PBSLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 12/12/18 at 1:45PM EST
Sesame Street to have a Muppet experience homelessness for the first time
The pink Muppet Lily, who was introduced in 2011, will become "the first Muppet we've created whose storyline includes that she is experiencing homelessness," said Sherrie Westin, president of global impact and philanthropy for Sesame Workshop. New videos will show how Lily's family lost their home. "When Lily was first launched, she came out as part of the food insecurity initiative. So she's not brand new, but this seemed like a really perfect extension of her story, so that we could use her to help children identify with," said Westin. "With any of our initiatives, our hope is that we're not only reaching the children who can identify with that Muppet but that we're also helping others to have greater empathy and understanding of the issue."
Posted Monday 12/10/18 at 3:21PM EST
Mister Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? will premiere on HBO and PBS in February
The Fred Rogers documentary will not only screen on HBO on Feb. 9, but will also air as a special presentation on PBS' Independent Lens in honor of the kids' TV icon's commitment to public television.
Posted Thursday 12/06/18 at 8:43PM EST
Appreciating Square One: The PBS kids' show made it cool to love math
Source: BuzzFeed News
Buzzfeed News looks back with fondness at the math-themed kids' TV show. "Square One, which was created by the Children’s Television Workshop and aired across the nation on PBS from 1987 to 1992, wasn’t as long-running as Sesame Street or Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and has never been the same kind of ubiquitous cultural touchstone," says Anne Helen Petersen. "But like the best children’s television, it implanted itself — and its attitude — into millions of children’s minds. That attitude was pretty simple: Math is weird, and cool, and filled with secrets, and fun. I loved Square One then, and I love it now, because it took math — something most kids are conditioned to think is boring, and confusing — and used it to teach me that knowledge, and curiosity, will always be cool. The show was 30 minutes long and, like Sesame Street (which was mostly targeted to younger, preschool-age kids), consisted of a series of skits, cartoons, and ongoing, loosely serialized narratives. It featured a small yet diverse cast of actors, many of whom would go on to star in other, non-kid-oriented shows (which had the effect, at least on this kid and her brother, of blowing our minds). And it excelled at enthralling young people while cleverly invoking cultural references that only made sense to our parents."
Posted Monday 12/03/18 at 1:18PM EST
See the trailer for Les Misérables
The six-part BBC/PBS Masterpiece series based on the Victor Hugo novel stars Lili Collins, Olivia Colman, Dominic West and David Oyelowo.
Posted Monday 11/12/18 at 2:39PM EST
Watch Ruth Wilson play her own grandmother in the trailer for Mrs. Wilson
Source: The Mary Sue
The three-part Masterpiece drama, which PBS is co-producing with BBC, features The Affair star playing her grandma, Alison Wilson, in the true story of her discovery that her husband, spy novelist Alec Wilson, was actually a real spy who had a secret wife.
Posted Monday 10/29/18 at 5:21PM EDT
Frontline's "The Facebook Dilemma" is deeply disturbing
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The PBS documentary series' two-part investigation, airing tonight and Tuesday, examines Facebook's privacy issues and the chilling way it is used by foreign powers. "If this deeply disturbing investigative report doesn't scare you straight, nothing will," says Frank Scheck, who adds: "The documentary details to chilling effect how Facebook is exploited by Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte to harm his enemies and how it plays a significant role in the ethnic violence and genocide in Myanmar. It also briefly touches on the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Zuckerberg's subsequent deer-in-the-headlights testimony before Congress."
Posted Friday 10/26/18 at 5:20AM EDT
Former PBS Newshour employee sues, alleging he was fired after saying "not bad" while looking at a photo of Meghan Markle
Hugh Heckman, a former editor on the PBS news show, says his comments were met with complaints from two of his co-workers. According to his lawsuit, "plaintiff was embarrassed and upset by this criticism of his innocently intended comment, and immediately explained that he had not intended any sexually harassing remark." Heckman was fired two days after making the comment.
Posted Tuesday 10/23/18 at 9:28PM EDT
Watch Victoria's Season 3 trailer
The Jenna Coleman Masterpiece Queen Victoria period series returns to PBS on Jan. 13.
Posted Wednesday 10/17/18 at 9:37PM EDT
In praise of Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch
Source: The New York Times
In Caroll Spinney's Sesame Street retirement announcement Wednesday morning, Big Bird got many of the headlines. But in addition to playing Big Bird, Spinning also voiced the famously grumpy, trash can-dwelling Oscar the Grouch. "He hates talking to people, complains all the time and treasures an old fish wrapped in newspaper and his pet, Slimey the Worm," Karen Zraick writes of Oscar. "But Oscar’s curmudgeonly nature and his dirty, matted green fur make him all the more endearing to his admirers. And with his constant kvetching, he offers kids lessons about how to handle conflict or negative emotions, like annoyance or anger." ALSO: Watch Sesame Street's tribute to Caroll Spinney.
Posted Wednesday 10/17/18 at 10:21AM EDT
Caroll Spinney exiting Sesame Street after nearly 50 years of playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch
Source: The New York Times
This week is the 84-year-old Spinney's last on the beloved children's TV show. The puppeteer, who has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since Sesame Street's 1969 launch, will formally retire on Thursday. “I always thought, How fortunate for me that I got to play the two best Muppets? Playing Big Bird is one of the most joyous things of my life," Spinney told The New York Times of his exit. Asked if he had long been contemplating his departure from Sesame Street, Spinney answered, “No, not at all.” Spinney said the physical requirements of performing the characters had taken a toll. He gave up on puppeteering Big Bird in 2015 and has only provided the voices for him and Oscar in recent years. Spinney felt the impending 50th anniversary of Sesame Street was the perfect time to retire. Spinney will be succeeded by Matt Vogel, who has been his Big Bird apprentice since 1996. Vogel, who also voices Kermit the Frog and Count von Count, saw succeeding Spinney as “daunting and important." “The more I do the character, the more that I try to preserve what I think Caroll’s intentions were,” said Vogel. “Inevitably, part of our own personality starts to creep into those characters. But that’s the way they live on.”
Posted Thursday 10/11/18 at 7:53PM EDT
Tavis Smiley: PBS is about to accuse me of misappropriating public funds
The former PBS host who was fired last year over sexual misconduct allegations once again slammed the public broadcaster. “I’m hearing that they will be falsely accusing me of misappropriating public funds,” he wrote in a post on his website. “A case that started out being about sexual misconduct has now turned into a case of money mismanagement. Neither accusation is true. Nonetheless, PBS hired an outside accounting firm to conduct a months-long audit of my television show covering multiple years, and not a cent is unaccounted for over those seasons. Never a single infraction, as PBS accountants gave us a clean bill of financial health, year after year." PBS has yet to respond to Smiley's post.
Posted Tuesday 10/02/18 at 4:56AM EDT
PBS comes out on top at the News & Documentary Emmys
PBS scored seven Emmy Awards at Monday's ceremony, edging out CBS and HBO, which tied for No. 2 with six apiece.
Posted Thursday 9/27/18 at 5:09PM EDT
Check out Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers
Source: BuzzFeed News
Sony Pictures released the first image of Hanks as the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood kids' TV icon in the upcoming movie You Are My Friend about Fred Rodgers' relationship with journalist Tom Junod.
Posted Tuesday 9/25/18 at 6:56PM EDT
Ken Burns turns his documentary lens on the famed Mayo Clinic
Source: Star Tribune
Burns' two-hour PBS documentary, The Mayo Clinic: Faith-Hope-Science, premieres tonight as an "unabashed love letter" to the Minnesota not-for-profit medical institution.
Posted Friday 9/21/18 at 1:26PM EDT
Google Doodle animated video pays tribute to Mister Rogers
Google made a stop-motion animated video of Fred Rogers to celebrate the 51st anniversary of him first taping his iconic kid's show.