Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shame on PBS

I'm so annoyed with PBS after discovering that they cut 35 minutes from the recent premiere of season one of Downton Abbey.  Apparently, some newspapers in the UK were insinuating that the program had to be 'dumbed down' for an American audience. Long-time Masterpiece Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton is quoted in this week's TV Guide  admitting that the 35 minute cut was made in order to fit the series into the PBS format over four weeks because that was all the time they had available for it.
Considering the unending pledge drives that PBS stations hold, I would expect to be given the courtesy of viewing the entire program. The DVD for Downton Abbey advertised on the PBS website even states that the DVD is the 'original U.K. version.'

This is certainly not the first time that cuts have been made to Masterpiece and Mystery programs. Several years ago when I missed an episode of the excellent Foyle's War, I purchased the DVD in order to see it. That's when I discovered that the Foyle's War episode ran 1 hour and 40 minutes. However, the episode had been cut to 90 minutes to 'fit' into the PBS time slot. I've reached the point where I'd rather purchase the DVD for a program or series that I really want to see. At least this way I can view the entire episode(s) uncut and uncensored AND I don't have to worry about a local change in viewing time due to another interminable pledge drive.

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