Emma 2009 on PBS beginning January 24


Alert Janeite Cinthia posted in comments that Emma 2009 will be broadcast on Masterpiece Classics in three parts, beginning January 24 through February 7, 2010, thus pointing out the inherent problems in the “year” adaptation classification system *shakes fist at Masterpiece and its laggy timing*. The trailer, as has already been pointed out in comments, is better than the British teaser.

Interest in the series here on AustenBlog remains high, unsurprisingly, but Alert Janeite Lisa sent us a link that says overall interest in the series is waning.

Earlier this week just 3.3million tuned in to watch the series, which features Romola Garai as Emma, Michael Gambon as her father and Jonny Lee Miller as the dashing Mr Knightley.

Traditionally the BBC’s classic dramas get ratings of more than five or six million.

But just 4.4million watched the first episode and since then more than a million have switched off.

Emma’s poor performance has led some to question the BBC’s decision to adapt an Austen classic that has been on screen so many times before.

One leading drama producer said: ‘I don’t think audiences are as excited about Emma – perhaps they are not excited by Austen anymore.’

Or maybe they just didn’t find the first part interesting enough to tune back in for the second? Of course, we handed Auntie Beeb bulletproof casting on a solid-gold platter but did they listen to us? Noooooooo. And we’re not even the only ones saying so. (Scroll down a bit.)

As for the casting of badboy Jonny Lee Miller as the wise, older Mr Knightley, where is the divinely brooding and grown-up Richard Armitage when you need him? Answer me that.

See? Though now we are of the opinion that the divinely brooding &c. Mr. A. would have been wasted in this particular production, it not being the definitively faithful version we had hoped for, but Austen filtered through Oprah. UK viewers, use this as your report-on-the-fourth-episode thread. We’ll post some other stuff about other things later tonight.

Emma 2009 Episode 3


Sorry we’re late with posting this, but we were on vacation! So, Gentle Readers in the UK–what did you think of Episode 3? Did you watch Episode 3?

Emma 2009 Part II


Sorry we’re a little late putting this up! We would love to hear what our UK readers thought about part II of the series.

Emma 2009 Part I


Romola Garai as Emma WoodhouseBroadcast at 21.00 (9 p.m. for you old-school types) on BBC One.

Gentle Readers in the UK, the world awaits your verdict with bated breath.

Emma 2009 Broadcast (UK) Confirmed for October 4


Alert Janeite Cinthia wrote to tell us that the BBC has posted its upcoming television schedule, which includes air dates for the first two (of four) episodes of Emma 09. The first episode will be broadcast on Sunday, October 4, from 9-10 p.m. The second episode will be broadcast at the same time the following Sunday, so we can probably assume the other two episodes will follow the same pattern.

Cinthia also found a not very informative press pack on the BBC site. (Though as Alert Janeite Sylvia pointed out, we will get to see Mrs. Dixon and Mrs. Churchill!)

Sylvia also let us know that the site Shootastic has high-res promo photos from the production, but you have to register to see them. (We have not registered, but if you would like to see them, go for it!)

What financial crisis?


Somebody’s making bank! Remember that auction of the three-volume first edition of Emma inscribed to Jane Austen’s friend, Anne Sharp? Well, if you were kicking yourself for not going for that last bid, Alert Janeite Sion let us know that the buyer’s reselling it at a healthy markup–nearly 100 percent! £325,000; about US$530,000. Remember what they say on Antiques Roadshow: something’s only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. It’s too bad it couldn’t have been purchased by a real Janeite who wanted to display it to the world but buy a greedy-guts Veruca Salt-like Austen carpetbagger. Alert Janeite Sarah noticed the book was featured on ABE’s “Bookshelves of the Rich and Famous.”