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PBS Specials

PBS Specials logoPBS airs a lot of documentary programs and series. If a show doesn't fit into one of those categories, it should be listed here.

Pioneers of Television

Pioneers of Television logoA documentary series focusing on the legends that helped launch TV. Using never-before-seen images and showcasing timeless clips, the series transports viewers behind the scenes for a revealing look at television's early years.

Planet Earth (1986)

Planet Earth (1986) logoIn this series, geological developments that influenced the Earth are examined, and their historical, current, and future implications are discussed. Planet Earth: The Living Machine looks at the concept of plate tectonics, and how these forces are constantly shifting and changing the land features of the planet. The high temperatures of Earth's core impact the eruption of volcanoes, which are continually adding to the land mass. Movement of plates against one another generate earthquakes of varying intensity, and their effects can also change the appearance of the Earth's surface.

Postcards from Buster

Postcards from Buster logoArthur's best friend Buster, is starring in his own series. Buster will accompany his airline pilot father as he flies the fictional latin rock group Los Viajeros on a concert tour of the United States, with forays into Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Buster will stay in touch with his friends back at home with a small, hand-held digital video camera. Characters: Buster Baxter - He's a rabbit who loves to eat! He's a big pig, but he is a loyal friend to his best friend Arthur. Buster loves taking naps, and he isn't very good in school. Arthur Read - Buster's best friend. He is also very loyal to Buster. He wears glasses. He's an aardvark. Theme Song: Hey, Buster! Where you off too? What you up to? Buster! Where you off to now? Where you gonna be? Who you gonna see there? Let's find out ...


POV logoPOV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.

Que Pasa, USA?

Que Pasa, USA? logoWelcome to the ¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.? guide at TV Tome. ¿Qué Pasa, USA? was and still is America's first bilingual situation comedy. The program explored the trials and tribulations faced by a Cuban family, named Peña,in Miami as they struggled to cope with a new country and a new language. The series focused on the identity crisis of the teenage members of the family as they are pulled in one direction by their elders who want to maintain Cuban values and traditions - and pulled in other directions by the pressures of living in a predominantly Anglo society. The series is bilingual, reflecting the mix of language often heard in Cuban-American neighborhoods from Spanish in the home and English at the supermarket to the inevitable combining of both into "Spanglish."

Queen Victoria's Empire

Queen Victoria's Empire logoAt the time of Queen Victoria's birth in 1819, England was an agrarian society. Within a few short decades, this small island nation would be transformed into an industrial superpower, with an empire spanning the globe. Queen Victoria's Empire is both the story of this remarkable time, and an engaging portrait of a Queen who ruled over a one-fifth of the world's population. It is the story of the influential figures that would shape a distinctively British imperialism: Gladstone, Disraeli, Livingstone, Rhodes, and Prince Albert, Victoria's husband. Whether driven by profit, passion, or noble ideals, these figures would fuel an expansion unequaled in history, forever changing Britain and the lands it controlled. Personal accounts, lush reenactments, and evocative cinematography from former ...

Race: The Power of An Illusion

Race: The Power of An Illusion logoThe division of people into distinct categories—“white,” “black,” “yellow,” “red” peoples—has become so widely accepted and so deeply routed in our psyches, that most people would not think to question its veracity. This three hour documentary tackles the myth of race by subverting the idea of race as biology, tracing the idea back to its invention in the 19th century.

Reading Rainbow

Reading Rainbow logoOstensibly, Reading Rainbow was created to motivate children to read. But it was much more. The show was hosted by Levar Burton on location to introduce many fields. Reading Rainbow began as a magazine format in 1983, when magazine shows were at their peak. True to form, this was Reading Rainbow's best period. It was nominated for a prime-time Emmy in 1985, based on its premise to involve students in carefully selected literature, among other things. For 20 years, Great Plains National (GPN) was at the forefront of instructional television. They had several talented personnel who pioneered the ITV field in many ways. Then, in 1982, Twila C. Liggett oversaw the creation of the one series more associated with GPN than any other. Ironically, that series would became the principal force that ...
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