George Washington would flip in his grave . . .

If you’ve been watching American public television, PBS, you’d think we lost the Revolutionary War.

The U.S.-taxpayer funded channel has been overrun by Brits, and clever ones at that: take the juggernaut Downton Abbey, or the quirky Doc Martin, or the melodramatrix Call the Midwife, or the cagey Sherlock, or the soap operatic Mr. Selfridge. For the past few years, from history to drama, PBS has highlighted such British isle productions as Michael Wood’s Story of England and Queen Victoria’s Empire.

Then there’s a walk on Britain’s darker side with Masterpiece Mysteries’ Zen and Inspector Lewis. Meanwhile, we are still keeping up with the U.K.’s version of the Jones’s with long-running oddball comedies that once earned PBS the nickname: Primarily British Shows: Are You Being Served?, Keeping Up Appearances, Last of the Summer Wine, and my ab fave: Absolutely Fabulous. 

Not enough Red Coats or red-faced laugh-tracked humor for ya? Check out this site: British Comedy on American TV at

Nearly 250 years after The Battle of Yorktown, this former colony seems reluctant to cut the cord.


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