PBS Programming Exec Donald Thoms Out

Donald Thoms, VP of general audience programming at PBS, is leaving at the end of the year. In a memo to colleagues Wednesday, chief programmer Beth Hoppe said Thoms is leaving to resume work at his production company ThomsMediaGroup. No decision has been made on a replacement.

PBS Using Research To Woo New Sponsors

PBS is ramping up its efforts to attract a new generation of media buyers as program sponsors, rolling out a campaign that promotes its brand and audience through Web-based marketing and traditional paid ads. The response so far has been promising.

‘Sherlock’ Xmas Special To Get Theatrical Release

PBS Joins The Herd In Push For Drama

Quality drama — or at least TV shows with an aspiration to be quality drama — rules the TV, cable and online streaming worlds. So it’s understandable that PBS, riding the success of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece, would want to up its drama game, too. And there’s no reason to begrudge PBS’s efforts but it does derail one line of defense of PBS’s existence.

PBS Postponing 3rd Season Of ‘Finding Your Roots’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — PBS put its Finding Your Roots series on hold Wednesday after determining an episode that omitted references to Ben Affleck’s ancestor as a slave owner violated its standards. The public television service said it is postponing the show’s third season and delaying a commitment to a fourth year until it is satisfied […]

PBS Launches Video App For Android

PBS has brought its mobile app to Android, giving Android users access to full episodes of shows like Frontline,  PBS Newshour, Masterpiece, Nova and Call the Midwife. The new app also comes with Google Cast support, allowing users to beam their shows to their TV, provided it’s equipped with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick or any Android TV streaming device.

PBS’s New Season To Feature Disney Doc

PBS this coming TV season will boast an unvarnished look at entertainment entrepreneur Walt Disney, a revival of Ken Burns epic documentary The Civil War and something that has been a rarity on the network in recent years: a drama financed by PBS set in America.

Brian Williams Nixes PBS Appearance

WASHINGTON (AP) — NBC’s Brian Williams has withdrawn from hosting a broadcast honoring those who support U.S. veterans and military families, and first lady Michelle Obama is stepping in to film an introduction instead. Williams was set to host the inaugural Lincoln Awards, which are scheduled to air Friday on PBS. The concert was filmed […]

‘Frontline’ Getting Change In Leadership

PBS To Investigate ‘Roots’ Censorship

PBS and WNET are investigating Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s decision to censor his celebrity-genealogy series Finding Your Roots after getting a request from Ben Affleck that the program not reveal he had a slave-owning ancestor. Affleck has expressed regret for seeking to have the information omitted from the episode that featured the actor and aired last October.

Affleck, PBS Under Fire For Censoring ‘Roots’ Ep.

PBS To Air Restored Version Of ‘The Civil War’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — PBS says it will air a newly restored version of Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” this fall, 25 years after the documentary’s debut. The high-definition “Civil War” will air on five consecutive nights in September, PBS said Thursday. Viewers will be able to see more details in the film’s images, according […]

Two Stations Among IRE Award Winners

The annual IRE Awards recognize outstanding investigative work and help identify the techniques and resources used to complete each story. This year’s winners included WVUE New Orleans and KHOU Houston. Other TV winners included Telemundo, The Weather Channel and PBS Frontline.

‘Cancer’: A Story Ken Burns Couldn’t Refuse

Cancer is perhaps the most-feared of all diseases — which is exactly why Ken Burns sees it as a vital topic, if never a welcome one. The three-part, six-hour Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, premieres on PBS stations on Monday. It traces the story of the disease from its earliest accounts in ancient Egypt to the latest scientific breakthroughs and their impact on real-life patients.

‘Downton Abbey’ Ending After Next Season

Producers of the popular British period drama on Thursday confirmed it will end after its sixth season, scheduled to air in the United States in early 2016. The series, which airs earlier in the U.K., will have its finale on Christmas Day, 2015.


PBS Airs Motown Special Not Seen In 30 Years

Cancer Doc Was Edward Herrmann’s Last Project

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The late actor Edward Herrmann’s final project before he died of brain cancer last month was narrating an upcoming PBS documentary on the disease. The six-hour project, based on the book “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, will air over three nights in March. Herrmann collapsed because of […]

PBS, BBC Ink Multi-Title Co-Production Deal

PBS Orders Ridley Scott Civil War Drama

PBS is pushing further into original scripted programming with the addition of an untitled Civil War drama from Ridley Scott, which has been ordered to series with an initial six episodes.

Jonathan Barzilay Named COO Of PBS

The public broadcaster said Barzilay, a former executive at ABC, CBS, FLO TV and the Ford Foundation, will be “charged with developing innovative and collaborative strategies that safeguard the health of the public broadcasting system, and for ensuring that resources are allocated effectively to meet business objectives, system priorities and marketplace challenges and opportunities

PBS Taps Marie Nelson As VP Of News

In a move to bring more visibility and impact to PBS’s news and public affairs programming, the network has added a new VP to its roster of programmers — Marie Nelson, a journalist who brings executive-producer credentials and experience with engaging diverse audiences.

‘Downton’ Premiere Just Misses PBS Record

Downton Abbey, the most popular drama in PBS history, returned to a near-record audience Sunday night. According to Nielsen preliminary estimates, the fifth-season premiere averaged about 10.1 million viewers from 10:15 to 11:15 p.m., just a smidge behind the show’s fourth-season opener a year ago (10.2 million). Among all networks, only CBS drew a larger audience during the time period.

Bill Moyers Signing Off In A Quiet Farewell


WNET To Pull Monday Documentary Showcases

‘Frontline’ Makes Major Investment In Digital

PBS Adds New Series, Expands ‘Masterpiece’

PBS said it would continue a strategy of scheduling shows with similar themes on the same evening in 2015 while expanding its Sunday-night drama lineup.

PBS Taps Marie Nelson As News VP

PBS has named Marie Nelson as its new vice president news and public affairs. Nelson most recently served as executive producer of national programs at PBS member station WGBH Boston, where she oversaw production of eight-part docu-series America After Ferguson, exploring the impact of America’s changing demographics.

BBC/PBS ‘Call The Midwife’ Gets Season 5 Order

PBS’s ‘Masterpiece’ Is Adding Broadcasts

Masterpiece, the 43-year-old English drama franchise, is capitalizing on the runaway success of Downton Abbey by adding new shows and more airtime early next year.

‘Sesame Street’ Marks 45th Birthday

That Sesame Street still exists at all says a lot. In 1973, it was one of two TV shows for preschoolers. Now it’s competing with 84 kids’ shows on TV and countless others online. Yet Sesame Street still holds its own, ranking 20th among kids ages 2 to 5 with 850,000 viewers per TV episode, according to Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the show.

Burson-Marsteller’s Baer To Chair PBS Board

Susan Sollins, A Creator Of PBS’s ‘Art21,’ Dies

PBS Touts Its 2013-14 Ratings Growth

Among all broadcast and cable networks, PBS said it ranked fifth in the Nielsen audience measurement, compared with eighth for the previous season and 11th for 2011-12.

Growing Tensions Between PBS And Acorn TV

PBS Hits Ratings Milestone With ‘Roosevelts’

PBS said last month’s seven, two-hour episodes of The Roosevelts from documentary filmmaker Ken Burns had an average audience of 9.2 million viewers, giving PBS its highest weekly viewer average since 1994, when Burns’ series Baseball aired.

Ken Burns’ ‘The Roosevelts’ Bags Bully Ratings

PBS Renames VOD Service For Donors

‘Moyers & Company’ To End PBS Run In Jan.

How ‘Sesame Street’ Stays Relevant After 45 Years

Michael Jones Steps Aside As PBS COO

Michael Jones, PBS’s chief operating officer since January 2009, is moving into an advisory role as executive vice president. In a Sept. 9 memo detailing several changes within PBS’s top ranks, President Paula Kerger announced that Jones will continue to report to her, serving “as a chief adviser working closely with me on a series of critical projects.” Those include management of an upgrade to public TV’s interconnection system and issues related to television spectrum issues.