American Public Television
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|Headquarters||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Slogan||"The Frank Side of Life".|
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 administering the Create and World channels on public TV.
Eastern Educational Television Network
APT began in 1961 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. EEN incorporated in 1961. EEN was one of the first distributors of shows such as The French Chef (with Julia Child) in 1963, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and Washington Week in Review on a national basis.
Another first from EEN was the distribution starting in 1970 of Newsfront, America's first live and non-commercial daily news program. EEN introduced Wall Street Week in November 1970 before PBS began distributing it nationwide in January 1972. EEN began the import to America of BBC and CBC productions in 1974 with Monty Python's Flying Circus being one of them. In 1978, the EEN started the Free Library
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 in 1992.
American Public Television
American Program Service was renamed American Public Television (APT) in 1999. Also, with many fax requests from international outlets, an international division called APT Worldwide was started.
- 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. Travels in Europe with Rick Steves (starting in 1990), Globe Trekker and America's Test Kitchen are offered through this service.
- 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
- 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 biography purchased in 2002 was a top hit through this service along with the BBC's Battlefield Britain series.
APT also owns two digital subchannel networks together with WGBH and WNET.ORG:
- Create, which offers primarily crafts and travel programming from the APT library. Established in January 2006, many of Create's affiliates are PBS digital stations, and Create is also carried on cable through local agreements with public television stations. Shows regularly carried on Create include Lidia's Italy, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, The Joy of Painting and America's Test Kitchen.
- World Channel, a 24-hour digital channel showing public TV non-fiction, science, nature, news, public affairs and documentaries.
APT distributes more than 300 new program titles per year, including documentaries, talk shows, dramatic and comedic series, how-to programs, children's series and classic movies. Shows currently or previously distributed by APT include The Open Mind, Rick Steves' Europe,"Painting the Town with Eric Dowdle" Simply Ming, America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated and its sister series Cook's Country from America's Test Kitchen, Yan Can Cook, The Big Comfy Couch, Net Cafe, Computer Chronicles, Richard Bangs' Adventures with Purpose, Globe Trekker (aka Pilot Guides in other countries), Doc Martin, Rudy Maxa's World, Sara's Weeknight Meals and Scully: The World Show.
APT has also distributed special pledge shows to public television, including programs such as Liza's at the Palace...!, Anne of Green Gables, Carreras Domingo Pavarotti, Celine Dion: A New Day, Mike Douglas – Moments & Memories, Broadway: The Golden Age 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
- The Big Comfy Couch (February 11, 1995 – May 24, 2009)
- Redwall (April 1, 2001 – 2006)
- Curiosity Quest (July 15, 2004 – present)
- The Zula Patrol (September 4, 2005 – present)
- Signing Time (January 1, 2006 – present)
- The Saddle Club (September 3, 2006 – March 1, 2009)
- Ribert & Robert's WonderWorld (September 3, 2006 – present)
- Wunderkind Little Amadeus (September 7, 2008 – present)
- Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (September 2, 2001 – November 18, 2005; April 5, 2010 – April 4, 2015)
- Peep and the Big Wide World (2004–present)/Pocoyo (2010-present)
- Raggs (February 4, 2008 – present)
- Wild Animal Baby Explorers (October 3, 2010 – June 29, 2014)
- Space Racers (May 2, 2014 – present)
- Biz Kid$ (January 6, 2008 – present)
- Block, Alex Ben (November 9, 2014). "American Public Television Sheds Its 'Mister Rogers' Past". The Hollywood Reporter (November 2014). Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- Androich, Alicia (January 1, 2011). "Growing up in public". Real Screen (Brunico Communications Ltd). Retrieved December 15, 2014.