Perhaps one of the most under the radar TV stories of recent times is the success of PBS national programming to draw eyeballs on stations like WOSU across the country. PBS President Paula Kerger just completed the annual August press tour and I thought you might be interested a direct quotes from her presentation.
“Imagine a broadcast network that’s seen a 5 percent increase in primetime viewership compared to last year. On Sunday nights, this network has seen a 26 percent rise in ratings year over year, and Wednesday nights a 17 percent increase over the last two years.
In a world where audiences seem to be constantly shrinking, this network aired its highest-rated drama EVER in February and the #1 rated show of the night, beating all broadcast and cable competition in primetime. Success isn’t limited to one genre or platform. This network had six out of the top ten shows for moms with young kids in June. Who am I describing here? PBS!”
Yes, Paula is describing the nonprofit, mission based programming of PBS, which has seen growing audiences thanks to local stations like WOSU that promote and position national programming alongside popular local programming such as our Columbus Neighborhoods series. What to look for in the coming months? Aside from our premiere of a new Neighborhoods documentary focused on the South Side of Columbus in September, here are some PBS pop outs.
I’ve had a chance to preview Last Tango In Halifax, premiering on Sunday, September 8th and can easily predict a big hit. It has an amazing cast and wonderful writing in the mode of Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey which returns for a new season on January 5th.
On Monday nights beginning this month, WOSU TV and PBS launches Genealogy Roadshow, which will combine history and science to uncover the fascinating stories of diverse Americans.
Tuesday nights are the home of exciting history programs including the August 27th program The March commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. In September, as part of our Latino heritage month celebration, LATINO AMERICANS comes to our airwaves. Later this fall, in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, we’ll air the film JFK, a new four-hour, two-part special from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.
Wednesdays PBS takes a look at how things are made wilder, faster, colder and safer with the new multi-part NOVA series hosted by David Pogue. We will also premiere our new local arts and culture show, Broad & High, in October on Wednesday nights.
On Friday’s, the PBS Arts Fall Festival will return for a seven-week run celebrating music and Broadway classics. This fall Great Performances will be celebrating their 40th anniversary with an exciting lineup of shows that highlight some of the best of the arts.
The PBS NewsHour is continuing to evolve and grow with the new PBS NewsHour Weekend, with Hari Sreenivasan as the anchor reporting from New York City. This 30 minute weekend broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays is an exciting step forward for the Newshour.
We hope you continue to tune in and let us know your thoughts on our program lineup. We are excited to bring you quality NON-COMMERCIAL programming to central and southern Ohio.