Arts Desk

WETA Launches All-British Channel, Monocle Not Included

More Doc Martin, coming to a TV near you

Break out the tiny sandwiches: On June 2, WETA launches WETA UK, a specialty channel that will show British programming seven days a week. D.C. area residents with the required technology (a newish television or an older TV with a digital-to-analog converter) can watch the channel for free over the air on channel 26.2.

From the press release, which already has me shopping online for a TV:

Among its many offerings, WETA UK will present a host of dramatic miniseries — including MI-5, Hustle, Waking the Dead, Primeval and New Tricks, several of which currently air in Britain — in addition to such popular classics as All Creatures Great and Small, Ballykissangel, vintage Doctor Who, Inspector Morse, Monarch of the Glen, Prime Suspect, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes and productions from the series Masterpiece (including classics such as I, Claudius). Each Saturday night, the WETA UK Movie will present the best in feature film-length contemporary drama, and beginning this fall, WETA UK will feature major specials.

These programs will air alongside an impressive roster of British comedies new and old, such as Chef!, Doc Martin, Outnumbered, Miranda, Fawlty Towers, My Family, Vicar of Dibley, Keeping Up Appearances, To the Manor Born, Last of the Summer Wine, Waiting for God, Are You Being Served?, and Red Dwarf. Each Friday, WETA UK will present comedy programming around the clock. The channel will also include episodes of the original BBC series Antiques Roadshow, which helped inspire its namesake — and antiques mania — in America.

Cable subscribers can watch the channel on Comcast 265, Cox 800, FiOS 474, and RCN 39.

Update: Sommer Mathis asks, What will happen to Create TV/WETA How-To, the cooking and lifestyle network that currently airs on Channel 26.2? According to WETA's Craig Henderson, Create TV will be moved from 26.2 to Channel 26, and its programming will only show on weekends. Some Create programming already airs on weekends on Channel 26, but there will be more of it.

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  • Prtty Gurrl

    Prime Suspect and old Dr. Who! I'm there!

  • A Farrington

    Blimey. No wonder American tv bosses won't let us have seasons 2 and 3 of Breaking Bad. We keep sending you the worst of Britain's crap television. Sorry about that. Demand better programmes!

  • WETA TV Programming Department

    Visit us on

    The programming team behind the Washington DC based WETA UK Channel is committed to giving you a behind-the-scenes look at this one-of-a-kind broadcast channel. You’re invited into the programming, promotion, and production meetings and to interact with the WETA UK broadcast team. We’ll answer your questions, read your comments, and keep you up to date with all of the programming shenanigans happening on the channel.

  • Jan T

    We've had a weekend of the new WETA-UK. The reviews from this house are in. WETA-UK is a colossal DUD! All it is are repeats of repeats of 30-year-old reruns that we have seen countless times. Create-TV will be sorely missed. Viewer supported WETA has made a very big mistake in our opinion.

  • Anna F

    I think the schedule changes at WETA are a disaster. Many currently produced favorites are gone and every time I try UK, it's a bore of old, often very tired programs...many of which WETA viewers have seen before. I feel my viewing is reduced to the NewsHour. I've been a supporter for many years and am stunned that I've lost most reasons to watch.

  • Barbara Griffiths

    I enjoy watching the British comedies, but I do not like seeing the SAME shows over and over each day. Are there other shows or is the same show the ONLY one to view? Since WETA Uk began, the morning show have been the same.
    I'm hoping to see something else soon.

  • http://washingtoncitypaper Valjean Thomas

    I love British televison. However I do not love the same shows being shown back to back and everyday. I know if I miss an episode all I have to do is wait and it will repeat in a couple of hours or sometimes replay immediately. I was hoping I would get to see more British television like the shows of talk show host Norton, Top Gear, and musical concerts like George Michael etc. Since it repeats itself often why not put the Create TV cooking show on so you don't have to show the same thing every day and every 2-3 hrs. I loved this channel at first but I'm starting to get bored with it. I know there are more stations in the BBC than these.

  • Brian

    You took away WETA Create!!!! Why?! I loved Lidia and Test Kitchen and Jacques! Create TV was the ONLY WETA channel I watched. I am a 29 year old male who enjoyed watching this in the evening with the wife. You just lost a viewer.