PBS Kids Writers Contest

Posted by on Tue, 02/04/2014 - 07:20

Kids in Grades K-3 Encouraged to Submit Original Stories for National Contest

Arlington, VA, February 3, 2014 – Today, PBS KIDS announced its annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest, designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest is open to children in kindergarten, first, second and third grades and encourages them to celebrate their creativity while building literacy skills by writing and illustrating their own stories.

“PBS KIDS is committed to using the power of media to encourage children to learn and explore, on- and off-screen,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Programming, PBS. “The PBS KIDS Writers Contest allows kids to experience the hands-on process of developing their own stories and illustrations, which builds language skills such as reading, grammar and syntax, and encourages creativity.”

How the Contest Works
PBS stations throughout the country will collaborate with schools, public libraries and other community-based organizations to present the PBS KIDS Writers Contest in local communities. Each station will select local winners and award prizes.

The local winners will then be entered into the national contest, when a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries. National winners will be announced during the summer of 2014, and the winning stories will be featured on

Where was Gracie Gold 4 Years Ago?

Posted by on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 10:34

With the Olympics starting on Friday, February 7th, we have a special program featuring a local competitor to share.

Where was Gracie Gold 4 years ago?

In Springfield, honing her skills with the Springfield Figure Skating Club and just a freshman at Glenwood High School in Chatham. Little did we know then Gracie would lead her Olympic Team into Sochi as the reigning US Figure Skating Champion. Watch as Mark McDonald features the then 14-year-old star on Illinois Stories.

Find the episode on our YouTube page

2014 Antiques Roadshow Sweepstakes

Posted by on Fri, 01/24/2014 - 07:53

Enter ANTIQUES ROADSHOW's 2014 "Golden Ticket" Sweepstakes daily through Monday, May 12, 2014 for a chance to win a trip for two to the ROADSHOW summer tour stop this July in Chicago, Illinois. This 3-day, 2-night trip features a VIP tour of the production venue, appraisals of your items, lunch with ROADSHOW staff, and an ANTIQUES ROADSHOW gift bag for the winner and their guest! Round trip travel to Chicago must occur on July 25 and 27, 2014. Information on how to enter and the official sweepstakes rules can be found at Subject to rules and conditions.

PBS Ranks Eighth Highest Rated Network

Posted by on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 08:04

PASADENA, Calif. — "We're number 8!"

Driven in large part by Downton Abbey, which returned to its highest numbers yet, PBS is now the eighth-highest rated network, broadcast or cable. And the growth isn't limited to TV ratings, says PBS's president and CEO Paula Kerger — PBS even trends on Twitter.

Still, says Kerger, while she's obviously happy with higher ratings, they aren't and have never been PBS's main goal. "It's important to me only if we're connecting viewers with programming that makes an impact," she says. "We take this responsibility to heart … and I believe we are making progress in pursuit of our mission."

At the moment, that mission is built upon a solid Sunday block, with Downton Abbey leading into the return of Sherlock. Then in the spring, PBS Sunday viewers can look forward to Call the Midwife and Mister Selfridge on March 30, The Bletchley Circle on April 20, and Last Tango in Halifax on June 29.

As for Downton, the lesson Kerger has taken from those ratings is that many viewers now look forward to the show's January return as a post-holiday viewing treat. Which is why she has no plans to move the show's American airing closer to the British fall airdate, even though some people now download the British feed. She feels most people still want to watch Downton on their TVs in January — and together, as a communal experience.

While it may be PBS's most popular series, Downton doesn't define PBS. For some viewers, PBS...

Last Tango in Halifax Back for Second Season

Posted by on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 07:55

PBS Announces Second Season of Critically Acclaimed Drama “LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX” to Debut on Sunday, June 29, 2014

BAFTA Award-Winning Love Story from Red Production Company Attracted More than 8.4 Million Viewers in its First Season on PBS; Further Solidifies PBS as a Destination for Quality Drama on Sunday Nights

Series Lead Derek Jacobi to Also Star in New PBS Comedy VICIOUS, Premiering in July

PASADENA, CA; JANUARY 20, 2014 -- BBC Worldwide North America Sales & Distribution and PBS announced today that the critically acclaimed British drama LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX will return for a second season in the U.S., debuting June 29 2014, at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS. New sitcom VICIOUS, also starring TANGO lead Derek Jacobi, will join the lineup on Sunday, July 6 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Written by Sally Wainwright (“Scott and Bailey,” “Unforgiven,” “At Home With the Braithwaites”) and directed by Euros Lyn (“Black Mirror,” “Sherlock”) and Jill Robertson (Law & Order: UK), LAST TANGO IN HALIFAX tells the story of love struck septuagenarians Alan (Jacobi) and Celia (Anne Reid) who rediscover their love for each other later in life — 60 years, in fact, after they first met. The heart-warming series, which was named one of the “Best TV shows of 2013” by Variety, was the BBC’s highest rating new mid-week drama of 2012, regularly attracting more than seven million viewers with its captivating mix of effervescent humor and moving drama. Made by Red...

Sherlock Season 3 Premiere

Posted by on Thu, 01/16/2014 - 15:16

Sherlock Season 3

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!
January 19, 26, and February 2 at 9 pm on PBS

You can’t keep a dead detective down. Seemingly six feet under at the end of the last series, Sherlock is miraculously back as the acclaimed super-sleuth played by Benedict Cumberbatch (The Fifth Estate, Star Trek Into Darkness) with Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, The Office UK) as his too-trusting sidekick, Dr. John Watson. The eagerly anticipated Sherlock Season 3 airs on MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! in three exhilarating episodes on Sundays, January 19, 26, and February 2, 2014 at 9:58pm, following the broadcast of Downton Abbey on PBS (check local listings).The series is a contemporary reinvention of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories by creative team Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Mark Gatiss.

The writers, cast, and crew have been honored with a Peabody Award, a host of Primetime Emmy nominations, and many other accolades.Like viewers, critics have been insatiable. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “If the proof of quality is that a show leaves you craving more, Sherlock has quality to burn.” And Daily Variety implored: “…to borrow a line from another famous U.K. author, ‘Please sir, I want some more.’”Cumberbatch and Freeman are joined by co-star Amanda Abbington (Mr. Selfridge, Case Histories) as Mary Morstan, Dr. Watson’s devoted love interest. Also appearing is Lars Mikkelsen (Borgen, English title: The...

American Masters 200th Episode-Salinger

Posted by on Wed, 01/08/2014 - 16:26


American Masters presents the exclusive, never-before-seen director’s cut of Salinger as the series’ 200th episode, featuring 15 minutes of new material. Salinger is an intricately structured mystery that reveals the author’s private world: how World War II influenced his life and work, his painstaking writing methods, his many relationships with young women, and the literary secrets he left behind after his death in 2010. The documentary features interviews with some 150 subjects, including E.L. Doctorow, Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Pulitzer Prize-winners A. Scott Berg and Elizabeth Frank, actors Martin Sheen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Edward Norton, John Cusack, Danny DeVito, playwright John Guare, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne.

For more information, visit

Find us on Pinterest!

Posted by on Thu, 01/02/2014 - 11:51

Network Knowledge is now on Pinterest to share everything from your favorite recipes (on shows such as Lidia's Italy or Cooking with Martha Stewart) to children's programming resources for interactive play. We'll be adding new pins each week to give you ideas on crafts, local programming, and so much more.

You can find us at

Illinois Stories at Garth Mansion

Posted by on Wed, 12/18/2013 - 13:08

This week Illinois Stories visited the Garth Woodside Mansion & Estate in Hannibal, Missouri. Built in the 1800's, this home saw famous guests such as Samuel Clemens and many others. Join Mark McDonald as he and the Innkeepers explore the history and charm of this three-story historic home.

Air date TBA.

American Experience Winter Premieres

Posted by on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 07:50

The New Year is just around the corner and with it comes new AMERICAN EXPERIENCE films premiering in January. Continuing its 25th anniversary season, new episodes kick off on January 7th with The Poisoner's Handbook—an in-depth look at how New York’s first medical examiner transformed forensic chemistry, followed by 1964 on January 14th—an exploration of a year that defined an era (Beatlemania, the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the birth of the Women’s Movement and the transfer of the presidency to LBJ).

The Poisoner's Handbook (1/7)
When New York City hired its first scientifically trained medical examiner, Charles Norris and his extraordinarily driven and talented chief toxicologist, Alexander Gettler, forensic chemistry turned into a formidable science, sending many a murder to the electric chair and setting the standards that the rest of the country would ultimately adopt.

1964 (1/14)
Based on The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, by award-winning journalist Jon Margolis, this film will follow some of the most prominent figures of the time – Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Barry Goldwater, Betty Freidan – and bring out from the shadows the actions of ordinary Americans whose frustrations, ambitions, and anxieties began to turn the country onto a different course.

Check our program schedule page in January to see air times for these fantastic new programs on American Experience.


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