Friday night's GREAT PERFORMANCES episode titled "Barrymore" was cancelled due to its excessive amount of content flags. Given the play being performed, we knew it would have uncomfortable moments, but we didn't realize PBS would leave all of the harsh language. It’s OETA’s policy to be as family friendly as possible, and this episode put us in a difficult position.
Unfortunately, we didn’t receive the notification from PBS about the flags until earlier this week. We’d already promoted the episode heavily in print and on-air. We expect that quite a few people were planning to watch it, and we regret having to disappoint them. We understand that some would have greatly enjoyed it. But there are others who would have been greatly offended. Who do we try to please? This is one of the tough choices we have to make. In the end, it comes down to trust. We don't want to lose the trust our viewers have placed in us to provide quality programming suitable for the whole family. The moment we start airing crude content like what you might see on some cable channels is the moment we're no longer special. Our relationship with our viewers is too precious for us to risk losing it. And so we choose to err on the side of caution in cases like this.
Those who do want to see the full episode of “Barrymore" can watch it online here. I really do hope you enjoy it! GREAT PERFORMANCES truly is a great series. High quality production and top-notch performances.
In place of "Barrymore," we scheduled a GREAT PERFORMANCES episode that has received many requests. “Andrea Bocelli: Love in Portofino” was produced as a pledge program. We try to keep our number of pledge drives to a minimum at OETA, and so we have some leftover pledge programs like this. I hope you enjoyed the superstar performing classical favorites, pop standards and Brazilian jazz in Portofino, Italy. Ahhhh, Bocelli.