Ruff And Ready

Good news for fans of Ruff Ruffman – the star of the fan-favorite PBS Kids series will be returning this fall in The Ruff Ruffman Show, an all-new short-form animated digital series.

Along with his assistants Blossom and Chet, the canine host extraordinaire will answer questions from real kids, take on challenges and learn the value of perseverance – all while modeling science inquiry skills.

The 20-episode series is designed to help kids ages 4-8 learn core science concepts through videos, game-play and hands-on activities and will be available on PBS Kids digital platforms on September 20.

Prime Suspect PS

Fans of Prime Suspect: Tennison on Masterpiece may enjoy hearing one of the stars discuss his role and how he fits into the world of Jane Tennison.

The Masterpiece Studio Podcast sat down with Prime Suspect: Tennison‘s Sam Reid to talk about his character, Detective Inspector Len Bradfield.

[Warning: If you have not seen all three episodes of Prime Suspect: Tennison please note that this interview contains spoilers.]

Like A Good Neighbor

If you’re a fan of Fred Rogers (and if you’re not, what on Earth is wrong with you?!) you’ll be pleased to know that an amazing bit of public broadcasting history is being presented online.

Amazon-owned video service Twitch is currently hosting a free, 18-day marathon of every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. (The event started yesterday – sorry for the late notice but there’s still time to catch most of it.)

That’s right – all 886 episodes of the venerable kids show and public broadcasting staple. That’s every Speedy Delivery, every trip to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and every moment of unconditional love. The live-streaming block will feature many episodes that have only aired once and also encourage donations to your local PBS station.

Check out the memories at https://www.twitch.tv/misterrogers and relive the entirety of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Victoria Rules

Fans of Victoria on Masterpiece may be interested to know that there’s a sweepstakes in progress over at the Masterpiece site at pbs.org. You can enter daily through March 15 for your chance to win a 7-day, 6-night trip for two adults from the US to Great Britain where you’ll go behind-the-scenes to tour Yorkshire and London filming sites for Victoria, a London site for Sherlock and Downton Abbey’s iconic Highclere Castle. Enter at pbs.org/sweepstakes and, as always, make sure you read prize details and Official Rules.

Maggie-nanimous

If you watched the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night, you saw not only two fantastic wins for PBS but some gentle chiding of Dame Maggie Smith by host Jimmy Kimmel. In his opening monologue, Kimmel ribbed Smith for being a no-show at the event, pointing out that even though she had been nominated nine times and won three (four, now) Maggie Smith had never attended the Emmys. Kimmel then jokingly instituted the Maggie Smith Rule which stated “you must be present to win.”

The ruse continued when presenters Minnie Driver and Michael Weatherly announced the win for Dame Maggie and emcee Jimmy Kimmel walked on stage, grabbed the statue and said, “Maggie, if you want this, it’ll be in the lost and found.”

It was all in good fun, of course. And Maggie Smith continued the jest with a post on the Masterpiece Twitter (@MasterpiecePBS) on Monday: “I was very astonished and pleased to win the award. I feel the Emmys have been overly generous to me. If Mr. Kimmel could please direct me to the lost and found office I will try and be on the next flight. Love, Old Maggie.”

A great response for a great gag. Congratulations, once again, to Maggie Smith for her exceptional work on Downton Abbey, her well deserved win and her fantastic sense of humor.

Let’s All Go To The Movies!

If you like movies but hate crowded theaters then the PBS Online Film Festival is just for you!

Now in its fifth year, the PBS Online Film Festival is so aptly named I shouldn’t even have to explain that you go online and view the 25 films available and vote for your favorites! Voting is enabled through July 29 and the winners will be announced August 1.

The festival features diverse films from PBS member stations and UNC-TV is not only a partner but has two films (Love Is In The Fair, The Moped Diaries) selected for the online event. Check out the entries and celebrate independent film at the PBS Online Film Festival.