PBS KIDS Series' Viewership Jumps 33 Percent Among Children 4-8 and 17 Percent with 2-5-Year-Olds

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Arlington, VA, September 8, 2011 – With literacy and science curriculum-based series leading the charge, PBS KIDS is seeing a significant boost in ratings.  Four PBS KIDS series – SUPER WHY, CURIOUS GEORGE, THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! and DINOSAUR TRAIN landed in the top-10 kids programs among kids 2-5 in July. Three of those series were among the top-5 programs with 2-5-year-olds during the same period, according to Nielsen NPower national program ratings.

Continuing to serve more and more children with educational media, PBS KIDS programming overall was up 33% for the current season (September 20, 2010-July 31, 2011) among kids 4-8, and up 17% with kids 2-5.  As a group, viewership of all PBS KIDS programs is up 23% among 2-11 year-olds, which means PBS is reaching approximately 127,000 more kids this season in an average minute of programming.

Moms help fuel tune-in too; PBS KIDS was #1 in July among Ladies of the Household ages 18-49 with children under the age of 3, as PBS KIDS programs held the top six spots among their most-watched children’s series.

Recent ratings demonstrate that parents are turning to PBS KIDS’ educational series to help their kids build critical skills, especially during the summer months when kids are out of school and at a greater risk for learning loss.  Maintaining reading skills in particular proved to be important to families over the summer, as the PBS KIDS literacy series SUPER WHY took the number one spot for both Ladies of the Household, and – for the first time – for kids 2-5 in July.

PBS’ newly heightened focus on STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math – is also proving to resonate with viewers.  STEM-focused series CURIOUS GEORGE, THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! and DINOSAUR TRAIN continued to delight children in July, ranking third, fifth, and sixth among 2-5-year-olds, respectively.

“Years ago, we identified a gap in children’s media – there was very little content available for kids to build critical literacy and STEM skills – especially on TV,” said Lesli Rotenberg, senior vice president, Children’s Media, PBS.  “We saw this as an opportunity to develop great narratives grounded in core curricular areas. Since then, we’ve worked with the best producers in children’s programming to develop a lineup of preschool series that meet this need. And we’re seeing great results – it’s clear from our ratings that kids are responding to this content.”

Online, PBSKIDS.org continues to be the go-to location for kids and parents, with nearly 9 million unique visitors in June, a 15% increase over a year ago (Google Analytics, July 2010 - June 2011).  PBS KIDS has been the #1 kids site for free videos streamed based on the number of videos viewed for 10 consecutive months, from September 2010 through June 2011 (comScore Video Metrix June 2011). And PBS KIDS mobile apps have been downloaded over 1 million times.

“Kids are connecting the dots between what they see on-air and what they can do online, extending and elevating their learning experience with PBS KIDS properties,” said Rotenberg.  “Learning becomes more meaningful when kids are able to step into the driver’s seat with their favorite PBS KIDS characters and tackle math, reading, science and other educational games and activities.”

PBS KIDS also continues to be recognized with industry awards.  In June, PBS KIDS series won 12 Daytime Emmy Awards, marking the 14th consecutive year that PBS earned more Daytime Emmy Awards for its children’s programming than any other broadcast or cable network.

As high ratings, online and mobile content usage, and awards demonstrate, PBS KIDS is increasingly serving children wherever they live, learn, and play – on TV, online, through mobile devices, in the classroom, and with a new line of educational toys.


PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.


Maria Vera, PBS; 703.739.3225; mvera@pbs.org

Caitlin Melnick, 360 Public Relations; 617.585.5775; cmelnick@360publicrelations.com

Ratings Source: Nielsen NPower national program ratings for PBS KIDS properties and select cable networks (Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, The Hub, Nickelodeon, and Nick Jr.), 9/20/2010-7/31/2011.