WASHINGTON, D.C. — WETA UK introduces Washington audiences to the best in British television when the channel launches June 2 with Britain’s #1 comedy — Outnumbered — and the forerunner of America’s modern forensic television dramas — Waking the Dead. They are among the series that will be making their Washington, D.C., premiere on WETA UK, the newest television service from WETA Television — the flagship public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital and home to WETA TV 26, WETA Kids and WETA HD.
The new channel features classic and contemporary British dramas and comedies — from Prime Suspect and Hustle to Fawlty Towers and To the Manor Born —as well as Comedy Fridays and Saturday-Night Movies. British television fans can begin to sample the new WETA UK offerings starting June 2, when pilot episodes will air during WETA UK Preview Weekend.
“WETA UK has something for everyone interested in new series and classic productions,” said Kevin Harris, vice president and television station manager of WETA. “Around the clock, there will be a full lineup of some of the biggest hits on British television and familiar faces from Downton Abbey and other Masterpiece offerings.”
Each night on WETA UK, the program lineup includes comedies at 8 p.m. followed by classic and contemporary dramas. This includes Last of the Summer Wine — the world’s longest-running comedy — and the edgy MI-5, the award-winning television series whose popularity resulted in a doubling of applications to Great Britain’s Secret Service after the BBC premiere.
WETA UK Comedy Fridays
Each Friday, WETA UK will present comedy programming around the clock, including encore presentations of the fan-favorite Doc Martin as well as the popular British import Chef!, about Britain’s finest and most ill-tempered cook. The Friday lineup is in addition to the comedies that will air throughout the week.
Saturday Night Movies
Each Saturday night, The WETA UK Movie will present the best in feature film-length contemporary drama. In June, the scheduled movies are Place of Execution, The Last Enemy and Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
WETA UK Preview Weekend
Pilot episodes of WETA UK series will air starting at midnight on June 2, when the channel launches. Viewers can sample a variety of programs before the regular WETA UK schedule begins at 4 p.m. on June 3. The pilots will air again in the programs’ regular timeslots starting on June 3.
Beginning in September, WETA UK will feature major specials, including
I, Claudius and Downton Abbey.
Program and schedule information is available at wetauk.org. WETA UK is available free over the air on Channel 26.2 in Greater Washington. On subscription services, the channel can be found on Comcast 265, Cox 800, FiOS 474 and RCN 39.
Funding for the broadcast launch of WETA UK is provided by Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Beasley Real Estate, Clyde’s Restaurant Group, The Washington Post, Round House Theatre and UKGoods.com.
WETA Television, serving viewers throughout the national capital area for more than 50 years, is home to four television channels — primary channel WETA TV 26, and WETA HD, WETA Kids and WETA UK. As the flagship PBS station in the nation’s capital, WETA Television celebrates the people and history of this region through programs such as WETA All Access, WETA Around Town and WETA Extras. The third-largest producing station for public television, WETA produces PBS NewsHour; Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal; history films by Ken Burns, including The Dust Bowl, premiering in November; and performance specials from the U.S. Capitol, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the White House, including Burt Bacharach & Hal David: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance at the White House, which aired on May 21. WETA headquarters are located in Arlington, Virginia. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at weta.org.