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Saturday 26th May 2001

US Sci-Fi Channel Airing TV-Movie July 15 9PM EDT!
(posted 26th May 2001, 7:51pm - TWIDW post #0016)
May 14, 1996.

5 Years Ago, FOX TV aired a Doctor Who movie starring Paul McGann, Daphne Ashbrook, and Eric Roberts. Had it succeeded in garnering a large audience on that broadcast in the US, either a TV series or more movies were expected to follow.

Alas, the quadruple punch of the Roseanne "heart attack" season finale, the Home Improvement season finale, the Fraiser season finale, and it being a FOX TV-movie on a Tuesday led to a lackluster result in the US. The emotional attachment in shows people were already watching plus the reputation of FOX television in 1996 were hurdles that the film could not overcome here.

The movie performed well in the rest of the world, but that did not matter. No TV series or movies have followed to date. FOX did not rerun the movie, and there has been no US video release. The film has not appeared anywhere in the US since then, even though it was aimed at appealing to US TV viewers.
Until now.
The Sci-Fi Channel (US version) has scheduled the movie to air Sunday, July 15, at 9PM Eastern Daylight Time (8PM Central, adjust for other time zones). July is evidently a month of event programming on Sci-Fi, and it looks like the movie will get to be one of sci-fi's big events.

Sci-Fi Channel and the USA Network are owned by Universal, who was a co-producer on the 1996 movie and retained US distribution rights. The movie has apparently been available for other stations or networks to purchase since May 2000, when FOX's rights to rerun it expired. The price was $500,000 as of last year, which may have been too much for potential broadcasters to be willing to pay.

Let's get the word out. It'd be nice if this movie could set a few records for viewership on Sci-Fi.
Benjamin F. Elliott

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