Monday, January 19, 2015

BBC Fallout: What's Staying, What's Going

My, my. Who knew there would be such a media firestorm surrounding those BBC titles marked to expire from Netflix Instant? I was pretty surprised to see a record number of news sites citing this blog as a source, resulting in a record number of hits—numbers which continue to boggle (thank you all).

But here's the thing: even with all the attention this story received, so many news sites got—and continue to get—their facts wrong. In one story after another I've read that "all" of the BBC titles were on the chopping block. Or, if not all, then shows like The Office and Sherlock were among them (which they never were). I've also seen claims that the mass expiration was "rumored"—which was pretty rich considering Netflix itself was responsible for slapping on all those expiration labels. And now that a good chunk of the most popular series have been renewed, I'm seeing stories claim that "all" or "most" of the titles have been renewed and, Whew! we needn't have been so worried after all, it's just business as usual, move along, nothing to see here, etc.

Well, I hate to stick my thumb in the (black) pudding, but that's just not the case. As you can see from the lists below, 24 titles were renewed, while another 52 are still marked for 2/1 (actually 1/31) departures. Granted, many of those staying are among the most popular and headline-worthy (hello, Dr. Who and Top Gear), but there are equally important series still getting the axe, among them such stalwarts as Fawlty Towers, Coupling, Black Adder, Red Dwarf, A Bit of Fry & Laurie, and not one but two Diana Rigg miniseries.

Is it possible Netflix will still renew some or all of these shows in the months to come? We can certainly hope. But for now, they're wearing the scarlet letter E. So I'll leave it to the Anglophiles and the nature- and history buffs to sift through the list and decide which are worth bingeing into the wee hours of January's remaining days. All I can say is: Godspeed. And I do mean 'speed'...

The Renewed:

Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State (2005)
The Blue Planet (2001)
The Buccaneers (1995)
Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story (2003)
Copper (2012-2013)
The Curse of King Tut's Tomb (2006) - Poss. expiring 4/30
David Attenborough: Wildlife Specials (2008)
Dr. Who (1964-1989)
Dr. Who (2005-2012)
Hiroshima: BBC History of WWII (2005)
House of Cards (1990-1995)
Keeping Up Appearances (1990)
The Life of Birds (1998)
The Life of Mammals (2002)
Luther (2010-2013)
Monarch of the Glen (2000-2004)
North & South (2004)
Outcasts (2011)
Robin Hood (2006-2009)
Survivors (2008-2010)
Torchwood (2006-2011)
Top Gear (2003-2013) - But: only seasons 17-20 were renewed (2011-2013)
Vicar of Dibley (1994-1999)
Wallander (2008-2012)
Wild China (2008)

Expiring on 2/1:

All Creatures Great and Small (1978-1990)
Allosaurus (2001)
Big Cat Diary
A Bit of Fry & Laurie (1987-1995)
Black Adder (1983-1989)
Black Adder's Christmas Carol (1988)
Bleak House (1985)
Bleak House (2005)
Campion (1989-1990)
Canterbury's Law (2008)
The Catherine Tate Show (2004-2006)
Chased by Dinosaurs
Come Fly with Me
Coupling (2000-2004)
Creature Comforts America
Daniel Deronda (2002)
Elizabeth R (1971)
Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)
Gavin and Stacey
He Knew He Was Right
Hyperdrive (2006-2007)
Inspector Alleyn Mysteries (all episodes)
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries (2002)
Invasion Earth
Jane Eyre (1983)
Kidnapped (2006)
The League of Gentlemen
Little Britain (2003-2004)
Mansfield Park (1983)
MI-5 (2002-2011)
Michael Palin Travelogues (Sahara/Himalaya/New Europe)
Middlemarch (1994)
Miss Marple (all episodes)
The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries (2000)
The Planets
Pompeii: The Last Day (2003)
Pride and Prejudice (1980)
Primeval (2007-2011)
Red Dwarf (1988-2009)
Saxondale (2006-2007)
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Secret Garden (1975)
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
The State Within (2006)
Under the Greenwood Tree (2005)
Waiting for God (1992-1993)
Waking the Dead (2000-2005)
Walking with...series (1999-2005)
The Way We Live Now
Wives and Daughters (1999)
Yellowstone: Battle for Life

Feel free to post any I've missed in the comments below and I'll add them to the list. Thanks--


Anonymous said...

awful to see COUPLING leaving !!!
the expiring list is so vast !!!
NEtflix negotiated for just a handful... this is the beginning of the end for them

David Speranza said...

I know. I'm pretty bummed about Coupling, too.

C. F. Barrows said...

Is 'Merlin' staying? I know they said there were some BBC shows that were not due for renewal. Is it among those? *is worried because I only recently started the second season*

David Speranza said...

If it's not on the list, then it should be sticking around.

Anonymous said...

Call the Midwife is staying, thank God

SherylB said...

I don't see "Case Histories" with Jason Isaacs on either of these lists. Does anyone know if this is available on Netflix - either by streaming or dvd? Thanks.