Press tour gets preview of PBS plans

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PBS announcements from the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena:

— Curious George is getting his own app. The Curious George Coloring Book App “is designed to encourage color experimentation across a full spectrum of hues,” according to PBS. There’s a palette with 45 colors, 48 coloring pages and a personal art gallery. Kids can email artwork or post to Facebook pages. It’ll cost $2.99.

— At, Wilson & Ditch: Digging America, produced by the Jim Henson Co., will take kids ages 6 to 10 on a cross-country adventure with two gophers as they explore America. There’ll be webisodes, a travel blog, on-location audio podcasts and original comics.

— David Tennant just gets busier. He’s reprising the role of Hamlet for a TV adaptation of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2008 stage production for Great Performances in 2010, and makes his debut in October as host of Masterpiece Contemporary. You may know him as Doctor Who on BBC.

— Three new docs for 2010 will explore faith and religious expression: “God in America,” a six-hour series from American Experience and Frontline, spans more than 500 years; “The Buddha” relates the life of the Indian who achieved enlightenment beneath a fig tree more than 2,000 years ago; and “The Calling,” a four-hour series that follows eight individuals on their challenging journeys into the clergy from the perspective of Islam, Catholicism, Evangelical Christianity and Judaism.

— Sesame Street is planning a Muppet parody of — ready for this? — the retro smash TV hit Mad Men. Miranda Barry, Sesame Workshop e.v.p., said it won’t be the first time the kids’ classic has created its own take on a show. “You may have seen our parody called ‘Desperate Houseplants.’ It was about a houseplant not getting its needs met by the gardener,” she told critics. “So it always works on two levels.” Also new on the Street: A segmented format and host Murray Muppet. Also, here’s a PBS interview on YouTube with Ken Burns at the tour, which ends today.