Gail Shister of the Philadelphia Inquirer recently wrote an update on the ongoing quest to find a new sponsor for "Masterpiece Theater." So far, the results aren't promising...
Last year, Exxon Mobil, the program's sole underwriter since 1971, ended its sponsorship, meaning PBS no longer has their $7 million worth of annual funding to rely upon to create new productions.
Since then, PBS has gotten no bites from any major companies willing to ante up the cash.
On the bright side, PBS says the show WILL go on. They'll pick up the tab for two more seasons of "MT," but at only half the previous budget.
Nevertheless, here's what we can look forward to on this season's schedule:
• Rupert Everett in "Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking" (Oct. 23)
• Robert Louis Stevenson's "Kidnapped"
• A four-hour miniseries about Elizabeth I, "The Virgin Queen"
• An eight-hour adaptation of a Charles Dickens novel (they won't say which one.)
PBS vows they'll eventually get a new sponsor to take over where Exxon Mobil left off. In the meantime, does any one have a rich uncle of the Steve Forbes variety who might want to help them out? -- Amy