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ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH KEEPING UP APPEARANCES?

Dawn French is the hilarious Reverend Boadicea Geraldine Granger aka the Vicar of Dibley! Dawn French is the hilarious Reverend Boadicea Geraldine Granger aka the Vicar of Dibley!

In the summer of 2011, I changed up the BritCom lineups on Saturdays and added some shows on Thursdays. Emails, calls, blog comments and Facebook postings came in droves from viewers. All feedback is valuable to me, but it definitely showed that our viewers’ tastes have shifted and are slightly divided!

Hollywood at Home and Doc Martin Fans Rejoiced!

Fans came out of the woodwork when we launched the Hollywood at Home series in Fall 2011 on Saturdays at 9pm. Those films have consistently been our top rated shows in any given sweeps month.

Doc Martin premiered on Thursday, September 20th, 2012 at 9pm after a year of die-hard fans contacting me about bringing it to Southern AZ. Imagine the hurrahs when we found the money in the budget to buy it for AZPM! Staff tell me that people mention their love for Doc Martin to them all the time.

This feedback is significant because viewers rarely contact us because they like something, so when someone takes that time to express love for a show, we know we have a winner. So far, we are happy with the audience numbers (56% more viewers on Thursdays compared to Nov. 2011). We even kept the show on during this past pledge drives and people donated money in honor of Doc!

Now that the Hollywood at Home series has legs on Saturdays, and Doc Martin has spiked up our Thursday nights, it is time to look at what we air before and after.

Let’s start with the easier night—Thursdays. A few years ago, PBS had Nature on Sundays and we repeated that show on Thursdays at 8. It worked great. Nature moved to Wednesdays, and suddenly the Thursday repeat didn’t make sense. We have been working on that night ever since. Last summer we experimented with dramas and newer comedies on Thursdays starting with some strong Masterpiece episodes that we called The Men of Mystery! The response to certain episodes showed us that people welcomed less traditional dramas. We also aired “saucier” BritComs later on Thursday nights that didn’t quite fit on Saturday’s lineup with Keeping Up Appearances. The clear fan choices were People Like Us, Worst Week of My Life and Coupling. Outnumbered is a series people either love or hate. The love is pretty strong so we are keeping it on for now and besides, the new season is hilarious!

When appropriate, we will put PBS drama specials leading up to Doc in that 8pm slot like the wildly popular Call the Midwife series. We just launched a new-to-AZPM series from the BBC called Death in Paradise** on Thursday, January 3rd at 8pm, and we hope you check it out if you haven’t already! Watch a promo here. Death in Paradise's  Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey and Detective Inspector Richard Poole! Sara Martins is the Detective Sergeant Camille Bordey and Ben Miller is the Detective Inspector Richard Poole in Death in Paradise.

When the new season of Call the Midwife starts again, we will hold that series for Thursday nights later in the summer.

Okay, I avoided writing about Saturdays long enough. In short, we are looking at bringing back some comedies like Vicar of Dibley and Waiting for God. I will likely phase out Keeping Up Appearances or As Time Goes By with one series, and a few months later, swap out the other. This is to ease the pain of those fans who never want those shows off the air. We learned that after Hollywood at Home, it is too late for folks who love the traditional BritComs. We will continue to air dark comedies like Black Books, Worst Week and the like.

I’d love to try another comedy but it is too early to talk about it! I’m still in “research” mode which really means a weekend on my couch watching TV while avoiding chores.

As always, tell us what you think. We want to know what you are watching, what you miss, what a friend told you about, what you want off the air. And before you say Lawrence Welk, let me say, it’s off the table…for now. (smile) Welked!

Happy Viewing! Susie the TV Programmer

26 Comments

Cinda Danner @ Jan 13, 2013

I would like to see KUAT carry the drama Inspector Banks. I read where it is coming to the US and is going to be shown in Phoenix, Las Vegas, many other cities, but not Tucson. As far as I'm concerned, Keeping Up Appearances, As Time Goes By and the Vicar of Dibley have run their course. How about showing Gavin and Stacy?

Mickey Duniho @ Jan 13, 2013

I like Keeping Up Appearances but agree it has been around so long that I can almost quote the dialog. (My wife never did particularly like it). We both love As Time Goes By but we have seen it two or three times through. We saw Vicar of Dibley years ago and loved it and could probably enjoy it again. We loved Waiting for God and would love to see it again. Some of the other shows we have seen recently did not appeal (I don't even remember their names). The Saturday movies are good, but the one this week was terrible. Doc Martin has been good. There was a mystery show involving the same actress as in Keeping Up Appearances that we liked but it spparently did not catch on. We would be happy to see it again. Good luck with your decisions

Susie the TV Programmer @ Jan 14, 2013

@Mickey Duniho-

The series starring the same woman from Keeping Up Appearances is called Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and we air it weekdays at 1:45 pm, immediately following Ballykissangel! I just bought more episodes and am considering it for late night on Sundays or weekend afternoons. https://tv.azpm.org/schedules/series/HTTW/

Susie the TV Programmer @ Jan 14, 2013

@Cinda Danner You'll be happy to hear we will be airing DCI Banks on PBS 6. I'm trying to figure out the timeslot now. I can't air the show too early due to content, but don't want it on too late, so we all sleep through it.

I haven't heard of Gavin and Stacey. I will look into it! Thanks for the suggestion!

-Susie the TV Programmer

Michael Vetter @ Jan 14, 2013

Hetty Wainthropp is a great series...what about Good Earth or To the Manor Born(I think it's called)? Those are "oldies" that everyone loves and misses. I always like Rosemary and Thyme, too.

Kathryn Berry @ Jan 14, 2013

Please! No more Waiting for God. It is loud and obnoxious in its treatment of just about everyone. We are loving Doc Martin and 50% of us like Outnumbered and Worst Week. Vicar of Dibley would be ok instead of KUA but we still enjoy As Time Goes By, despite having watched the entire run at least 3 times. Anything with Judy Dench is worth the time. We look forward to any of the Mystery series,including Death in Paradise. Bring 'em on!

dan ferrill @ Jan 15, 2013

Ilove Worst Week of My Life. Please air it at reasonable time. NOT 11PM! Thks.

dan ferrill @ Jan 15, 2013

Why isn't the series,"The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin" with Martin Cluns being considered? It's from BBC, highly popular and rated. Thanks, Dan Ferrill

Susie the TV Programmer @ Jan 18, 2013

@Michael Vetter I really like Hetty W. and also Rosemary and Thyme. Hmmm. That might be a great addition to our daytime lineup!

@Kathryn Berry Personally Waiting for God isn't my fave, but it is certainly a favorite of many others!

@Dan Ferrill, I'm looking at new timeslot for Worst Week, but it would have to be on a different day. Stay tuned! I haven't heard of The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin but will look into it. Thank you for the suggestion!

Lyn Gibson @ Jan 19, 2013

I'm very much enjoying Death in Paradise. Please keep it. Without As Time Goes By on Saturday nights I probably won't tune in at all. I too have seen it over and over, but still enjoy every re-run. I really don't care much for the Vicar of Dibley. How about some of the classic mysteries, like Inspector Morse, or Agatha Christie works?

Nicole @ Jan 20, 2013

What is the show being aired after "Keeping Up Appearances"? I thought it was called The Cafe, but I can't find any information about it online.

James Jordan @ Jan 26, 2013

I would to see BLACK ADDER brought back. also DR WHO.

Debbi Golden-Davis @ Jan 28, 2013

Perhaps Kathryn Berry @ Jan 14, 2013 was thinking of Good Neighbors? (USA name) The premise would be timely, with more folks gardening at home & looking for local foods. The cast is one of the best! And...We love Outnumbered!!!

Dan Ferrill @ Feb 7, 2013

Why are top quality BBC programs such as MI 5, Coupling,and Worst Week of My Life shown at 11 PM. The working adults are in bed for work the next day. But, these are the majority people pledging. We pay the bills but don't get these top quality shows. Maybe we should withhold pledges until adults are included.

Where's the logic??

Dan Ferrill

Susie the TV Programmer @ Feb 7, 2013

I'm with you Dan! Those are my fave shows. Unfortunately, we are in the minority. When Coupling, MI 5 and Worst Week first launched, each of those series aired at 9pm and along with low ratings, I also got complaints on the content. Doc Martin, Death in Paradise, the daytime lineup are also membership dollars at work. So is Lawrence Welk--and I can tell you those viewers are definitely "adults!" We must continue to try new series and give them a chance at 9. Luckily, our latest test, Doc Martin, is doing very well. Not as well as Keeping up Appearances, but I'm pleased with the reaction.

Susie the TV Programmer @ Feb 7, 2013

@Lyn Gibson- I'm playing with the idea of airing As Time Goes By on weekdays. Thoughts?

Jan Hadley @ Feb 11, 2013

How about showing Foyle's War, one of the best BBC serics ever - ?

Jonathan Sprinkle @ Feb 12, 2013

Let's get some Victor Meldrew in there. Almost all the other shows are on Netflix or available in stores, but One Foot In The Grave is comic genius that needs to be in every home.

Prunella williams @ Feb 24, 2013

Do NOT even consider removing "Keeping Up Appearances". This is like an old friend and has stood the test of time. It's comfortable in knowing the characters so perfectly chosen for their parts. British comedy is successfully funny, and Patricia Routlege is priceless. NEVER REMOVE "KEEPING UP APPEARANCES".

Prunella Williams @ Feb 24, 2013

Doc Martin is perfectly written and delightfully performed. Death in Paradise holds the interest and thankfully performed in an interesting place with mysteries that hold the interest.

Prunella Williams @ Feb 24, 2013

I saw a wonderfuly done nature show about the flowers of Joshua Tree. It was quietly and professionally done and for the most part without loud blaring music. The intelligence of the show drew in the viewer with respect.

Dorothy Ellen Bell @ Mar 2, 2013

My mother and I most thouroughly enjoy PBS and have all of our lives. It is refreshing to have the variety of shows that you provide compared to so many distasteless shows that are on most channels any more. We watched the season of Death in Paradise and would love to see it return. Doc Martin is definitely a favorite. I have mixed feelings about keeping on Keeping Up With Appearances and As Time Goes By. I truly do enjoy them but can also understand the need for something new. If I were to tell you all of the shows and documentaries that we love, I would be writing pages on end. We just ask that you keep airing tasteful, enjoyable, and learned shows for all ages. Thank you again. Sincerely, Dorothy Ellen Bell

MariaTeresa Magliocco @ Mar 2, 2013

I shall never tire of Keeping up appearances nor of As time goes by. I am not particularly fond of Doc Martin andI don't enjoy the new Death in Paradise. I wish you could bring back Foyle's war, Midsomer mysteries, Detective Lewis.I love anything with Judi Dench, like for instance A fine romance. I also agree with Waiting for God and Vicar of Dibley.I do enjoy the weekdays afternoon serieslike Ballykissangel or Larkrise to Candleford.

Donald E. Robson @ Mar 3, 2013

It is time for "Keeping up Appearances" to go, but no matter how many times we see "As Time Goes By", it never will get old. Anything with Judi Dench is a treat to watch. Could do without Lawrence Welk, but guess that is a no go. BBC News at 6PM is great. Not too fond of new Arizona Illustrated, but maybe it will grow on us. And of course PBS Newshour is a must. Thanks

Randy and Muriel Holben @ Mar 4, 2013

Both my wife and I really enjoy "Keeping up Appearances" and"As Time Goes By". Very sorry to see your intent to probably discontinue them. Also my personal favorites are "Desert Speaks" and "In The Americas". Would like to see them on at the most convenient time possible , i.e. not too late.

Cynthia and Jim Veglia @ Mar 10, 2013

My Husband and I LOVE, As Time Goes By and Keeping up Appearances, so does my 88 year old mother, we usually go to church Saturday Afternoon and come home to dinner, then The Lawrence Welk, then ATGB and KUP, Maybe you could alternate Brit comedies or show them on another night or even earlier in the day. I would like to continue to see them.

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