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KCET Productions | KCET


KCET Productions


Updated March 2017

Throughout its 53-year history, KCET has acquired and produced thousands of hours of award-winning programming for local, regional and national distribution through television broadcast, online streaming and OTT channels including Roku and Apple TV.


Launched in 2012, KCETLink’s Artbound is a transmedia arts and culture program platform that re-imagines art curation by utilizing over 50 arts journalists, located throughout 11 Southern California counties, who continually scan the cultural landscape for stories about emerging and under-publicized artists, arts groups, and the impact of the arts across many facets of life including the environment. Artbound highlights the cultural issues of our times and our region by providing exposure to contemporary artists, and critical in-depth analysis of how arts and culture affects our Southern California society.  A vast array of cultural journalists provide varied, fresh and ongoing reports with a constant stream of online articles and web videos published on the Artbound website and on our social media channels.     

In addition to a robust online editorial presence, Artbound produces long-form documentary specials that spotlight unique arts and culture initiatives impacting the Southern California community. This includes the 2014 “Invisible Cities,” which captured an experimental opera production at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles and was recognized with a Los Angeles Area Emmy® Award for Best Entertainment Programming. Artbound has also been honored with three Golden Mike Awards from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California; four LA Press Club Awards; two National Entertainment Journalism Awards; and an “Official Honoree” distinction from the Webby Awards.

Although Artbound focuses on arts and culture reporting in the Los Angeles region, it has become a national leader in transmedia program development and production by using digital platforms as an incubator and television broadcast as an aggregator. Artbound is the only transmedia project currently funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, demonstrating the leadership position that Artbound has in the market. Artbound and all of KCETLink’s arts and culture programming models reflect a networked, participatory generation where consumption of the arts and culture is multi-linear – see it, record it, talk about it and share it via social media.

Artbound continues to collaborate with numerous cultural organizations as production and promotional partners, including the Autry Museum for the American West; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art; Otis College of Art & Design; Grand Performances; The Industry; and the Annenberg Space for Photography.

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Broadcast in primetime on KCET since March 2014, this half-hour performance program features intimate concerts and interviews with influential and emerging musicians from around Southern California.  Artbound Presents Studio A sets out to chart the musical landscape of the Southland, and how local musicians are capturing the ethos of the most culturally diverse region in the world.  Genres explored on the series include rock, jazz, folk, and Cumbia, among many others.

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Border Blaster, a multi-platform series offering a collection of music videos from around the world, traces musical currents across continents to explore world genres through a weekly television series and accompanying online editorial contributions.  Partnering with Los Angeles' longstanding public broadcasting internet radio station Dublab, regular content on Border Blaster highlights vastly diverse international cultures and their voices through music from Syrian electronic music to Caribbean psych rock.

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Departures is an award-winning online documentary series offering multimedia portraits of Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods.  Each Departures installment is created in partnership with community organizations, as well as with local high school students, who undertake a rigorous, semester-long multimedia curriculum.  In 2011, Departures was honored with the prestigious Japan Foundation President’s Prize as part of the Japan Prize International Contest for Educational Media.  The prize was given for “excellent work that encourages mutual understanding among nations and races or contributes to cultural exchange.”

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As the longest-running environmental news magazine on U.S. television, KCETLink’s award-winning Earth Focus is filling a key information gap by providing top-notch reporting on critical global environmental issues, and combining television broadcasts with the power of the web and social media to inform, engage and mobilize citizens to become environmental stewards and advocates.  On Link TV nationwide since 1999 and on KCET in Southern California since 2013, Earth Focus is a weekly half-hour primetime series featuring original investigative reports, as well as content acquired from partner organizations. Topics recently explored include: the world’s vanishing coral reefs resulting from climate change, the impact of fracking in communities around the world; the health hazards of chemicals in our everyday lives; the plight of African elephants and the demand for their tusks; critical water shortages across the globe; the alarming impact of pesticides on bee populations, as well as on fish, wildlife and humans; and much more.

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Now in its 18th year, the KCET Fine Cut Film Festival is a collection of short films from students and emerging filmmakers that range from cutting edge animation to the best in documentary cinema. With more than 3,200 entries from all over the world, 2017 kicked off the first time that honorees from the festival had an opportunity to be a part of the most important event on the global film calendar, the annual Cannes International Film Festival thanks to a partnership with The American Pavilion, the epicenter of American hospitality and communication at the world’s largest film market. Student filmmakers from Southern California film schools ranging from Santa Barbara to San Diego also have the chance to win the JACK LARSON SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA STUDENT FILMMAKER AWARD, where the winning filmmaker will receive a cash prize.

All short films selected as part of the KCET Fine Cut Film Festival are included in a series of one-hour broadcast episodes on KCET public television in Southern California and also on Link TV nationwide (DirecTV 375 and Dish Network 9410). Additionally, three of the winning films from The American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase competition are featured in the KCET Fine Cut Film Festival broadcast series.

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Partnering with USC Libraries, Lost LA is a documentary series that explores iconic pieces of LA history that have vanished. The multimedia series is based on KCET’s popular ongoing column called "LA As Subject" written by LA historian Nathan Masters of USC Libraries who is the series host. KCET employed the talents of emerging filmmakers to create short documentaries about a wide range of forgotten LA history from wildlife to before-Dodger Stadium.  In 2016, Lost LA had the highest rated launch of a new franchise on KCET, and a second season is now underway.

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SoCal Connected

On the air since 2008, SoCal Connected is an acclaimed weekly half-hour news magazine that provides substantive and engaging stories about the issues and events that affect the Southern California region.  The series explores topics ranging from the environment to the economy, from government to education, from health to local culture.  Anchored by respected KCET journalist Val Zavala, SoCal Connected has been recognized for its quality journalism and contributions to the Southern California community with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, along with 25 Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards; 27 Golden Mike Awards from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California; 55 LA Press Club Awards; and one National & five Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, among many accolades.

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A broadcast and digital series, The Migrant Kitchen tells the story of the migrants within Los Angeles – through the lens of food. Viewers visit the kitchens of those who have transformed the culinary landscape of the city, combining traditional ethnic cuisines as well as fusions of new flavors and techniques that make Los Angeles one of the food capitals of the world. Season One of The Migrant Kitchen featured interviews with key Los Angeles chefs and food influencers including Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Connie & Ted's), Alvin Cailan (Eggslut, Unit 120), Chad and Chase Valencia (LASA), Adele Yellin (Grand Central Market) and Charles Olalia (RiceBar). A second season of The Migrant Kitchen is now underway.

The Migrant Kitchen comes to KCET from the producers behind acclaimed print/online magazine Life & Thyme, dedicated to documenting food culture around the globe with a focus on storytelling.

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In partnership with “Town Hall LA,” Los Angeles’ oldest and largest public speaker forums, KCET’s new series Town Hall LA provides access and timely insights into California solutions with a world view by inviting top industry influencers to offer their perspectives and solutions to regional, national and international matters. Recent guests for the series have included: Vice President of Research and Advanced Engineering at the Ford Motor Company, Dr. Ken Washington who discussed the future of transportation and how driverless cars will impact our current transportation ecosystem; CEO of Green Dot Public Schools, Marco Petruzzi who discussed how the non-profit organization is revolutionizing the school system; and Wallis Annenberg Director and CEO Michael Govan, who has led the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) from the once sleepy county museum to a cultural center for Los Angeles. In conjunction with the broadcast of Town Hall LA, KCET conducts Facebook Live events to garner questions to the panelists from social media audiences.

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The Visiting… series has transcended multiple generations of Angelenos with its exploration of the hidden gems tucked away within the vast and diverse Southern California landscape, and the people who live there. Visiting… has captured the spirit of The Southland with episodes ranging from a look at how menudo is made to the celebration surrounding the rededication of Angel's Flight. Los Angeles Times critic Howard Rosenberg calls Huell's style, "Intimate, magnificently unslick, utterly charming, and absolutely irresistible." Visiting…  is part of a 7- 8 p.m. one-hour block of Huell Howser weekdays on KCET, which also includes California’s Gold.

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A gala performance presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion featuring community and professional choirs, music ensembles, and dance companies representing the diverse cultures and holiday traditions of LA County.

Viewers can further explore the world of the famous doctor and the cast of colorful characters with a behind-the-scenes special, shot exclusively by KCET in Port Isaac, where the hit Doc Martin series takes place. Featuring everything from provocative interviews with the actors to hints of what is in store for the next season, the 30-minute special recaps every episode of Doc Martin leading up to the finale of Season Four and sheds light on why it's the most popular series on public television in Southern California.

With inhabitants from every country, culture and influence, Los Angeles is one of the world's most international cities. Global LA is a series examining the region's ties to a number of destinations and cultures around the world. Made possible by a generous sponsorship from Suburu and co-produced with Globe Trekker, the series has explored Southern California's British population tied to the Olympics and all things 'haunted' in Los Angeles for Halloween, as well as the area's Desert Communities.

KCET More is an original series of educational shorts designed to serve as enrichment companions to new and existing programming by the station. The series of interstitials provide fact-based, supplemental information tied to popular KCET programs and specials, with key local institutions including the Museum of Natural History and JPL.

This half-hour interview show, LA Tonight with Roy Firestone, is hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Roy Firestone. Roy invites celebrities and public figures who live in Los Angeles to discuss their lives and the provocative issues shaping today's news. This year, Roy spoke with Burt Bacharach, Andre Agassi, Diane Warren, Steve Tyrell, Debbie Allen, Chris Botti, Suzanna Guzman and Chef Joachim Splichal.

Live@theFord is a performing arts series now in its second season showcasing the diverse cultural performances at the historic 1,200-seat Ford Amphitheatre during the 2012 summer season. The series will present a diverse cross-section of cultures, artists and genres, including: ¡Viva LA Tradición! A Tribute to Nati Cano y Los Camperos, AlohaFest! Kanikapila! and VARIEDADES: The Ballad of Ricardo Flores Magón.
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For the first time, KCET broadcast its annual Local Heroes Awards Cultural Diversity Celebration in November. Hosted by KCET's own Val Zavala and Roy Firestone, the two-hour program celebrated the extraordinary contributions of 13 outstanding community leaders, with featured performances by the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, Jazz in Pink, pianist Ray Ushikubo and poet Gabriela Garcia Medina. KCET, in collaboration with Union Bank, N.A., celebrated diversity all year long through the Local Heroes program. The celebration culminated with this spectacular event, which took place at Club Nokia at L.A. Live in October.
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Hosted by opera sensation Suzanna Guzmán, Open Call is a weekly series that immerses audiences in performances by the dynamic talent of our region. The program takes viewers behind the scenes and into the classrooms, rehearsal halls and auditoriums of some of the most widely acclaimed institutions based in Southern California. Each episode features interviews with Guzmán and the artists and leaders of these organizations to engage viewers and set the scene for the broadcast. KCET has showcased the wonderful and varied productions from organizations including USC, UCLA, Colburn School and Camerta Pacifica, as well as from producers such as Joe Mantegna, Dan Guntzleman, Freida Lee Mock and Jessica Sanders.

Play Me, I'm Yours is a special programming initiative chronicling the performing arts project of the same name that took over Los Angeles County in April. Val Zavala visits three piano locations which are featured in one-minute segments including Julliardtrained pianist U-Jung Jung in San Pedro (who set out to play all thirty pianos), LACO Executive Director Rachel Fine at the Chinatown piano, and the children of the Watts/Willowbrook Boys' and Girls' Club where kids had a try at being maestros for the day.

Hosted by Holly Robinson Peete, Your Turn to Care is a nationally syndicated program that explores the challenges facing America's growing generation of baby boomers who are taking care of ailing or aging loved ones, offering strategies and advice for helping navigate these complex caregiving waters. The series features national quarterly television specials, local television segments, a multi-faceted complementary website and social media. The program subject matter is crafted from input from celebrities living with caregiving issues, carefully selected experts that specialize in medicine, aging, family relationships, finance, long term care...and most importantly, caregivers themselves.
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Stand Up Planet is a documentary, transmedia series that showcases life in some of the toughest places on Earth through the lens and experiences of stand-up comics. Hosted by Indian-American stand-up comic, Hasan Minhaj, the project finds some of the best humor coming from corners of the developing world. Starting from his own personal story, Hasan embarks on an epic journey of discovery to find some of the funniest stand-up comics in the most unlikely places: the bustling city of Mumbai, India, and the neighborhoods of Johannesburg, South Africa. Along the way, Hasan follows the jokes and personal experiences of the international comics deep into the hard truths and the promise for change in some of the toughest global poverty issues of our time. 
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See the list of Pre-2005 Productions

Public Media Group of Southern California

The Public Media Group of Southern California (PMGSC) tells stories that matter through original programs that reflect the diversity of the region, and the full schedule of trusted PBS programs. Our content channels – PBS SoCal, KCET and Link TV – are available for free on internet-connected screens, seven local broadcast channels, and one national satellite channel.

A donor-supported community institution, PMGSC sparks the sharing of ideas at in-person cultural events and community conversations, and delivers social impact through services that prepare our most vulnerable children for school.