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Why doesn’t PBS broadcast old shows or series?

PBS generally holds the rights to its shows for three years following the original broadcast. After the PBS term of broadcast expires, the show rights revert to the producers, and PBS is therefore no longer able to distribute these expired shows to our member stations.

Since all final show decisions are made by local stations, and sometimes include shows from distributors other than PBS, we suggest you contact your local station for more information on their schedule. Contact information for PBS member stations can be found using the PBS Station Finder.

You might be interested to know that several libraries throughout the country may have copies of shows within their holdings. You may wish to contact your local library to see if they might be able to borrow the show you are interested in through an inter-library loan. is a useful website that allows you to search library holdings to find items you are interested in.

* Please note that PBS is not affiliated with