By now some of your more pressing questions about the goings on at Downton Abbey are being addressed and new drama is unfolding to keep you glued to WTVP and to set the stage for Season Four. If you watched the Season Three premiere on January 6, you were among the 7.9 million people who did so. Maybe we need to start selling commercials for the big game (can't legally mention the name).
Speaking of the Super Bowl and commercials, I read an article that said commercial spots this year were up to $4 million each. I just had to shake my head to think that the revenue from just one of those commercials would fund WTVP for more than a year. What a world.
The ties between Downton Abbey and WTVP continue this fall with a very special WTVP Travels tour to England. The major part of the tour will feature many of the sites used as production backgrounds for MASTERPIECE series: Highclere Castle and Bampton (Downton Abbey); Eaton Place in London (Upstairs Downstairs); 221B Baker Street (Sherlock); Oxford (Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis); and Lyme Park (Pride & Prejudice). Additional stops include Stratford-on-Avon (Shakespeare), Stonehenge, the Cotswolds, the Lake District, and Liverpool for The Beatles Experience. For those wishing to extend their tour for a few days - or to join directly from Peoria without the above - we will conclude with a walking tour of Hadrian's Wall in northern England (Boudica: Warrior Queen). Full details are available online at www.wtvp.org/travels/travels.asp or by calling (309) 677-4747 for a brochure.
Another chance to support the programming you enjoy and expect on your public television station comes on March 2, when the Pekin Friends of 47 hold their annual bowl-a-thon at Sunset Lanes in Pekin. Young and old, bowlers of all levels of experience are invited. There will be food and prizes for bowling and pledge-raising, and a fun time is guaranteed. Call the number above for details.
Finally, several new local programs are on tap this month including the Bradley/ISU men's basketball game live from Redbird Arena in Normal, the Governor's State of the State speech live from Springfield, and new At Issue programs. Details are available throughout this program guide. Your support makes them possible. Thank you.
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired 2014)