Tag Archives: TPT

Now we know why TPT won’t air “Catholicism” in the Twin Cities

October 11, 2011

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A couple weeks ago, I asked why TPT wasn’t following the lead of other PBS affiliates in broadcasting the highly-acclaimed series “Catholicism” by Father Robert Barron.

Now we know why.

Here’s the full response to one of our blog readers (emphasis mine):

Here is the response I received from TPT today:

Dear [removed],
Thank you for your email inquiring about the program Catholicism.

After careful review, tpt has declined to air the four-part series “Catholicism”, produced by Word on Fire Catholic Ministries and Picture Show Films.

While the program is very well produced and interesting, it does not meet our long-standing requirement that programs carried by tpt be “non-commercial, non-partisan and non-sectarian”.

This standard is applied to all tpt programs: those provided by PBS and those (like the “Catholicism” series) coming from a non-PBS source.

While our programming policy does permit programming about religion and religious issues, the ‘non-sectarian’ requirement means we generally do not carry programs that express only a single religious point of view, or assert matters of religious faith as fact.

In addition, the stated purpose of the producer (Word on Fire Catholic Ministries) is to “reach millions of people to draw them into or back to the Catholic faith.” While tpt recognizes the importance of programming that brings understanding and illumination to matters such as religion, we do not believe the evangelical nature of this series is consistent with our standards.

Thank you again, for your interest in our programming.

Tom Holter
Executive Director, Programming

Obviously, this is disappointing news. Especially considering the 700,000 Catholics in the Twin Cities who would benefit from such a program. It’s also puzzling that other PBS affiliates do not share their timidity in providing their viewership with such an engaging and interesting program.

If you’d like to express your disappointment in their faint-hearted decision, you can contact them at viewerservices@tpt.org or http://www.tpt.org/?a=contactUs.

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Why won’t TPT air Father Barron’s “Catholicism” series? Help them change their mind.

September 23, 2011

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UPDATE: I received a direct response from TPT, which I’ve included at the bottom of this post. They’re going to “review” it, so please continue to contact them and show your interest in this series.

The highly anticipated and groundbreaking televisions series, Catholicism, is coming to TV screens this Fall – except in the Twin Cities. TPT (Twin Cities Public Television) claims the program isn’t on their broadcast schedule. It’s scheduled on other public television stations nationwide, but why not this market? No one knows. Considering the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has 750,000 members, I find it odd they wouldn’t want to air something so critically acclaimed and relevant to the largest demographic in the region.

Please contact the Twin Cities Public Television programming department at viewerservices@tpt.org and – politely – request they review their decision and bring this culturally important TV series to the people of the Twin Cities.

You can watch the amazing trailer here…

YouTube Preview Image

UPDATE: I received an e-mail response from TPT. It’s worth noting that another blogger had contacted them before my original post and received the answer that they would not be showing the series. Perhaps you’re messages to them are having a positive effect. Please continue to show your support for this important program.

Dear Craig,
Thanks for contacting member supported tpt. We appreciate hearing from you regarding the program Catholicism. The series will be reviewed when it is sent to public television stations for screening on 9/28. We expect we would make a determination within a few weeks.

Thank you again, for your interest in viewing and supporting Public Television. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

{name removed}
Member Services

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