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WPBS to Premiere MASTERPIECE Limited Series “Mr Bates vs The Post Office” Sunday, April 7, 2024

WATERTOWN, NY (April 1, 2024) – Following one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in British legal history, Mr Bates vs The Post Office was created with direct input from the innocent – and indomitable – people caught up in it. Following the UK broadcast on ITV, the series has set off a firestorm of public interest and, within eight days of premiering, the Prime Minister announced a new law to pardon the victims who had been wrongly convicted. The stellar ensemble cast is led by BAFTA award-winning Toby Jones (Empire of Light, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Sherlock) as Alan Bates and will premiere on Sunday, April 7, 2024 on MASTERPIECE on WPBS-TV.

When money started to seemingly disappear from its local branches, the government- owned Post Office wrongly blamed their own managers for its apparent loss. For more than a decade, hundreds were accused of theft and fraud, and many were even sent to prison – leaving lives, marriages, and reputations in ruins. But the issue was actually caused by errors in the Post Office’s own computer system – something it denied for years. Revealing a shocking David vs. Goliath fight for justice, this is the story of the decent ordinary people who were relentlessly pursued, coerced and controlled by a powerful corporation, and their ongoing battle, against seemingly insurmountable odds, to right so many horrific wrongs.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office is the UK’s most-watched drama of 2024 so far and ITV’s biggest new drama launch in over a decade averaging 13.1 million viewers, with hundreds of thousands still catching up on ITVX every day, beating the launch of Downton Abbey in 2010.

Patrick Spence, Executive Producer, said “Our ambition in telling this story was simply that the Subpostmasters felt heard. We were so angry on their behalf, we wanted others to feel it too. And they did: the whole country is angry now! They rose up to stand beside the Subpostmasters with such determination and such rage that the Prime Minister had no choice but to act within days. They certainly feel heard now.’

Natasha Bondy, Executive Producer, Little Gem added “It was impossible not to empathise with the Subpostmasters at the heart of this scandal. People who’d been forced to question their own sanity and the behaviour of loved ones and employees, at the hands of a trusted institution. Getting their stories to a wider public so that everyone could understand what they’ve been through, was our biggest hope.”

Susanne Simpson, MASTERPIECE Executive Producer says, “Mr Bates vs The Post Office is a testament to the people who persisted in their search for truth and justice. The producers of this powerful drama have reignited the public interest in the Subpostmasters’ 20-year quest for justice. I’m incredibly proud that MASTERPIECE will bring this story to the American audience.” MASTERPIECE is presented on PBS by GBH Boston.

Writer Gwyneth Hughes commented, “I’ve spent a lot of time with the Subpostmasters at the heart of this fightback, whose lives were turned upside down by this appalling business. They are a very British bunch of lively, interesting and indomitable people who never gave up, and I’m honoured to bring their stories to an international audience. I still find it just astonishing, and deeply troubling, that this could have happened in my country; I confess it’s shaken my confidence in British justice. So it’s been extraordinary and humbling to witness how a huge television audience can force change.”

Monica Dolan (The Thief, His Wife and The Canoe), Julie Hesmondhalgh (The Pact, The Trouble With Maggie Cole), Alex Jennings (This Is Going to Hurt, The Crown), Ian Hart (The Responder), Lia Williams (The Crown, The Capture), Will Mellor (Coronation Street, No Offence), Clare Calbraith (Grace, Anne), Shaun Dooley (Gentleman Jack, It’s A Sin), Amit Shah (Happy Valley) Lesley Nicol (Downton Abbey) Adam James (The Suspect, Vigil) and Katherine Kelly (Bloods, Gentleman Jack) round out the cast.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office will premiere on MASTERPIECE on WPBS on April 7, 2024 at 9:00 pm on broadcast and will be available to stream on,, the PBS App, the WPBS App and the PBS MASTERPIECE Prime Video Channel.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office is an ITV Studios and Little Gem production for ITV and ITVX commissioned for UK audiences by ITV’s Head of Drama Polly Hill. It is distributed internationally by ITV Studios. The writer is Gwyneth Hughes. The director is James Strong. The executive producers are Patrick Spence, Gwyneth Hughes, James Strong, Joe Williams, Natasha Bondy and Ben Gale. The producer is Chris Clough.

WPBS-TV will also broadcast the companion documentary: The Real Story of Mr Bates vs The Post Office on Sunday, April 28 at 11:00 pm.


Winner of 83 Primetime Emmys® and 18 Peabody Awards, MASTERPIECE has been essential Sunday night viewing for millions of fans since 1971. Susanne Simpson is the executive producer and Rebecca Eaton is the executive producer-at-large for the series. Series funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking Cruises, Raymond James, The MASTERPIECE Trust, and public television viewers. Produced for PBS by GBH Boston, MASTERPIECE is known for hits such as All Creatures Great and Small, Sherlock, Downton Abbey and Victoria, and beloved classics such as Upstairs Downstairs, Prime Suspect, The Forsyte Saga and Poldark.

About WPBS

WPBS is a PBS station serving approximately 650,000 households throughout Northern New York and Eastern Ontario via cable, satellite, Internet and over-the-air distribution. WPBS is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, inform, and engage its two-nation region with exceptional and trusted content across multiple platforms. Its vision is to be the premier provider of extraordinary public media that instills wonder and curiosity across generations and borders. More information about WPBS, including a full channel listing, is available at, or by following WPBS on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.