PBS to Have New Monthy Python Show
PBS will be the home for six new Monty Python specials this spring. Each special will focus on a member of the British comedy troupe, mixing new footage with clips from Python movies and the group’s television series.
American audiences first discovered Monty Python on public television after PBS obtained the rights to the sketch comedy series “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” from the BBC in the 1970s, said John Wilson, PBS’ senior vp and co-chief programming executive.
The new series, spotlighting Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, will be called “Monty Python’s Personal Best” and is being produced by Python (Monty) Pictures Ltd.
While I will be very inclined to TiVo this program, one can not help but wonder why we need taxpayer subsidies for this sort of thing. Python (admittedly shown originally on the British Government-owned BBC) has been a great commercial success for thirty years now. People are paying $600 apiece for tickets to see “Spamalot” on Broadway. Why could a commercial or cable network not produce this show?