Its been several months since our last reader mailbag post – so welcome to the ‘bumper edition.’ I’ve weeded through the unread questions in our mailbox and picked ten or so questions to run with. So if you’ve sent us a question recently and we haven’t responded it’s because I was abducted by aliens and used for some strange experiment you may find the answer below!
Question: What the frak is going on with Breaking Bad? It’s just crazy that no UK broadcaster wants this! PS while I’m at it what about White Collar will we ever get season two onwards over here?
Breaking Bad is Sony Pictures Television’s unloved child over here. I have covered this topic in some detail (see here, here, here, here, here and here). As stated in previous articles, my sources have told me that the poor ratings the series got on FX UK (season 1) and then 5USA (season 2) and the critical acclaim and awards that the series has received in the US, which has driven up the asking price for the series, have created a perfect storm in which no UK broadcaster is likely to pick up the series. On the upside, Sony is aware of this and the fact that the series has some loyal fans in the UK, and have made season three directly available to consumers via DVD and Netflix and plan to do the same with season four by the end of the year. As for White Collar, when I recently spoke to a source at 20th Century Fox I was told there had been “no real interest” from any UK broadcasters with regards to picking up the series.
Question: I see that PBS UK’s EPG slot is up for sale please tell me that the channel isn’t shutting down?
Their EPG slot you say? All I can tell you about PBS here is that the channel will be rebranding as PBS America as of July 4th. But fortunately for you I got in contact with the lovely people over at PBS and here is their answer to your question: “Absolutely not! The channel has been doing really well since we launched last November and our shareholders are fully committed us being on-air here in the long term. We’re just considering a move into the factual section of Sky’s EPG, where we already sit on Virgin Media. Current research suggests that we’re actually picking up more new viewers from other factual channels than from the entertainment ones surrounding us on Sky.”
Question: I found this post on Spoiler TV (which originally comes from USA Network’s forums) saying that the Monk TV movie is not going to happen. Do you know if this is true?
Despite rumours circulating that the TV movie project is dead and buried, I am told that the script for the movie in question was delivered to the network and is awaiting a decision from executives at USA. So no it’s not dead, but I’m guessing you were after some better news. Sorry….but welcome to Hollywood!
Question: Are PBS UK going to be showing any more of the documentaries about presidents – like Lincoln or JFK?
Once again I will hand the floor over to the good people at PBS, who said: “We’ll be showing both the presidential mini-series on Clinton and George HW Bush again as part of our US Election season, which will run for the two months up to 6th November. We’ve already shown Jimmy Carter, Woodrow Wilson and Ulysses Grant (which we’ll probably re-schedule again next year) and we are considering Nixon, FDR, Theodore Roosevelt, Truman and LBJ. Other titles within this series are not currently available to us.”
Question: Any more news of Gillian Anderson’s new series The Fall? Like will there be a season two? And when will it air on the BBC?
Getting ahead of ourselves slightly with a second season! There is some talk that series creator Allan Cubitt would like a second season and the BBC are aware of that, but they will want to see what kind of ratings the series pulls in before deciding. The upside is that the BBC considers this as a series rather than a serial (IE a second season is possible and it isn’t being billed as a one-off drama). As for an air date – I’m still being told that everything is on track for a September/October premiere. We will bring you the premiere date as soon as the Beeb announces it.
Question: Will the re-boot of Dallas be airing on UK television?
While I think TNT and Warner Bros. would take objection to the term re-boot, yes, you will get to see Bobby and JR over here on Channel 5. They currently have the show’s ten episode first season pencilled in for a September premiere.
Question: As a fan of US daytime soaps (Days of Our Lives, The Young And The Restless etc) I find it frustrating that we are unable to see them here in the UK. Given that Dallas has popped up on our screens again is there any hope of a UK channel picking up these old soaps?
Your question really has two different and distinct points. So let’s address them as such. As far as I know the original Dallas is currently airing on one of CBS channels owned and operated by Chello Zone and I suspect that the reason for that can be traced to the above question and answer….the new series of Dallas. As for the bulk of your question: since Sky Soap (blast from the past!) shut down in the late 90’s there has been little interest in acquiring US daytime soaps and given the fact that most UK channels are focusing more on originals and that the US networks are getting rid of daytime soaps, I don’t think you’ll be seeing DOOL or The Young And The Restless any time soon.
Question: I love that you cover both US and British TV. Do you have any details on the second season of True Justice? Loved the season one finale that aired on Reelz.
Yes, wasn’t that finale wonderfully….explosive. I can confirm that the team did not escape that frag grenade in one piece. I’m told that the only two regulars coming back next season are Seagal and Sarah Lind. I leave your imagination to figure out the fates of the characters played by Warren Christie, Meghan Ory and William Stewart. But on the upside, I have learned that Zak Santiago, Jesse Hutch and Adrian Holmes have joined the series as regular cast members for season two.
Question: Since I found your website a week or so ago it has been my first stop to find out when shows are returning and what new shows are coming our way and when. Which leads me to my question. What has happened to “Nurse Jackie”, you had it listed as returning on July 3 at 10.30 p.m. but it disppeared a day or so ago. What has happened, we need to know?
How very eagle-eyed of you! Yes it was originally scheduled for July 3 at 10:30 but Sky opted to put a pin in that plan and give the 10-11pm time slot to the new HBO series The Newsroom. But, rest assured, the series will be rescheduled once The Newsroom has finished its run – or so I’m told.
Question: As a TV junkie I followed the upfronts like a mad man. Have any channel picked up any of those glossy new shows like Gotham, or 666 Park Avenue?
Nothing to report on this front. Most UK broadcasters are still in the process of renewing their existing deals, which they will want to wrap up before locking down new shows.
Question: Do I need to speak Galifreyan before someone tells me when Doctor Who will return to our screens?
Calm down my Whovian friend. No specific dates are available, but the BBC tell me that the new season of Doctor Who should start by the end of August.