Yay, Us!

UNC-TV won six regional Emmys at the 33rd Midsouth Emmy Awards held February 16 in Nashville. Congratulations to all of the talented people who worked on these programs and who help make UNC-TV shine on a daily basis.

Here is a list of the UNC-TV winners…


Edwin Gil/Upcycled Glass, UNC-TV, Jonathan Steve Duran Arriola


MUSE 126, UNC-TV, Katy M. Loebrich, Jonathan Steve Duran Arriola, Morgan Potts


Hobey Ford: Puppeteer, UNCTV, Morgan Potts


My Home, North Carolina, UNC-TV, Heather Burgiss, Miriam McSpadden, Jonathan Steve Duran Arriola, Nathan Shepherd, Amy Meiggs, Galen Black


Middle School Science Animations, UNC-TV, Galen Black, Paula Edelson, Melissa Salpietra


A Little Weather, UNC-TV, Morgan Potts


My Top Five: Couples

It’s Valentines’ Day week so it seemed fitting I should turn my thoughts to romance. Of all the show we’ve aired on UNC-TV, many have featured loving couples. Some were for laughs while others ended in tears. So here they are -MY TOP FIVE COUPLES.

5) FREDDIE & STUART, VICIOUS. These two elderly gents might seem to the casual viewer as vicious as the series name suggests but throughout all the bitchiness and barbs there is never a single doubt that Freddie and Stuart do truly love one another.

4) JAMES & HELEN, ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL. The classic TV series is probably one of the best adaptations ever. The books are marvelous but Robert Hardy, Peter Davison and Christopher Timothy bring the vets of Skeldale House to vivid life, elevating the program over the source material. However, James and Helen Herriot were the heart of that series, affectionate and loyal and devoted to the end.

3) SUSAN & GORDON, SESAME STREET. They were two of the original human characters on the show and they have remained together as a couple, as part of a family, for five decades. Plus, it’s important to note that for many kids Susan and Gordon were the only example of a stable, loving relationship they had in their lives.

2) MARY & MATTHEW, DOWNTON ABBEY. Not every couple gets a happy ending but it’s the time together that counts. Yet for many episodes, this will-they-won’t-they twosome felt doomed from the start. So when Lady Mary and her beloved Matthew finally, amazingly, came together in that second season Christmas Special, oh the tears … pure tears of joy.

1) TOM & BARBARA, GOOD NEIGHBORS. Sure, it could be said they were doing nothing more than confirming the myth that everyone in Britain is a lovable, middle-class eccentric but they did it so well who would complain? The premise of a self-sufficiency experiment in the suburbs works so well because of these two main characters, Tom and Barbara Good (Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal). If only Tom could contrive the idea to turn their back garden into a real garden, complete with livestock, then only Barbara could have the vision and support and love to allow Tom to fulfill his dream. It works because we completely buy them as a 100% committed couple.

So there it is: MY TOP FIVE COUPLES. As always, this is my list, my personal selection. I stuck with loving couples, as seen on the many programs we’ve aired over the years on UNC-TV, and not just friends or colleagues (so no Holmes & Watson or Mathnet’s Monday & Frankly). I offer them up not as the best or greatest in any fashion. The list is simply that – a list. And it’s completely subjective. Feel free to make your own.

Hey, It’s Photo Friday!

I noticed a new science display near our studios today. I don’t think it was there a few days ago (I don’t get to that part of the building on a regular basis) and I don’t know who put it there (mysterious, eh?) but it certainly caught my attention. UNC-TV and PBS have always had a commitment to science programming and my guess is that this display is just part of all that.

Check it out…

Continue reading

Hey, It’s Photo Friday!

On one hand, I think it’s a tired stereotype for a public broadcasting station to give away tote bags. On the other hand, it’s a cliché for a reason. I know we’ve given away plenty, that’s for sure.

Here’s one from a few years back that touted our PBS Kids Young Writers Contest and Extreme Mammals – an exhibition at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. I’d estimate we gave away hundreds of bags like this at the State Fair and other events. Maybe you picked up one at a UNC-TV table somewhere?


Hey, It’s Photo Friday!

UNC-TV is currently located in the Research Triangle Park in the spacious Joseph and Kathleen Bryan Communications Center. The facility opened in 1989. Before that, we were a bit more spread out. We had studios on the UNC-CH and NCSU campuses. Master control was off in Chatham County. And our primary offices were in the UNC General Administration building.

Conglomerating all of our staff and broadcast facilities under one roof certainly helped streamline our production process. However, there are many who wistfully remember those days when UNC-TV was more diffuse. Below, you’ll see a lovely photo of our Chapel Hill production studios which was located in UNC’s Swain Hall. For those of us who got our start there, this sight prompts fond memories.

swainhall Continue reading

Hey, It’s Photo Friday!

Another dip into the archives for a look into UNC-TV’s past. This week, a vintage pic from the set of the UNC-TV original series ALMANAC GARDENER. I certainly recognize Mike Gray, host of the show. The others are not immediately known to me. One appears to be the host of a cooking segment and the others may be a producer, director or even a guest. I estimate the photograph to be from the early days of the series so this could be taken on a set from our old studios in Raleigh.