Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Why No 'Doc Martin' Repeats on Wqed?

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Why No 'Doc Martin' Repeats on Wqed?

Article excerpt

Post-Gazette TV writer Rob Owen answers reader questions online every Friday in Tuned In Journal blog at post-gazette.com/tv. Here's a selection of recent queries.

Q.: Why doesn't WQED repeat episodes of "Doc Martin" later on in the week after their first airing? Many other BBC series ARE repeated once or twice in the week following first airings. (Examples include "Downton Abbey," "Mercy Street," "Call the Midwife," "Mr. Selfridge," "Wolf Hall," "Poldark," etc).

-- SUZAN, Greenfield

ROB: Those other shows are PBS programs and "Doc Martin" is, essentially, syndicated on a piecemeal basis to PBS stations. WQED does have the right to air each episode twice but chooses to air each episode only once per week.

"WQED pays separately for the rights to air 'Doc Martin' and the program is not part of the PBS feed, like 'Downton Abbey' or 'Mr. Selfridge,'" explained WQED spokesman George Hazimanolis. "We greatly appreciate the financial support of viewers who enjoy 'Doc Martin,' since programs like it must be purchased separately. We have limited slots available to rebroadcast programming, so we usually like [rebroadcasts] to be local or with a regional or themed focus (Black History Month, Earth Month, Women's History Month, Gay Pride Month, etc.)

"The schedules on 13.2 WQED Create and 13.3 WQED World are programmed elsewhere and we pick up the feed from the satellite," he continued. "We have no latitude in scheduling those two channels."

But given that "Doc Martin" is more popular than WQED's local programming, and that we are now in an era where viewers expect a second opportunity to see a show thanks to the programming pattern of cable networks - and since a rebroadcast would cost WQED nothing extra - perhaps the powers that be will rethink their decision and give their members what they are asking for: a second weekly airing of "Doc Martin" episodes. …

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