PBS: 15 Facts You Didn’t Know About Public Broadcasting Service

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PBS is one of the most popular broadcaster and television program distributors of all time. However, despite its continued presence in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you definitely (probably) didn’t know about PBS. Check it out for yourself below!

Number Fifteen: It’s Responsible for the First All-Female Moderating Team at a Presidential Debate

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour recently became the very first all-female moderating team at a presidential debate. They also made headlines in 2013 when the duo became the first female co-anchor team at the broadcaster.

Number Fourteen: PBS Aired the Second-Most Popular Show on Super Bowl Sunday

Can you guess what that show was? Downton Abbey, of course! The show ranked number two for 2016’s Super Bowl and also holds the honor of being the broadcaster’s highest-rated drama of all time.

Number Thirteen: It Employs a Lot of Female Executive Producers

Some people might think that the broadcaster is old school, but this is absolutely not the case. A number of the broadcaster’s most popular shows feature female executive producers. These shows include Charlie Rose, Nova, and Frontline.

Number Twelve: Every One of Their Member Stations Is Independently Operated

For many communities, their public or local radio station is the only media outlet that’s locally owned. Every single PBS Member Station is independently owned and operated.

Number Eleven: It Was the Only Broadcaster to Air Full Watergate Coverage

In 1973, PBS became the only broadcaster that aired full coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings in primetime. The broadcasts it aired were hearings that had been recorded earlier in the day.

Number Ten: It Aired One of the First Reality TV Shows

An American Family premiered on PBS in 1973. The reality show depicted Santa Barbara’s Loud family and became significant for airing their real-life struggles, including the husband and wife’s separation and divorce.

Number Nine: It Created Closed Captioning

It’s true! The broadcaster first used closed captioning in 1972 so deaf people and other people who struggle to hear could enjoy television as much as everyone else.

Number Eight: It’s Not a Network

While the five major commercial broadcasters in the United States – ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and The CW – are all networks, PBS is not. PBS is a program distributor and broadcaster.

Number Seven: It Aired the First Program Created by Kids and for Kids

And the program was called Zoom. PBS aired the program in 1972; the program allowed children all over the country to mail suggestions to producers of the show.

Number Six: Over 80 Percent of All U.S. Households Watch It

A staggering 82 percent of households in the United States watch the broadcaster. That’s a lot of PBS in America!

Number Five: It Has Nearly 100 Million Watchers Every Month

Every single month, almost 100 million people watch shows aired on the broadcaster. We bet a lot of those people are watching it for Downton Abbey!

Number Four: It Offers Over 100,000 Digital Resources

The broadcaster offers PBS LearningMedia, which is a website with thousands of resources for educators and parents alike. The website features over 100,000 digital resources, to be exact, and they range in both topic and educational level.

Number Three: It Debuted Its First Cooking Show with Julia Child

Julia Child is one of the most famous and highly regarded chefs in the history of time. Child’s cooking show aired on PBS and was actually the first cooking show to be featured on the broadcaster.

Number Two: It’s Responsible for Putting a Sweater in the Smithsonian

It’s no secret that Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired on PBS. Well, that red sweater that he became so famous for wearing actually ended up in the Smithsonian Museum!

Number One: PBS Kids Is the Most Trusted Media Brand

Parents have ranked PBS Kids to be the most trusted of all media brands for children. Many parents rely on it to prepare their kids for school and it’s well-regarded as an educational resource. Thanks for reading our list!

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