New Series Selected from Innovative PBS Pilot Experiment
May 1, 2007, Arlington, VA - PBS has picked up the first season of WIRED SCIENCE, a production of KCET/Los Angeles in association with Wired Magazine, to premiere nationwide October 3, 2007, at 8 p.m. The 10-week primetime series translates Wired's award-winning journalism, design and irreverent attitude into a fast-paced, one-hour weekly television show that will span the globe to chronicle the scientific advances and technologies that are transforming the world.
WIRED SCIENCE will also have a strong online presence at www.pbs.org/wiredscience. The site, which re-launches in the fall, will feature streaming video of series stories, articles by Wired writers, opportunities for audience interaction and comprehensive educational resources that extend the viewer's experience beyond broadcast.
"We're looking forward to the launch of WIRED SCIENCE this fall and offering viewers the high-quality science fare they tell us they want from PBS," said John F. Wilson, senior vice president and chief TV programming executive, PBS. "WIRED was selected, in part, based on a combination of viewer feedback and audience research that PBS conducted as part of an innovative science pilot initiative earlier this year. The positive feedback we receive for WIRED along with Wired Magazine's editorial support, told us we had the top contender."
"WIRED SCIENCE imports the DNA of Wired Magazine into an exciting new medium for us," said Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired Magazine. "We're delighted to partner with KCET and PBS, as their viewers and our readers have a lot in common: We're all fascinated by the many ways that science and technology are changing the world around us."
"KCET is thrilled about the series launch of WIRED SCIENCE," said Al Jerome, KCET president and CEO. "As the producing PBS member station, we are excited to work with Wired Magazine and PBS as we take on the challenge of delivering on-air and online a weekly one-hour series that presents the crucial subjects of science and technology in a smart and compelling format."
The executive producer of WIRED SCIENCE is David Axelrod, Emmy winner for the NOVA special "Galileo's Battle for the Heavens." Executive producer for KCET is Karen Hunte. Executive in charge of production for KCET is Mary Mazur. Executive producer for Wired Magazine is Melanie Cornwell. Chris Anderson is Wired's editor in chief.
WIRED SCIENCE is the result of a PBS pilot initiative that was designed to find the next new PBS science series with input from viewers. Three pilots launched New Year's Day via streaming video online and as weekly broadcasts beginning January 3. It was the first time PBS had introduced full specials online in advance of the television broadcast, offering a unique interactive dialogue with viewers about the programs they seek from PBS.
The science pilots and Web sites were funded by a special grant co-managed by Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS. The initiative was inspired by the results of a CPB primetime research study that indicated strong viewer interest in PBS science-related programming. An initial request for proposals yielded more than 19 submissions, the pool from which the three finalists were selected.
The WIRED SCIENCE pilot explored the world of meteorite hunters, where space, commerce and art intersect; traveled to Yellowstone National Park to harvest viruses that may hold the key to a technology revolution; and went in search of "NEEMO," NASA's extreme underwater astronaut training program. Viewers met rocket-belt inventors, stem-cell explorers and Elon Musk, the entrepreneur whose electric Tesla roadster gets 250 miles per charge and goes from zero-to-60 mph in under four seconds. Visitors can still access information about the subjects featured in the pilot and view the full program online at PBS.org (www.pbs.org/wiredscience).
PBS is a media enterprise that serves 355 public noncommercial television stations and reaches over 75 million people each week through on-air and online content. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is a leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of other educational services. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (www.pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
KCET, the West Coast flagship station of PBS, produced the acclaimed Carl Sagan series Cosmos. In addition to Wired Science, KCET has two other national series: three-time NAACP Award winner Tavis Smiley and the Peabody Award-winning series A Place of Our Own/Los Ninos en Su Casa. KCET is also co-producing What's the Big Idea? with the Henson Company.
KCET and the BBC have co-produced nationally broadcast PBS specials, including Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, a chronological six-part exploration of the largest mass murder site in history; How Art Made the World, a lively and provocative five-part investigation into the far-reaching influence of art on society; and, in association with the Imperial War Museum, The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century, an eight-part series that was the first television production ever to go beyond the military and political history of World War I to reveal its ongoing social, cultural and personal impact.
KCET, public television for southern and central California, is watched by 4.6 million viewers per month in 11 counties, the largest broadcast reach of any public television station in the United States. The station also serves as a content provider for national and regional PBS member stations. Other series produced from the station's Hollywood studios include Life & Times and Huell Howser.
Throughout its more than 40-year history, KCET has garnered hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, and its outreach and community services. For additional information about KCET productions, Web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.
Since 1993, Wired Magazine has chronicled the people, companies, technologies and ideas that are transforming the world around us. Each month, Wired delivers a glimpse into the future of business, science, entertainment, education, culture and politics. Under the leadership of editor in chief Chris Anderson, Wired has been nominated for an unprecedented six consecutive National Magazine Awards for General Excellence, winning the industry's prestigious top prize in 2005. Wired Magazine and wired.com reach nearly 6 million readers per month.
Wired Magazine is part of the WIRED Media group, which consists of Wired Magazine, wired.com and Reddit. WIRED Media is a division of Conde Nast Publications.
Carrie Johnson, PBS (703) 739-5129; firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexandra Constantinople, Wired (415) 276-4962; email@example.com
Laurel Lambert, KCET (323) 953-5246; firstname.lastname@example.org
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