KCET Celebrates 50 Years of 'Inspiring a Better State' as Southern and Central California's Leading Public Media Voice

KCETLink Embraces New Era as Publicly Engaged Independent Network


The Year-Long Celebration will include an Evocative Retrospective Television Special, Compelling Selections of Groundbreaking, Archival Programming and Public Engagement Activities


 Robust Online Anniversary Hub Chronicles Station Milestones through Essays, Photo Galleries and Timelines


BURBANK, CA - Aug. 27, 2014 - In his historic dedication of KCET in 1965, television host and noted educator Dr. Frank C. Baxter called the fledgling station a "strong and significant force" in public television. On Sept. 28, 2014, KCET celebrates 50 years of serving the interests of Southern and Central California audiences with quality, award-winning programming that reflects the vibrancy and unique cultural history of the region, as it moves--full force--into its role as a leader in public media for the 21st Century.


With its new tagline, "Inspiring a Better State," KCET marks the important 50-year milestone with a celebration that includes a variety of multi-platform programming and public engagement opportunities.  In addition, a compelling selection of new and archival programming will pay homage to the station's historic past, including specials from legendary television personality Huell Howser, who played a unique role in shaping KCET's history.


"We are extremely proud of the legacy we've created as a powerful convener, storyteller, connector and collaborator for our diverse community in Southern and Central California," said Al Jerome, KCETLink's President and Chief Executive Officer. "Moving forward with the addition of Link TV, KCETLink will build upon that tremendous history and continue to break new ground as a publicly engaged independent network by lifting up hearts, minds and communities in increasingly innovative ways for future generations."


Key KCET 50th Anniversary Initiatives include:



Visitors can immerse themselves in KCET's rich half-century of history at kcet.org/50. The online hub features archived videos, photos and vibrant content by a host of columnists reflecting on KCET and the city of Los Angeles. The site also features an expanding, interactive timeline that allows visitors to learn about major milestones of the station by the decade, in conjunction with important historical events in Los Angeles. A community engagement component also complements the site, encouraging visitors to share ideas on how they "envision a better state."


Community Kiosk Exhibit


KCET will launch an exciting public engagement activity that will give residents the opportunity to become an active part of KCET's 50th anniversary narrative. An interactive kiosk, designed by local artist Melissa Castellano, will serve as a travelling arts and education exhibit, appearing at cultural institutions and civic centers around Southern California.  The kiosk will visually display historical KCET touch points and prompt community members to answer the question: "How do you envision a better state?"  Led by KCET's Community Advisory Board (CAB), KCET will collect community responses, which will coincide with the online campaign that engages viewers around the topic.


On the air, audiences will enjoy an eclectic mix of inspiring, enlightening and entertaining programs that embrace the spirit of the station:



Sunday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.

What better way to celebrate KCET's role in showcasing the beauty of the region than with Huell Howser? For more than five hours, Howser introduces audiences to all the missions along the California coast from San Diego to north of San Francisco. This history-rich series details not only the individual missions, but also the religious and political motivation of the Spanish missionaries who developed the churches for the indigenous native peoples along El Camino Real.  The 10 episodes will also be scheduled in the regular Huell Howser weeknight slots at 7:30 p.m. following the broadcast.



Monday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m.

KCET will air one week of acclaimed series, PRIME SUSPECT, featuring the bold award-winning performance of actress Helen Mirren as Jane Tennison, one of the first female Detective Chief Inspectors in the London's Metropolitan Police Service. Featured on KCET's new schedule after the station's split from PBS, the series blazed new trails for the portrayal of women in gritty detective roles, as KCET forged a new independent path in public media.



Series Premieres Thursday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.

KCET's award-winning arts and culture series will join in the 50th celebration by rebroadcasting several episodes of THE WORKS, a seminal arts series which aired on KCET during the '80s and '90s. The series featured local performances, exhibitions and groundbreaking productions from luminaries like Peter Sellars, Lita Albuquerque, Bill Viola, Pat O'Neil, Karole Armitage and Ed Ruscha, which helped to define Los Angeles as a leading cultural capital of the world.  


KCET: 50 Years at the Forefront

Sunday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.

Produced by KCETLink's Bohdan Zachary, SVP, Broadcasting, Programming & Syndication, this original 50th anniversary special brings viewers on a half-century journey through KCET's history, with footage of defining moments from beloved specials and series and interviews from important voices of KCET's past and present, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bill Moyers, Val Zavala, Rubén Martínez, Patt Morrison, Taylor Hackford, Jesús Treviño, Jack Larson, Fritz Coleman and Dick Cook, among many others. The special also underscores KCET's storied tradition of serving the local community through groundbreaking programming and events.




Thanksgiving Day

Premiering exclusively on KCET, this new documentary created by Chapman University film professor Jeff Swimmer takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the amazing world of Huell Howser and his California's Gold and Road Trip series. Audiences will discover how the show was produced, with appearances by Howser's friends, colleagues and the production team that helped him create his offbeat and unforgettable adventures. 




KCETLink is the national independent public transmedia organization formed by the merger between KCET and Link Media. A viewer-supported 501c(3) organization, its content is distributed nationally via satellite on DirecTV (375) and DISH (9410), in Southern and Central California via broadcast, as well as through various digital delivery systems. The combined organization reaches a wide broadcast audience that includes Link TV's 33 million satellite subscribers and KCET's 5.6 million households in Southern and Central California. KCETLink is committed to driving public media innovation with smarter ways to access content that engages all audiences with global storytelling. For additional information about KCETLink productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org or linktv.org.











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