Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager of Children’s Programming at PBS, recently spoke about the network and its commitment to helping nurture young viewers. “At PBS KIDS, our mission is to foster a love of learning in every child,” she said. “We want to empower kids to actively pursue a passion or an interest long after the screen is turned off.”
It’s hard to believe, but in September Sesame Street will begin its 44th season. Yes, it has been 44 years since we were introduced to the wonderful and memorable characters on Sesame Street. As the show progresses through the years, new characters have been added. I remember when Abby Cadabby was introduced and the love young kids had and still have for the bumbling fairy-in-training.
During the new season, Cookie Monster will star in a new segment called “Cookies’ Crumby Pictures.” This adorable cookie-eating blue fellow has a popular fan base spanning generations. “Give me cookie!” Also during this new season, a new Latino member of the show will be introduced. His name is Armando and he will interact a lot with the other Hispanic actors, Maria and Luis, and also the delightful Rosita, the Latina Muppet and Ovejita, the other Spanish speaking Muppet.
I spoke with Lesli at the recent Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, where she was eager and excited about their newest program, Peg + Cat, which premiers in September 2013. “Last year we introduced Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” That show was “based on the philosophy of Fred Rogers,” as is the new show Peg + Cat. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is targeted to kids 2-5 and so far has reached over eight million young viewers.
PBS KIDS has a plethora of great fun and educational shows for youngsters including the adorable Curious George, Dinosaur Train, Martha Speaks, Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, The Cat in the Hat, Angelina Ballerina, Arthur, Bob the Builder, Caillou, Sid the Science Kid, Word Girl, Barney & Friends, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and the new Peg + Cat. Not only are these shows accessible on TV, they also have accompanying activities online and for mobile devices.
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Sesame Street were nominated for the 2013 TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming. Sesame Street has won dozens of Emmy Awards, Sid the Science Kid has been nominated for several Emmys and other awards, as have Barney & Friends, Dinosaur Train, Martha Speaks, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, and other PBS KIDS shows.
PBS KIDS is where young viewers can go at any time to be entertained and learn about everything from the alphabet, how to solve problems, counting, and how to dealing with life. In this age when TV is filled with violence and sex, it is a bright light in the often-dismal world of television. PBS KIDS is where parents can set the TV dial and feel confident and comfortable with their children’s television viewing.