How to get showreel footage from TV channels
I had with issue with getting a copy of some footage for a historical documentary I shot for a production company that was to be shown on ITV 3 and 1. Simply put, all you need to do is to just get in contact with them! Any production company worth their salt should always be willing to provide actor's footage or a copy of the show they performed in; unlike some small scale or private people or companies working on short films etc, big production companies do care a lot more about their reputation. In getting a copy of my work, all I did was track them down online (if you don't know or can't remember who it was, your agent should have the information), and send them an email or give them a call. Tell them who you are and what you worked on, and they should know it straight away or know the relevant person to talk to. In my case they sent me a copy of the show straight away and the footage was on my showreel soon after. If they don't oblige, you need to - politely - keep on to them, until they give you a copy of what is rightfully yours. Also let them know that it's just for personal showreel use and not for broadcast or distribution, if they have an issue with this. If that still doesn't work, then tell your agent if you haven't done so already, and they will be able to keep the pressure on them as well. And if that still doesn't work, you should contact Equity and see what they can do for you in obtaining a copy of your work. As the vast majority of any given production company's performers will hold a membership with Equity, and they probably don't want to get in trouble with them, that should be sufficient to get you your footage. However the chance of it getting that far is very unlikely; just simply asking them should do the job nicely.