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 skills.
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 U.S. population.
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, 703.739.5788/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Winnikoff, 212.679.2982/ email@example.com
Carina Sayles, 609.397.6200/ firstname.lastname@example.org