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PBS KIDS GO! CHANNEL TO LAUNCH OCTOBER 2006
New 24-Hour Digital Broadcast Channel Devoted Exclusively to Programming For Early
Elementary School Kids
New Series and New Spanish Language Block
ARLINGTON, VA, April 4, 2006 – PBS announces the planned
launch of a new 24-hour digital broadcast channel for early elementary
school-age children, called the PBS KIDS GO! Channel, in October 2006. The new
channel, which follows the success of the PBS KIDS GO! afternoon programming
block on PBS member stations, will be entirely devoted to early elementary
school kids, an audience with limited choices for media content that is
educational and entertaining. The announcement was made today by Lesli
Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, PBS KIDS Next Generation Media.
"This age group is just entering school and is experiencing unique, first-time life
events but they have limited educational entertainment choices that support this
very important developmental stage," commented Rotenberg. "As an extension of
the PBS KIDS GO! block, the PBS KIDS GO! Channel provides this inquisitive,
curious and media savvy age group with fun, educationally based programming that
fulfills our mission of empowering today's 'big' kids to discover themselves,
explore new relationships and embrace a love of learning."
FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, produced by WGBH Boston, premieres during PBS KIDS GO! on PBS
member stations' national broadcast service beginning May 29 and will be a part
of the PBS KIDS GO! Channel in October. Part game show, part reality TV and part
spoof, the series features real kids, real challenges, real science, and an
unreal animated host - a dog named Ruff Ruffman. FETCH! is funded in large part
by the National Science Foundation and focuses on real world science, following
kids as they ask questions, conduct experiments and actively investigate the
world around them. The series also demonstrates how the hugely popular reality
television genre can be a great venue for kids to develop problem-solving skills
and teamwork. At the same time, it offers young viewers an important perspective
on competition by letting them know that the value of an experience doesn't lie
in the outcome alone - it reveals itself in the journey. Kids can get a sneak
peek of FETCH! by visiting the series companion site on pbskidsgo.org.
Other new additions
to the PBS KIDS GO! Channel will include: KIDSWORLD SPORTS, WISHBONE and KRATTS'
CREATURES in 2006, and ANIMALIA in 2007. Each of these programs will also have a
new companion Internet site on pbskidsgo.org.
KIDSWORLD SPORTS (Breakthrough Films & Television, Tele Images Kids and
Fresh Produce) - Created by Steven Hecht and Kevin Gillis, KIDSWORLD SPORTS is a
high-octane, jam-packed factual sports series that encourages and inspires kids
to strive for athletic excellence. The series showcases the best young sporting
talent in the world today, their dreams, struggles, successes and how their love
of sports dramatically affects their lives and the overall impact it has on
friends, families and communities. Each episode features two young athletes
competing in some of the most unique and fascinating sports at major events such
as a national team tryout, the "big game" or the "scouting visit." For example,
one storyline follows USA Olympic Snowboarding gold medalist, Shaun White, four
years before he made the Olympic team.
WISHBONETM (HIT Entertainment) - WISHBONE is a live-action series featuring
an adventurous, playful and imaginative Jack Russell terrier named Wishbone.
Wishbone loves to bring books to life for children and their families by
introducing great, classic stories that inspire imagination. With the core
curriculum built around literacy, Wishbone encourages children to make creative
connections between their lives and classic works of literature and demonstrates
to children how much fun reading can be.
KRATTS' CREATURES (Paragon Entertainment in association with The Kratt
Brothers Company and Maryland Public Television) - KRATTS' CREATURES is a nature
series using an innovative high-energy mix of comedy, drama, wildlife filming
and computer-generated graphics. The series introduces kids to all types of
creatures in exotic lands, as well as those in their own backyards. In each
episode, Martin and Chris Kratt - self-described "creature adventurers" - talk
directly to the audience in a way that not only informs but also entertains and
encourages kids to get out and explore their worlds.
ANIMALIA (PorchLight Entertainment and Burberry Productions) - Coming to the
PBS KIDS GO! Channel in 2007, ANIMALIA features two contemporary kids, Zoe and
Alex, who visit the extraordinary land of Animalia, a spectacular place
inhabited by talking animals from the pages of Graeme Base's classic book.
Mysterious events have undermined the very fabric of Animalian civilization and
Zoe and Alex and their new best friends, Gogo and Iggy (a huge green gorilla and
a small but heroic iguana) will do everything they can to restore peace and
order to Animalia. The series is produced in CGI animation and blends comedy,
adventure and mystery in its stories, opening young viewers' eyes to the vast
power of language and introducing them to the importance of communication
Favorites from the current PBS KIDS GO! programming line-up will
also be a part of the channel including MAYA & MIGUEL, POSTCARDS FROM
BUSTER, ARTHUR, CYBERCHASE, ZOOM and DRAGONFLY TV. The PBS KIDS GO! programming
block launched in October 2004 and continues to be a success with early
elementary school viewers. PBS has seen a 17% increase in national viewership
among 6 to 8 year olds, while remaining steady with preschoolers during the
afternoon time period.
Also new to the PBS KIDS GO! Channel will be a
Spanish language block called "Vayan!" (which means "go" in Spanish). The
one-hour block will include existing PBS KIDS GO! series, such as MAYA &
MIGUEL and CYBERCHASE, in Spanish with English subtitles. With the addition of
this block, not only is PBS continuing to serve the fastest growing segment of
the U.S. population but it is also providing tools for students who are learning
Spanish as a second language. PBS' daytime audience already exceeds the
percentages of minority breakdowns that make up the U.S. population - for
example, Hispanics compose 12.5% of PBS' Daytime audience but only 9.8% of the
In addition, PBS KIDS GO! will reinforce the importance
of family co-viewing with evenings dedicated to a "GO! Family" block. Further,
as all of PBS KIDS GO! programming features educational curriculum available for
use in the classroom, the PBS KIDS GO! Channel will reinforce the role media can
play in education by designating an hour each day, called "GO! Figure," with a
consistent curriculum theme, such as science. Supplemental resources tied to
state educational standards are available online for educators at pbsteachersource.org and games and
activities for kids on the "GO! Figure" section of pbskidsgo.org
The PBS KIDS GO!
Channel is part of the PBS KIDS Next Generation Media initiative, the previously
announced broad-based five year initiative that provides a framework for
addressing the changing digital children's media landscape and the way kids
consume media today. Consistent with that mission, the PBS KIDS GO! Channel will
feature age-appropriate interactive content at pbskidsgo.org and on the Internet sites for
the new broadcast series.
According to studies conducted by the Kaiser
Family Foundation, kids today are spending an increasing amount of time online.
Pbskidsgo.org not only offers
complementary activities to extend the learning in its broadcast series, it also
offers Internet-only sites such as It's My Life, EekoWorld and Backyard Jungle,
which offer early elementary school kids a valuable resource to learn about the
world around them in an engaging environment.
In January 2005, the
Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) made an agreement with the
National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in which cable
operators agreed to carry as many as four program streams from all public
television stations in their markets once the digital transition is complete. To
better meet the needs of this important audience in their communities, PBS
member stations will also continue to provide an original schedule for the PBS
KIDS GO! after-school line-up on their national broadcast service.
PBS KIDS is committed to providing the highest-quality non-commercial content and
learning environment for children across the country. Providing age-appropriate,
diverse programming for kids, PBS KIDS' programs consistently earn more
prestigious awards than any other broadcast or cable network. Only PBS KIDS has
earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and
teachers. With additional PBS resources to complement its programming, including
pbskids.org, pbskidsgo.org, pbsparents.org, pbsteachersource.org, PBS Ready To
Learn services and literacy events across the country, PBS KIDS is providing the
tools necessary for positive child development. PBS is a nonprofit media
enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 348 public television stations,
serving nearly 90 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.
Jill Corderman, PBS KIDS,
Alan Winnikoff, 212.679.2982/ email@example.com
Sayles, 609.397.6200/ firstname.lastname@example.org