American Public Television and Acorn TV have reached an agreement that will release Season 8 of Doc Martin for airing on public TV in January 2019 — a full year after programmers had expected to schedule the quirky British comedy.
Acorn TV, a subscription service specializing in British content, holds North American rights to the show. Public TV stations have aired the popular show since 2008 through distributor APT, premiering each new season in January or February.
But in January, Acorn announced it would withhold wider distribution to keep the program exclusive to its over-the-top platform. At least one major-market station abandoned Doc Martin rather than wait out Acorn’s release.
As part of the agreement, episodes will carry two 15-second Acorn TV branding spots “which must be aired as part of program content,” said APT VP Eric Luskin in an email to programmers obtained by Current.
Luskin told Current that the branding spots “were a condition of the offer. Either that, or no offer.”
More information, including specific release dates and episode descriptions, will be available for programmers this fall.
“We’re delighted to be able to announce this so you and your Doc Martin fans can plan for the future,” Luskin said in a press release.
Season 9 will end the series, according to producers.