Curious George

PBS mulls strategy to boost kids’ ratings

With many local pubcasters reporting sharp declines in daytime viewership, PBS programmers are reevaluating scheduling strategies for children’s programs, trying to get a handle on a problem that’s also affecting commercial competitors for kids TV audiences. Continue Reading

Odd Squad to be PBS Kids’ newest math learning series

It’s a question that parents and teachers struggle to answer at home and in the classroom: how do we make math fun for kids? The creative minds at PBS Kids have spent the last few years devising a solution to that problem. With Ready to Learn funding provided through the Department of Education in 2010, PBS staff set their sights on creating two math-focused children’s shows. Their answer for the 3- to 5-year-old crowd was PEG + CAT, an animated series that debuted last fall.  Produced by Fred Rogers Company, PEG + CAT teaches measurement, shapes and patterns, skills that help the characters solve their real-life problems.

Odd Squad, a live-action math series geared toward children ages 5 to 8, is the latest addition to PBS’s slate of math-based kids’ programming. Continue Reading

Output: Bitton’s homage to Piaf, STEM rock tunes from PBS, where 5-year-olds hide evidence (on PRX), and more

Decades ago, a teenaged Raquel Bitton locked herself in her San Francisco bedroom, suffering miserably from her first broken heart. Her only comfort was an album by Edith Piaf, the diminutive French chanteuse known as “the Little Sparrow.”

“It is the love that you love,” Piaf sang in “C’est L’amour.” “It is love that makes you dream. It is love that wants love. It is love that makes us cry.”

“I listened to it all and came out of my room with a decision to get onstage and sing — and to love again,” Bitton said. “I put together a little revue singing Piaf’s songs, telling pieces of her stories. Continue Reading

Miss Provo Meredith Gaufin, center, helps with an art project during a KBYU Kids Club Event. (Photo: Kylea Knecht/BYU)

PubTV tests new approaches for fundraising with kids’ programs

During pledge drives, public television stations routinely ignore one of their biggest audience draws — the daytime PBS Kids block — deeming the meager returns not worth the effort of disrupting the viewing habits of children who watch each day. But ongoing financial challenges at many stations have prompted some to test new approaches for tapping into the strong affinity for the shows. Continue Reading