PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, is an American public television network.
One of PBS' most successful programs is Sesame Street, which has aired on the network for over 40 years. Sesame Street's first season was broadcast on National Educational Television (NET), the predecessor to PBS. From Season 46 onwards, PBS will air new Sesame Street episodes on an 8-month delay from their HBO premieres. PBS is also home to the Jim Henson Company's television series Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train.
A popular series on the channel, Great Performances, aired the documentary The World of Jim Henson. Similarly, Independent Lens featured The World According to Sesame Street and Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey.
The television specials Sesame Street, Special and Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake were both produced as pledge-drive specials and included sequences that discussed public television, mentioned various PBS shows, and led to real pledge breaks.
Muppet characters appeared in a number of PBS insertials in 1974. In 1979, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, and Grover all appeared in a PBS fundraiser marathon, while Statler and Waldorf appeared in a fundraiser in 1983.
Muppet characters (especially ones from Sesame Street) have appeared in PBS Interstitials, and have made guest appearances on PBS shows including The Electric Company, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Reading Rainbow, and Between the Lions. PBS also broadcast Here Come the Puppets, which was hosted by Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog, with appearances by other Muppets. Weekly online video series National Film Society released a 2013 episode called "Cookie Monster Spoofs Hollywood Movies".
In 2011, KCET, the former PBS affiliate of California, aired Construction Site and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss as a part of the "Captain Infinity Theatre" programming block (now renamed KCET Kids).
Pledge drive sketch
In the sketch, Kermit appears in a PBS studio and explains to the viewers why the stations need contributions: "Do you know how much it costs to produce good television these days? Well, I got the figures right here. For instance, this station spends over 14,000 dollars a month just on microphones. And that's, that's just the microphone bill alone." Behind him, Cookie Monster enters, eyes an expensive microphone, and eats it. Kermit hears the crunching -- but when he turns around, Cookie is hiding. Kermit resumes: "You take spotlights... Now, the figure on spotlights is 57,000 dollars a month we spend for spotlights!" Again, Cookie Monster grabs a hunk off a spotlight and chomps on it.
Kermit continues: "But the most expensive of all is the television cameras. Now, we spend for cameras eight hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars --" Behind him, Cookie Monster approaches a camera and starts to eat it. Kermit sees him, and asks what he's doing. "Oh, me just stopped by for lunch," the monster says, and continues to munch on the camera. Disgusted, Kermit walks off.
- ↑ Jim's Red Book - 4/29/1974 - VTR bunch of promos for PBS at channel 13
- ↑ Jim Henson's Red Book - 5/19-20/1985