PBS Station Lampoons Reality TV

YouTube / Thirteen
YouTube / Thirteen / YouTube / Thirteen

New York's PBS station, WNET (aka "Thirteen"), is famous for its series like American Masters and Live from Lincoln Center. These are serious programs, and I like them. Lately, WNET has been on a campaign to civilize TV -- it started with a series of subway posters advertising fake reality TV shows like Married to a Mime, Knitting Wars, and Bad Bad Bag Boys. Now they've stepped it up, releasing three fake trailers for faux-reality TV shows, then asking for donations for their station. Have a look:

The Tanners

"Your Vitamin D levels are spiking, just sit down."

Long Island Landscapers

"The boys are going over the hedge."

Clam Kings

"What business you got, talkin' about my family's clams?"

...Something Rather Different

Okay, so that's all the fake reality TV we've got (so far). Let's go back to September 16, 1962, when Edward R. Murrow hosted the channel's first broadcast as the 68th PBS station in the US. (It was then known as WNDT.) Although the tone is wildly different from the wacky bits above, this is well worth watching.

"Educational television comes into existence not because commercial television has failed, but because commercial television is confined in what it can do," says Murrow. Still true, more than 50 years later.

See Also

2012's pledge drive featuring Patrick Stewart. Here's one example: