US Sci-Fi Channel Airing TV-Movie July 15 9PM EDT!
- 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
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
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
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
This Week In Doctor Who - the weekly guide to Doctor Who broadcasts