PBS Greenlights New Miniseries - Texas Ranch House (w.t.) (January 15, 2005)

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New PBS series for Spring 2006 follows in the footsteps of THE 1900 HOUSE, FRONTIER HOUSE, THE 1940S HOUSE, MANOR HOUSE, COLONIAL HOUSE and REGENCY HOUSE PARTY


Participant Search to Begin February 1st

(Revised 02/01/2005)

New York/Los Angeles; January 15, 2005 -- PBS hits the trail for the next series of experiential history television events with TEXAS RANCH HOUSE (w.t.), an eight-part series that will challenge a group of 20 intrepid time-travelers to experience the exhilaration and exhaustion of life in the Old West. Producers Thirteen/WNET New York and Wall To Wall Inc. saddle up once more, riding high on viewer and critical acclaim for previous projects.

"TEXAS RANCH HOUSE (w.t.) promises to take the hands-on history strand to a new cultural depth," said Jody Sheff, Thirteen/WNET New York's executive producer of history programs. "We're exploring the dynamics of America's multi-ethnic past, delving into the relationship between those diverse individuals who founded the young state of Texas, all while dispelling the romantic stereotypes of life on the open range in the Old West. And, what's more, it's going to be a hell of a lot of fun along the way, especially for viewers!"

"The Old West has inspired some of our greatest films and literature and remains a source of inspiration for American culture," said Jacoba Atlas, senior vice president, PBS Programming. "This latest production from Thirteen/WNET and Wall to Wall Inc. will give viewers an incredible window into what life was like and illuminate our history in a fresh way."

In this latest experiential history series, participants will ranch, rope, ride, and pass nights under the stars and in their haciendas as they experience life in the real West of the American cowboy. As it follows the daily challenges of the time-travelers, the program will also illuminate the fascinating story of merging cultures and changing social dynamics in post-Civil War Texas and explore the country's diverse ancestry, including the cultures of European immigrants, Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans.

Scheduled to begin filming in Texas this summer, the series is projected to air nationwide on PBS in the spring of 2006.

The production team will begin accepting applications for participants starting February 1, 2005. Applications and further information will be available online at pbs.org.

TEXAS RANCH HOUSE (w.t.) continues the tradition of "House" series developed and popularized by Thirteen/WNET and Wall to Wall Inc. for PBS. The string of hit programs began in the year 2000 with THE 1900 HOUSE (2000) and continued with FRONTIER HOUSE (2002), THE 1940S HOUSE (2002), MANOR HOUSE (2003), COLONIAL HOUSE (2004), and REGENCY HOUSE PARTY (2004).

PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have committed funding to TEXAS RANCH HOUSE (w.t.) and additional funding is being sought.

About Thirteen/WNET
Thirteen/WNET New York is one of the key program providers for public television, bringing such acclaimed series as NATURE, GREAT PERFORMANCES, AMERICAN MASTERS, CHARLIE ROSE, RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY, WIDE ANGLE, STAGE ON SCREEN, SECRETS OF THE DEAD, and CYBERCHASE - as well as the work of Bill Moyers - to audiences nationwide. As the flagship public broadcaster in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metro area, Thirteen reaches millions of viewers each week, airing the best of American public television along with its own local productions such as The Ethnic Heritage Specials, The Thirteen Walking Tours, New York Voices, and Reel New York. With educational and community outreach projects that extend the impact of its television productions, Thirteen takes television "out of the box." And as broadcast and digital media converge, Thirteen is blazing trails in the creation of Web sites, enhanced television, CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, educational software, and other cutting-edge media products. More information about Thirteen can be found at: www.thirteen.org.

About PBS
PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 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 the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet, averaging more than 30 million unique visits and 380 million page views per month in 2004. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.


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Caroline Oman, Thirteen/WNET New York, 212/560-3057; oman@thirteen.org

Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703/739-5129; cjohnson@pbs.org