Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Word About EastEnders on Dish Network...

I have heard from quite a few of you who watch the current EastEnders episodes on Dish Network's Pay-Per-View channel, and are upset and worried because it is currently unavailable. I've also just seen an online article stoking the fear fires, with a headline claiming 'Dish Drops EastEnders', but that article looks (to me) like it was planted to garner publicity for the source (something we've seen before), and has little relation to the facts (which is why I'm not posting it here). If you have seen it, do not let it alarm you. From what I have gathered, you should not be alarmed at all. If you read this statement below, put out by Dish and BBC Worldwide, you'll see this could possibly be something fantastic for all of us:
"The EastEnders TV series is temporarily unavailable as a new distribution model is being finalized by Dish and BBC Worldwide. We regret any inconvenience and remain committed to promptly returning this content to our customers."

This statement does not say 'dropped' or cancelled. It says temporarily unavailable. It says they are committed to returning it. It looks positive to me. The alarmist article mentioned above has little relation to the actual statement. The article is entirely negative, and by the way, it is also negative about EastEnders itself, referring to the truly fabulous storyline and episodes around the 30th anniversary as, 'stunt programming'. Somehow, I doubt any fan who watched that story arc would dismiss it that way.

We have no more details other than the statement at this time, but here's why this statement COULD indicate something great: Many people could never get Dish Network, either because of their location or because it meant they had to give up certain channels (like PBS). But Dish has a new streaming TV service, called SlingTV. To get this service you do not need to have the actual satellite Dish (which is what prevents most people from getting it). Anyone with internet can get their streaming service. If they start offering current EastEnders episodes on their subscription streaming service, everyone in the US will be able to watch EastEnders! And if that happens, everybody wins. Imagine THAT!

It could be that this is the BBC's way of cleaning up all the pirate stuff and getting paid for their content - and the BBC should be paid for their content! Since BBCAmerica cancelled EastEnders, most fans, desperate to watch the current episodes, have been left relying on methods that are unreliable and dodgy. There are even people (pirates) hijacking BBC iPlayer and charging people a subscription fee! This could correct all that. The BBC has a great product (EastEnders) that people in the US want to buy, but there has been no way for them to distribute it. This could be the answer for everyone. It could help the BBC recover the revenue it deserves (and needs to keep the show going strong), and give fans across the country a way to easily watch EastEnders! FINALLY! Keep your fingers crossed that this it it!

Here's another reason to be positive: Dish Network has always treated EastEnders fans well. Fans need to remember that. After BBCA cancelled the show in 2003, Dish Network was the only place that listened to fans and offered us a way to watch (though unfortunately, most of us don't have access to it). Streaming would fix that.

I think that for now at least, Dish should be given the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to do the right thing. Stay tuned to see how this plays out, and by all means, stay positive because there is every reason to be! . . .

That's my opinion based on what I've seen. 

~Deborah Gilbert

***This article was originally published in The E20 Chronicles, the FREE EastEnders e-newsletter. If you'd like a free subscription, just email me at: E20Launderette @

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Our EastEnders Pledge Drive on WLIW Hits the Goal Again!

This clip from this week's E20Chronicles, EastEnders e-newsletter says it all!: Success! More news to come from WLIW about EastEnders and other terrific British telly, so stay tuned!...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Support EastEnders on WLIW21 New York & You Might Win Great EE Memorabilia Autographed by Shane Richie!

We are nearing the end of our 2014 EastEnders WLIW21 Pledge Drive But you still have time to get your pledge in to support another year of EastEnders on PBS station WLIW21 New York. Please check out the post directly below this one for all the details. 

Your tax deductible donation to 'WLIW21' will enter you in a drawing to win one of these great EastEnders items (pictured above) autographed by Shane Richie.

Don't know how to pledge? Go to PBS station WLIW21's dedicated EastEnders page, or check out the post directly under this one for all the details.


Monday, February 17, 2014


EastEnders on WLIW Alert!: Some of you have asked how our recent WLIW Pledge breaks did, and I have the results: We did not yet hit our goal and again, as in recent years past, WLIW has asked us to partner with them to help raise the balance needed to pay for another year of the BBC licensing fee for EastEnders. The good news is we are more than half way there - and actually, it's also good news that WLIW comes to us every year and wants to partner with us!

 Below is more information as to how you can help us reach our goal, and there are 2 ways you can contribute.

First: WLIW has created a dedicated EastEnders Pledge Page, on their secure website, where you can go contribute ANY amount. And I do mean ANY amount! You can pledge for any of the fun EastEnders gifts there (like the tote bag pictured here) But we know that things may be tough for some and you may not be able to make a larger pledge (for a gift), so on this new dedicated EastEnders Pledge Page there is a "no gift" button (at the top left). When you click on that button you can pledge any amount and it gets credited to EastEnders. Even if it is smaller amounts like $10 or $25, it all adds up - like snowflakes!! We aren't snowed under by one big flake; it is a gazillion tiny flakes that have piled up (and up and up!) So here's a zen-like request: Be a snowflake and help our EastEnders pledges pile up!
Please go to WLIW's EastEnders pledge page here: 

Second: If you prefer, you can do what we have done in the past and send in a check made out to "WLIW21", to my P.O. Box. If you include a SASE (self-addressed, stamped envelope) I will return your check if we don't hit our goal - though we always do hit our goal (knock wood, kine hora, pooh pooh!) and so I always end up using those SASEs to mail you the results and a thank you letter. But if that is the way you feel most comfortable pledging, please do use that option. When the drive is over and we hit our goal, I will turn over the stack of checks to WLIW. The address is below in the EASTENDERS FOREVER section.

'It's like deja vu all over again.' ~Yogi Berra: Who doesn't love Yogi? And who (here, at least) doesn't love EastEnders? When I met with staffers at WLIW after last year's successful drive, they said they thought that this was the most effective way to fund EastEnders; to combine the regular pledge breaks with these drives we organize. It would be nice if we didn't have to do this; if everyone just called in to pledge during the pledge breaks, but we understand that some Easties simply feel more comfortable pledging this way, to one of these special drives. And so here we are again! Hopefully you'll all come through again this year!

***Your pledge, no matter what way you send it, enters you in a drawing to win EastEnders memorabilia autographed by Shane Richie.

As always, if you have any questions about any of this, please just email me here at the Launderette:


Some of you may have already received this postcard (below). If you haven't, here it is:

Dear EastEnders Fan,

As you may know, EastEnders is a series purchased from the BBC by WLIW for
our viewing pleasure.  We Easties are as appreciative of EastEnders as WLIW is of our devoted viewership.  Did you know that the majority of funding for WLIW to purchase programs like EastEnders comes from donor-member-viewers like us?

If you love EE enough to want it to continue, please mail your checks of $60 or $100 or whatever amount is right for you, made out to WLIW21 by April 1st  to:

PO BOX 1106
NY, NY  10113

If you prefer to donate online, go to where you can select an EE thank you gift or pledge your entire contribution to support programming on WLIW.

As always, if you have any questions, please email me. 

Many thanks for your continued support of EastEnders on WLIW.


Debbie Gilbert    

***If you got, or even if you didn't, we hope you will respond again, as so many of you have responded in the past, and pledge either by sending in your check made out to 'WLIW21', or by going to WLIW's secure, dedicated EastEnders Pledge Page:


Sunday, March 17, 2013


Congratulations, YOU DID IT! The call went out to all Easties, to help WLIW raise the balance needed to pay the BBC's licensing fees for another year of EastEnders: $15,000 was needed and once again you responded. You sent $15,250 in checks made out to WLIW to my P.O. Box (I went to their offices this past Wednesday to deliver the big stack of checks!) And even more of you clicked on the direct link in my E20 Chronicles e-newsletter, to pledge via WLIW's dedicated EastEnders Pledge page - a page they created just to help our drive. (I don't have the final tally on those yet, but the bottom line is we succeeded!) You Easties are amazing!

What is also amazing is the partnership between EastEnders fans and WLIW, and it demonstrates what we can do when we work together on the same team.

WLIW asked me to pass this message along to you:

"WLIW is extremely grateful to all of the loyal Eastenders viewers. Your direct support and generosity is why this series remains on our air. We are happy to bring you another season of Eastenders on WLIW 21. On behalf of all of us here at WLIW, Thank you!" 
Mark Cataldo, Senior Director, On-Air Fundraising & Donor Services

That's it for now Easties. If you would like to keep up with all things EastEnders, (including our fan events here in NYC) please make sure you sign up for my FREE, weekly EastEnders newsletter, The E20 Chronicles.
The E20Chronicles is the only way to find out what's going on with EastEnders here in the States. To sign up, just email me here at the Launderette: E20Launderette at gmail dot com

Thank you to all you Easties who participated in this drive! Because of you, all EastEnders fans get to enjoy another year of EastEnders on WLIW. TA!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

EastEnders/WLIW Drive Update!

Good News Easties!: We are very close to meeting our goal for our special WLIW EastEnders drive. And, of course, because we have teamed up with WLIW to do this, they are doing their bit as well. Tonight, before each EastEnders episode, you saw a message from WLIW President John Servidio, making his appeal. 

If you haven't pledged yet, please do! All the pledge information is in the post below (in my last post). Thank you to all who have participated already & if you haven't it's not too late! Please check out all the info in the post directly below this one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

URGENT: Save EastEnders on WLIW21

Dear Easties,

WLIW has contacted me to let us know that the on-air fundraising for EastEnders this year did not raise enough money for WLIW21 to buy another year of the series. We are $15,000 short of what is needed and the new contract must be signed at the end of March. Given this shortfall coupled with already tight budgets, the program director cannot justify re-signing unless we help.

If we EastEnders fans cannot raise that money by March 15, EastEnders will no longer air on WLIW21. They have made it very clear that this is not any kind of a threat or bluff: It's just an economic reality for the station.

It is actually a testament to the relationship the EastEnders fan community has developed with WLIW21 over the last seven years that they did not just cancel the show. Instead, they contacted me to let us know that the show is in trouble and are giving us the opportunity to help them keep EastEnders on the air. Please know our loyal viewership and involvement with WLIW21 has been a continual source of pride for the station. They love it that they broadcast a show like EastEnders that viewers are so passionate about that we independently mobilize to partner with them, to fund it and keep it on the air. This is the very definition of Public Broadcasting!

But another reality is this: EastEnders is one of the most expensive shows that WLIW21 purchases, and the programming department simply does not have the funds for it… unless fans support it. And we have to support it every year.

So what can you give to secure another year of EastEnders? We are suggesting pledge levels of $60 and $100 because we need to raise the money quickly. Any pledge amount would help and be gratefully accepted!

We have done this before Easties, and we can do it again! We have partnered with WLIW to help them get the funds they need for EastEnders to continue: Now all we need is you to join us! Please respond to this call to action as soon as you can and to get updates, please check back here and/or sign up for the free EastEnders e-newsletter, The E20 Chronicles.

There are two ways to donate…

Option #1: You can pledge on WLIW's website via this link:


On WLIW's website link above there are 3 different pledge gift packages offered, PLEASE NOTE: If you pledge online you must get a pledge gift for your pledge to count for EastEnders. If you check the 'no gift' option, your pledge is not designated for EastEnders and doesn't count towards our $15K goal.

Option #2: OR- Send a check made out to 'WLIW/Channel 21', but mail it to me at:

Save EastEnders
c/o D. Gilbert
P.O. Box 1106
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10113

Just as with the drives I've organized in the past, we will collect the checks and if we do NOT hit the goal, your checks will be returned to you -- if you enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
*Please note that donations made on the website will be added to the general WLIW21 Programming Fund if we do not hit the goal.

If you want to another year of EastEnders on WLIW, the time for you to act is NOW! If you have any questions, please email me any time: E20Launderette at gmail . com


Debbie Gilbert

***BTW, raising $15,000 should be totally doable for EastEnders: that’s just 250 people pledging $60, or 150 people pledging $100. Together, we can do this!!


Anyone who sends in a check for this drive will be entered to winsome great EastEnders memorabilia!