The Public Broadcasting Service has brought some of the most memorable shows to television. Though only a handful are listed and discussed below, chances are good that many people have a favorite show (or at the very least favorable memories) of many other shows that were hosted by PBS over the years.
The first show is “Bill Nye The Science Guy.” This program achieved what many students in elementary and middle school may have thought impossible… it made learning and understanding the principles and theories of science entertaining if not downright fun. Though it may not be on the air waves anymore, “Bill Nye The Science Guy” is still sold as collections and used to educate students in the classroom. The usefulness and enduring learning value is what makes this show one of the PBS greats.
Another show, and one that was even more popular, was “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.” This show was one of the staples of television for generations of children. The pleasant Mr. Rogers educated young viewers on etiquette, how to be polite, and how to interact positively with others. Though no longer on the air, there are still people who hear the theme song, the name of the host, or who see a small, red trolley who smile and think about this piece of their childhood. Anything with that sort of impact deserves a place on any list of greatest shows.
Continuing on with the theme of education “Reading Rainbow” was another program that has never been uncommon in either the home or the classroom. This show either read books to the audience (which was usually composed of young children) or explained the themes often found in stories. Much like the above programs, “Reading Rainbow” set some positive examples for kids concerning books, reading, and the idea of analyzing the stories that were being read and picking out themes that were important.
Last on the list is the ever popular “Sesame Street”. This show has been one of the premier shows for children for generations, using the opportunity provided through the television to offer entertainment, education, and information in a manner that children can understand and process. With characters like Elmo, Big Bird, and the ever infamous cookie monster, the show tends to stick with watchers, both young and old.
These shows are only a handful of selections, of course. There are shows like “Masterpiece Theater” which has played on PBS for an older audience just as deserving of entertainment and education as the younger audiences. There are also movies that are regularly shown on PBS, some which are so bad (in a Mystery Science Theater 3,000 sort of way) that no other station would play them. Of course, like any other station, PBS changes and evolves with the input and desires of new viewers and contributors. So while the shows of today and yesterday may be considered great, chances are very good that as time goes on those places will be taken by other shows which will hold the same sway over your children, and your children’s children.