Having read, with obvious interest, recent articles in Calendar dealing with the docudrama (" 'Manhunt'--How True?," by Jennifer Leonard and David Johnston, Oct. 26; and "Docudrama--The Awful Truth," by Bill Steigerwald, Nov. 2), I would like to share some thoughts with your readers.
Since 1977, CBS has maintained a unit within the Program Practices Department known as Dramas Based on Fact. The seasoned professionals therein are mandated with researching and verifying the accuracy of all movies and miniseries broadcast by CBS that have their roots in real-life events.
Dramas Based on Fact personnel have been charged with, and have been eminently successful in, examining literally hundreds of scripts with the intent of making programs more balanced, fair and accurate presentations.
Additionally, the past nine years have been marked by a continuous process of fine-tuning the criteria applied to such stories with a genuine concern for and awareness of the myriad perceptions inherent in a diverse audience.
As long as producers and writers of television movies actively pursue stories that dramatize real-life events, the Dramas Based on Fact unit at CBS will continue to contribute important perspectives concerning program content.
These decisions, it would seem, are easier to criticize than they are to make.
Vice President, Program Practices,