A $15 million "American Masterpiece Theater," with 26 weeks of classical and original drama, is being planned for 1982 by the Public Broadcasting Service. Chloe Aaron, senior vice-president of PBS programming, outlined this ambitious series, the start of a major initiative for public television, in an address before PBS's first program fair in San Francisco.
According to Monitor TV critic Arthur Unger, local stations are being asked to provide $5 million, with the rest contributed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and outside corporate and institutional funders. Other aims of the five-point program include high-quality weekly documentaries, original American comedy, great motion pictures, and innovative new science programs to be funded partly with $30 million that PBS stations control. Miss Aaron said: "The time has come to build that national dream schedule."