WGBH Builds Buster Brigade

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WGBH-TV Boston has been contacted by stations in Vermont, New Jersey and California, saying that they want to run the Postcards from Buster episode PBS has declined to distribute, with others asking for tapes to review.

WGBH, which produces the noncom kids show, plans to air it March 23. The episode, about collecting maple syrup, features a two-mom family in Vermont.

PBS decided not to air the episode, saying it had concerns that the animated/live action kids show was not the appropriate venue for introducing the two-mommies theme. A PBS spokesman has said that decision preceded a letter from new Department of Education Secretary Margaret Spellings expressing her concerns about the show, which is majority funded by DOE through a grant to PBS' Ready to Learn project.

Saying she was "disappointed" in PBS' decision, Jeanne Hopkins, VP, communications, for WGBH-TV, said the station felt the show's theme served the series goals of showing family diversity just as much as any of the other 39 episodes, which have included Muslims, Evangelical Christians, Jews, and Mormons, though no two-dad households.

WGBH initially planned to air the episode Feb. 2, but PBS asked them to postpone it until March 23, said Hopkins to give stations more time to review the show. PBS then decided Tuesday it would not distribute it to member stations.

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