the PBS Kids’ neighborhood. According to the Nielsen ratings service, the top six TV shows watched by kids aged 2-5 were all part of PBS’ lineup. More after the jump!

For the ninth consecutive month, Curious George was the show most watched by preschoolers, followed by Thomas & Friends, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, Super Why!, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Dinosaur Train. (The top four shows among “moms aged 18-49 with children under the age of 3”—which is an actual demographic group—were also part of PBS Kids.)

It’s great to see Daniel Tiger being so immediately embraced by both kids and parents. (We love him here too!) The values of Fred Rogers—one of the pioneers of educational public media—are alive and well. was one of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2012, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood was the show most often watched by those visiting. If you haven’t taken the time to get acquainted with Daniel Tiger and his friends, you can watch him seven days a week on WILL-TV, and anytime you like on

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