PBS Kids

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PBS Kids
Logo used since July 19, 2022[a]
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersCrystal City, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Spanish (via SAP audio track)
Picture format
Sister channels
LaunchedJuly 11, 1994; 29 years ago (1994-07-11) (PTV)
September 6, 1999; 24 years ago (1999-09-06) (PBS Kids)
Former namesPTV (1994-1999)
WebcastWatch Live
(National Feed)

PBS Kids is the educational children's programming brand of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). It started in 1994. Its programming is non-commercial, like all PBS programming. PBS Kids programs (or shows) are mostly shown in the daytime. These programs are meant for children between the ages of 2 and 8 (for example: Barney and Friends, Sesame Street, and Arthur). PBS Kids' programs use science, math and reading. Some of them also include social studies. All of the programs give a problem that the children have to solve. An example of these problems would be what to do when two children want to play with the same thing and start to fight (teaching the importance of sharing).

History[change | change source]

PTV block[change | change source]

PBS had historically aired programs for children such as Sesame Street, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and Reading Rainbow; prior to 1993, these programs aired under general PBS branding. In August 1993, PBS introduced new branding for their children's programs featuring "The P-Pals", animated characters shaped like PBS logos who encouraged skills such as gathering information, self-esteem, cooperation and achieving goals in specially developed interstitials.

The framework for PBS Kids was established as part of PBS' Ready to Learn initiative, a project intended to facilitate access of early childhood educational programming to underprivileged children. On July 11, 1994, PBS repackaged their existing children's educational programming as a new block called "PTV", airing on 11 member stations at launch. In addition to scheduled educational programming, PTV also incorporated interstitial content with the P-Pals in their fictional world "PTV Park" for younger children. Older children were targeted with live-action and music video interstitials.

Apple Computer provided a $1.5 million grant to PTV and became its first national underwriter on June 26, 1995, as part of their "Bring Learning Home" corporate initiative. A "Ready To Learn" grant unveiled on January 8, 1996, supported the development of Dragon Tales and Between the Lions, which premiered in 1999 and 2000, respectively, as well as their online activities and outreach efforts. By September 1996, 95 PBS stations reaching three quarters of the United States were carrying the PTV service. Starting on October 7, 1996, PBS packaged their programs for school-aged children into the block The Game, airing on 31 stations by the end of the year.

PBS announced on January 18, 1999, that it would launch the PBS Kids Channel, meant to be the centerpiece of a larger initiative, in September. On June 9, PBS revealed a wide rebranding of its children's programs and services, known as PBS Kids, at its annual meeting in San Francisco. PBS would also increase its children's programming budget by 25% and commit to two new series: Caillou and Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series.

Programming[change | change source]

See List of programs broadcast by PBS Kids

Notes[change | change source]

  1. The logo's wordmark has been in use since September 6, 1999.

References[change | change source]