PBS was last up at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena,
Calif., closing the TV-programming fortnight with a slew of announcements.
First, PBS is rebranding itself, with a series of four spots directed by two
critically acclaimed filmmakers: Alfonso Cuaron of Y Tu Mama Tambien and
Francois Girard of The Red Violin.
The spots encourage viewers to "be more," with a tag line of "Be More
Inspired. Be More Passionate. Be More Empowered. Be More PBS." They follow up
PBS' last branding effort, which pushed viewers to "stay curious."
Fallon Minneapolis, a subsidiary of Fallon Worldwide, created the spots.
PBS also is adding a nonfiction series to its lineup.
Independent Lens, which premiered on the network in 1999, will air 29
episodes over the next year. The show will air on Tuesday nights and be paired
with P.O.V., PBS' award-winning personal documentary series.
The network is expanding its "reality" programming again, with contemporary
families living as 17th century colonists in Colonial House.
PBS has tried this kind of programming before, with The 1900 House and
In Colonial House, participants will live like the pilgrims, with no
modern conveniences. They also will have to write their own laws, although they
will be assisted by experts. Colonial House is co-produced by Thirteen/WNET New
York and Wall to Wall Television.
PBS is planning a large amount of commemorative programming, called "We
Remember," around the events of Sept. 11. The schedule will center on a
Frontline show called "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero" airing Sept. 3 at 9 p.m.
Other programming PBS will air in honor of the day are: a National Geographic
special called Ambassador, looking at the role of diplomatic workers in
countries such as Pakistan; Caught in the Crossfire, a documentary on the
lives of Arab immigrants in America after Sept. 11; Campaign Against Terror, a
Frontline behind-the-scenes take on how the United States and other countries
reacted to the terrorist attacks; and Heroes of Ground Zero: New York's
Bravest, a tribute to the firefighters who responded on that day.
Other regular PBS programming -- such as NewsHour with Jim Lehrer,
Nova, Zoom, Reading Rainbow and Arthur -- will air episodes
touching on the attacks.
Digital-video-recording service TiVo Inc. and PBS have formed an alliance,
and the partners' first project will be promoting PBS' Sept. 11 programming.
The two companies plan to work together over six months to promote local PBS stations and
to determine ways DVR services can promote public television.