The Case for Public Broadcasting Services

Hey Cassettes! We’re back with another episode of The Black Case Diaries! After our five-week long discussion about the Disney Princesses, we switched gears to talk about PBS Children’s shows! This channel has taught, comforted, and amused us for so many years, we felt we should talk about it! Come on and ZOOM on over to 123 Sesame Street. We’re not quite sure how to get there, but we think it’s somewhere between Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and Elwood City. If we hurry, we can catch a train at Shining Time Station! As always, Thanks for listening!



PBS: A short history

  • Early years of public TV in the US were dominated by Nation Educational Television (NET) which was founded in 1952
    • This relied on funding from the Ford Foundation (founded by Henry Ford)
  • In 1967 the Public Broadcasting Act was founded, creating the Government funding for Public Broadcasting
  • The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was established around the same time
  • In 1969, the Public Broadcasting service was established, which is a successor to NET
  • On May 1st, 1969 Fred Rogers appeared before a senate sub-committee to defend the 20 million dollars in federal funding that was proposed for Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Sesame Street

  • On November 10th, 1969 Sesame Street aired on PBS stations
  • Joan Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett conceived the show in 1966; their goal was to create a children’s show that uses the addictive nature of TV in a positive way
    • Jim Henson, although reluctant at first, agreed to do the show with his muppet characters after seeing the goals of the goals of the Children’s TV Workshop
  • After two years of research the Children’s Television Workshop received a grant of 8 million dollars from the Carnegie Corporation and Ford Foundation
  • This was the first television show of its kind to base its content and production values on educational research and the first to include a curriculum
  • Initially, the show received high ratings
  • By 2009, it was broadcast in over 120 countries and 20 independent international versions  

Mr. Rogers

  • After being ordained a Presbyterian Minister in 1963 with a charge to continue work with children through the mass media, he was invited to create a show the CBC in Canada
    • This was later made available in 1968 as Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood
  • Mr. Rogers Neighborhood began airing in 1968
  • In 1971 he founded family communications inc which is the production company behind the show
  • He made sure his staff included people who had expertise in child development as well as media
  • The show ran for nearly 33 years
  • The Children’s Corner was another one of his shows. It included characters that would later appear on Mr. Roger’s neighborhood

Shining Time Station

  • Created by Britt Allcroft and Rick Sigglekow
  • The show aired from 1989-1993
  • It incorporated footage from Thomas and Friends, a British TV show; This show is considered the American version of the British show that was based on a series of books


  • Premiered in 1996 based on the Children’s books by Marc Brown
  • Since premier, the series has been accessible to viewers who are deaf
  • Made history in 1997 as the first daily program to be described for people who were blind or visually impaired
  • In 2002, TV Guide ranked it 26th on its list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time
  • It’s won the Peabody award and three Daytime Emmy’s for outstanding children’s animated program


  • Produced between 1995-1997
  • It starred a Jack Russell Terrier who daydreams about being the lead characters in various pieces of literature
  • Only the viewers and characters in daydreams can hear him speak
  • The show won four daytime Emmys and a Peabody Award
  • Exterior shots were filmed in Alan, TX


  • A remake of the 1972 show of the same name, Zoom aired from 1999-2005
  • It featured pre-teens that performed skits and activities while teaching kids to “Turn off the TV and do it!”
  • Arts and crafts, cooking, science and technology, and games sent in by viewers.


  • An American/Canadian children’s TV series 1999-2001
  • It had a total of 65 episodes
  • It was the creation of the Kratt brothers Chris and Martin and featured a talking lemur
  • It taught children about respecting animals and natural environments

The three of us had many shows that were influential in our young lives.  We briefly mention a few of these in the episode as well.

  • Barney
  • Bob Ross
  • Reading Rainbow
  • Between the Lions
  • Clifford
  • The Berenstain Bears (Which so many people really thought was spelled Berenstein)
  • Cyberchase
  • The Puzzle Place

Some Sources Used:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s