American Public Television

American Public Television (APT) is the largest syndicator of programming for public television stations in the United States. APT continues to distribute a wide variety of public television programs nationally, as well as the Create and World public TV multicast channels.

American Public Television
Eastern Educational Television Network (1961–1980)
Interregional Program Service (1980–1992)
American Program Service (1992–1999)
IndustryPublic television
HeadquartersBoston, Massachusetts, United States
Area served


Eastern Educational Television Network

APT began in 1961[1] when it was incorporated as the Eastern Educational Television Network (EEN). At first, EEN was a regional cooperative that began to exchange programs between a couple of its member stations.[2] EEN was one of the first distributors of shows such as The French Chef (with Julia Child) in 1963,[2] Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,[1] and Washington Week in Review on a national basis.

Another first from EEN was the distribution of Newsfront, America's first live and non-commercial daily news program, starting in 1970.[2] EEN introduced Wall Street Week in November 1970 before PBS began distributing it nationwide in January 1972. EEN also began importing BBC and CBC productions to America in 1974, with Monty Python's Flying Circus as one of them. In 1978, the EEN started the Free Library.[2]

In 1980, Eastern Educational started the Syndication Service and was renamed Interregional Program Service (IPS). IPS started the Premium Service in 1989. The organization became American Program Service (APS) in 1992.[2]

American Public Television

American Program Service was renamed American Public Television (APT) in April 1999. Also, with many fax requests from international outlets, an international division called APT Worldwide was started.[2]

With the digital rollout, APT became the distributor of a couple of multicast networks. In January 2006, APT started distributing Create.[3] The nonprofit company started distributing World on July 1, 2009.[4]

Programming services

  • APT Exchange (originally the Free Library) was a service in which the company acts a clearing house for pre-funded programs that are offered free of charge to stations started in 1978. Rick Steves' Europe (starting in 1990), Nightly Business Report and America's Test Kitchen are offered through this service.[2]
  • APT Worldwide is the corporation's international sales division even representing some A&E and Discovery programs. Amongst its network clients are Discovery, National Geographic Channel, NHK, ITV and Italy's RAI-SAT[2]
  • Premium Service provides programming for stations via outsourcing or acquisition prime time pledge drive programs particularly performance or self-help shows, which would either trigger a pledge call or a DVD purchased for the viewer's use or as a gift. One of its earliest successful show was the first Three Tenors.
  • Syndication is a service in which completed programs are acquired. Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World, purchased in 2002, was a top hit through this service along with the BBC's Battlefield Britain series.[2]


APT also owns two digital subchannel networks together with WGBH, WNET.ORG, and NETA:[2]

  • Create, which offers lifestyle programming, including the genres of cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening and arts & crafts, primarily from the APT library.[2] Established in January 2006, Create is licensed to local public television stations, including PBS stations, and Create is also carried on cable through local agreements with local public television stations. Shows regularly carried on Create include Lidia's Kitchen, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting, Chris Kimball's Milk Street Television, Simply Ming, and America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated.
  • World Channel, is a 24-hour digital channel showing public TV non-fiction, science, nature, news, public affairs and documentaries.[2]


APT distributes more than 300 new program titles per year,[1] including documentaries, talk shows, music performance content, dramatic and comedic series, how-to programs, children's series and classic movies. Shows currently or previously distributed by APT include, but are not limited to, The Open Mind, Rick Steves' Europe, Live From the Artists Den, Jacques Pepin: Heart & Soul, America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated and its sister series Cook's Country, Yan Can Cook, Barbecue University with Steven Raichlen, The Big Comfy Couch, Net Cafe, Pati's Mexican Table, Samantha Brown's Places to Love, Globe Trekker (aka Pilot Guides in other countries), Doc Martin, Rudy Maxa's World, Sara's Weeknight Meals and Scully: The World Show. APT distributes weeknight international news series Asia Insight and Newsline from NHK, as well as the business news program Nightly Business Report.

APT has also distributed special pledge shows to public television, including programs such as Frank Sinatra: Voice of Our Time, Anne of Green Gables, Carreras Domingo Pavarotti, Celine Dion: A New Day, Mike Douglas – Moments & Memories, Leonard Cohen: Tower of Song and Tony Bennett Duets: The Making of an American Classic.

In 2001, APT was the first company to bring a high-definition series to public television with the premiere of Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa.

Children's or family programming


  1. ^ a b c Block, Alex Ben (November 9, 2014). "American Public Television Sheds Its 'Mister Rogers' Past". The Hollywood Reporter (November 2014). Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Androich, Alicia (January 1, 2011). "Growing up in public". Real Screen. Brunico Communications Ltd. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  3. ^ Egner, Jeremy (April 3, 2006). "World and Go! streams flow into PBS plans". Current. Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved March 30, 2016. (sidebar) American Public Television announces launch of national Create channel, January 2006.
  4. ^ "About". American Public Television. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.

External links

Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) is an American public television music program recorded live in Austin, Texas, by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station KLRU, and broadcast on many PBS stations around the United States. The show helped Austin to become widely known as the "Live Music Capital of the World", and is the only television show to receive the National Medal of Arts, which it was awarded in 2003. It also won a rare institutional Peabody Award in 2011 "for its more than three decades of presenting and preserving eclectic American musical genres." For the first 12 seasons (1976–87), Austin City Limits was produced by the Southwest Texas Public Broadcasting Council. Beginning in season 13 (1988), Austin City Limits moved to its current production home at Austin's PBS affiliate KLRU, the Capital of Texas Public Telecommunications Council. The show was created in 1974 by Bill Arhos, Bruce Scafe, and Paul Bosner.

Beginning in season 15 (1990), Austin City Limits began broadcasting in Dolby Surround, and continued until season 24 (1999). Beginning in season 33 (2007–08), the show began broadcasting in widescreen HDTV 1080i. From 1976 to 2004 (seasons 1-29), the show was broadcast in SDTV 480i. From 2004 to 2007 (seasons 30-32), the show was broadcast in HDTV 720p.

Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo is an American children's television series that aired weekday mornings on the American television network CBS from October 3, 1955, until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children's television program of its day. In 1986, the American Program Service (now American Public Television, Boston) integrated some newly produced segments into reruns of past episodes, distributing the newer version of the series on PBS until 1993.

The show was conceived and the title character was played by Bob Keeshan, who based the show on "the warm relationship between grandparents and children". Keeshan had portrayed the original Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show when it aired on NBC. Captain Kangaroo had a loose structure, built around life in the "Treasure House" (later known as "The Captain's Place") where the Captain (the name "kangaroo" came from the big pockets in his coat) would tell stories, meet guests, and indulge in silly stunts with regular characters, both humans and puppets. Keeshan performed as the Captain more than 9,000 times over the nearly 30-year run of the show.The May 17, 1971, episode had two major changes on the show: The Treasure House was renovated and renamed "The Captain's Place" and the Captain replaced his navy blue coat with a red coat. In September 1981, CBS shortened the hour-long show to a half-hour, briefly retitled it Wake Up with the Captain, and moved it to an earlier time slot; it was moved to weekends in September 1982, and returned to an hour-long format. Captain Kangaroo was cancelled by CBS at the end of 1984.


To create is to make a new person, place, thing, or phenomenon. The term and its variants may also refer to:

Creativity, phenomenon whereby something new and valuable is created

Create (TV network)

Create is an American digital broadcast television network. The network broadcasts how-to, DIY and other lifestyle-oriented instructional programming 24 hours a day.

Elizabeth Zimmermann

Elizabeth Zimmermann (August 9, 1910 – November 30, 1999) was a British-born hand knitting teacher and designer. She revolutionized the modern practice of knitting through her books and instructional series on American public television.Though knitting back and forth on rigid straight needles was the norm, she advocated knitting in the round using flexible circular needles to produce seamless garments and to make it easier to knit intricate patterns. She also advocated the Continental knitting method, claiming that it is the most efficient and quickest way to knit. During World War II, German or continental knitting fell out of favor in the UK and US due to its association with Germany. Many English-language books on knitting are in the English or American style. Elizabeth Zimmermann helped to re-introduce continental style knitting to the United States.


ITVS (Independent Television Service) is a service in the United States which funds and presents documentaries on public television through distribution by PBS and American Public Television, new media projects on the Internet, and the weekly series Independent Lens on PBS. Aside from Independent Lens, ITVS funded and produced films for more than 40 television hours per year on the PBS series POV, Frontline, American Masters and American Experience. Some ITVS programs are produced along with organizations like Latino Public Broadcasting and KQED.

Besides Independent Lens, ITVS series include Indie Lens Storycast on YouTube and Women of the World with Women and Girls Lead Global. Prior series include Global Voices (on World) and FutureStates.ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), and is based in San Francisco.

ITVS has funded more than 1,400 films, with an eye on diversity and underrepresented audiences and filmmakers. The organization champions inclusion on the screen and behind the camera: Nearly 70% of ITVS funds go to diverse producers, 50% to women.


KRCB, virtual and UHF digital channel 22, is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Cotati, California, United States. The station is owned by Northern California Public Media, and is a sister station to NPR radio member station KRCB-FM (91.1 FM), and San Mateo-licensed non-commercial educational independent station KPJK (channel 60). KRCB and KRCB-FM share studios on Carlson Avenue in Rohnert Park. The TV station's transmitter is located on Sonoma Mountain near Glen Ellen.

Much of the regular programming on KRCB comes from PBS, American Public Television, and independent producers. Overnight programming is shared with the national satellite station Link TV and includes shows such as Mosaic: World News from the Middle East, while Create is simulcasted on KRCB's second digital subchannel. The station receives annual about $500,000 from PBS.


The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is an American public broadcaster and television program distributor. It is a nonprofit organization and the most prominent provider of educational television programming to public television stations in the United States, distributing series such as American Experience, America's Test Kitchen, Antiques Roadshow, Arthur, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Downton Abbey, Finding Your Roots, Frontline, The Magic School Bus, Masterpiece, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Nature, Nova, the PBS NewsHour, Sesame Street, Barney and Friends, Teletubbies, and This Old House.PBS is funded by member station dues, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, corporate contributions, National Datacast, pledge drives, private foundations, and individual citizens. All proposed funding for programming is subject to a set of standards to ensure the program is free of influence from the funding source.Since the mid-2000s, Roper Opinion Research polls commissioned by PBS have consistently placed the service as the most-trusted national institution in the United States. A 2016–2017 study by Nielsen Media Research found 80% of all US television households view the network's programs. However, PBS is not responsible for all programming carried on public television stations, a large proportion of which may come from affiliates, including such member stations as WGBH, WETA, WNET, WTTW, WHYY, American Public Television, and independent producers. This distinction regarding the origin of different programs is a frequent source of viewer confusion.The Public Broadcasting Service has more than 350 member television stations, many owned by educational institutions, nonprofit groups affiliated with one particular local public school district or collegiate educational institution, or entities owned by or related to state government.

PBS America

PBS America is a British free-to-air television channel derived from the American public television broadcaster PBS. It is a joint venture between entrepreneur David Lyons and PBS Distribution, a joint venture of the broadcaster and the WGBH Educational Foundation which owns the international rights to the bulk of PBS's output.PBS America operates much like BBC Worldwide, a profit-making enterprise managed separately from the main non-profit, publicly financed arm, that will ideally generate money for its parent. It is provided by pay-television operators as part of their channel packages and carries advertising. Unlike PBS in the United States it does not solicit donations from viewers.

PBS Kids

PBS Kids is the brand for most of the children's programming aired by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in the United States. Some public television children's programs are not produced by PBS member stations or transmitted by PBS which is produced by independent public television distributors such as American Public Television are not labeled as "PBS Kids" programming, and it is mainly a programming block branding.

PBS Kids is also the name of a separate network which has had two iterations in the age of digital television; one which existed between 1999 and 2005, and the current version which was launched in January 2017.


PBS YOU (the latter word is an acronym for "Your Own University") was founded in the late 1990s as a 24/7 channel/network featuring formal and informal educational programs and college-related fare, largely to take advantage of available rights and satellite transponder space and eager customers for carriage among the satellite-dish and some cable television companies.

How-to programs and public affairs programs and news predominated. An American Public Television, WGBH and WNET partnership now offers two similar alternative national services, Create, which was introduced in January, 2006, and World, beginning national service August 2007.

PBS YOU formerly included PBS Adult Learning Service (ALS) telecourses for college credit and foreign language instruction. PBS ALS has been decommissioned as of September 2005; the Annenberg/CPB Channel remains in place as a source of networked feeds of credit courses.

Peep and the Big Wide World

Peep and the Big Wide World is an American-Canadian animated children's television series created by Canadian animator Kaj Pindal. It revolves around the lives of Peep, Chirp, and Quack, as viewers discover, investigate, and explore the world around them. It was based on the 1988 short film Peep and the Big Wide World (of the same name) produced by the National Film Board of Canada, which itself is based on the 1962 short film The Peep Show, also produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The series premiered on April 12, 2004, on Discovery Kids and on TLC as part of their Ready Set Learn children's block, and on the same day on TVOKids and PBS Kids. It was produced by WGBH Boston (through its kids division WGBH Kids) and 9 Story Media Group (formerly 9 Story Entertainment), in association with TVOntario and Discovery Kids and is distributed by Alliance Atlantis (through AAC Kids).

Carriage on the Discovery children's networks ended on October 10, 2010 with the discontinuation of Ready Set Learn and the replacement of Discovery Kids with The Hub, and now, Discovery Family. It continues to be offered to public television stations via independent public television distributor American Public Television to the present day. Since January 1, 2018, the series is distributed by both PBS Kids and APT. Throughout its run, it has been underwritten by the National Science Foundation, with Northrop Grumman underwriting season four in 2010.

Each episode consists of two 9-minute stories, which are animated segments, and two 2-minute live action segments, in which children explore and demonstrate the same topic presented in the animated segment.

Redwall (TV series)

Redwall is a Canadian-British-French animated series produced by Canada-based Nelvana and France-based Alphanim and is based on the Redwall novels by Brian Jacques. The series currently spans three seasons, the first based on the first book Redwall, the second on Mattimeo and the third on Martin the Warrior. The series formerly aired on Teletoon in Canada, along with being independently distributed in the United States by American Public Television through public television stations.

Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking

Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking is a woodworking television show hosted by woodworker Tom McLaughlin that is produced by WGBH Boston in partnership with Fine Woodworking. The show is distributed by American Public Television.

Signing Time!

Signing Time! is a television program targeted towards children aged one through eight that teaches American Sign Language. It is filmed in the United States and was created by sisters Emilie Brown and Rachel Coleman, the latter of whom hosts the series. Between the years 2006 and 2008, it was aired by American Public Television in many cities across the US. Signing Time! is produced and distributed by Two Little Hands Productions, which is located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Signing Time’s multi-sensory approach encourages learning through three senses — visual, auditory and kinesthetic — and reaches children with diverse learning styles and abilities by encouraging interaction through signing, singing, speaking and dancing.

The series teaches signs for common words, questions, phrases, movements, colors, sports, days of the week, everyday objects, and common activities.Currently, Signing Time! interstitial music videos can be seen on Nick Jr. As of October 4, 2010, public television stations were allowed to show the series for the next two years..

Simply Ming

Simply Ming is a television cooking show hosted by chef Ming Tsai that is produced by WGBH Boston and Ming East-West, LLC. The show is distributed by American Public Television.

The Victory Garden (TV series)

The Victory Garden is an American public television program about gardening and other outdoor activities, produced by station WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts, and distributed by PBS. It is the oldest gardening program produced for television in the United States, premiering April 16, 1975.


WGCU, virtual channel 30 (UHF digital channel 31), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Fort Myers, Florida, United States. The station is owned by Florida Gulf Coast University. WGCU's studios are located on the Florida Gulf Coast University campus in Fort Myers, and its transmitter is located in unincorporated southern Charlotte County.

National programming on WGCU comes from PBS, American Public Television, and other distributors, as well as from independent producers.

World (TV channel)

World Channel (formerly PBS World) is an American digital multicast public television network owned and operated by WGBH. It is distributed by American Public Television and the National Educational Telecommunications Association, and features factual programming covering topics such as science, nature, news, and public affairs. Programming is supplied by the entities, as well as other partners such as WNET and WGBH. It is primarily carried on the digital subchannels of PBS member stations.

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