Portland Viewers Complain Over 'Perry Mason' Move to Another Station
Who says fans of vintage TV aren't passionate about their shows? Certainly not the general manager of KPTV in Portland, Oregon. That is because after approximately 46 years of syndication on the station, Patrick McCreery has made the decision to move Perry Mason from KPTV to its sister station, KPDX. The announcement was met with an outpouring of phone calls and complaints, all of which McCreery says he plans to respond to personally.
Perry Mason had a nine year run on CBS from from 1957 to 1966. It starred Raymond Burr as the highly successful Los Angeles attorney with Barbara Hale as his secretary and more-than-likely something more, Della Street. William Hopper appeared as often used private detective, Paul Drake, and William Tallman as District Attorney Hamilton Burger, though Tallman was blacklisted for a time and written off the show for that duration.
While the show has often been in syndication on local stations and in the modern era on cable networks such as MeTV and the Hallmark Channel, McCreery speculates that it is unlikely any show has remained on one channel as long as Perry Mason has on KPTV, especially since the bulk of the time the show has been a noontime staple.
Still, the highly competitive aspects of afternoon TV these days, and especially starting this fall, prompted the move. In a story by Kristi Turnquist of The Oregonian, the general manager states, "I've agonized over this. We probably should have moved it three years ago" as the ratings have gone down over the last few years. The move to the sister station means ratings won't be much of a factor in the future. The show will now air in the morning. Explained McCreery, "This way, frankly, it doesn't have to do that well to stay on the air. The threshhold for success is lower."
So respectful of his viewers' love affair with Perry Mason, McCreery intentionally announced the move early, giving fans a chance to adapt to the change.