Half a century ago, Connecticut Public Television wasn't the award-winning TV producer and presenter it is today. It wasn't even "Public Television." It was Connecticut Educational Television.
Located in the basement of
But the station's ambitions were great, and ultimately fulfilled. On June 8, CPTV will commemorate its 50-year history with a black-tie gala at the Hartford Marriott.
Originally, Channel 24 was designed to be truly "educational" in the mornings, airing programs such as the locally produced "Science in Industry" to be shown in classrooms. Evenings were devoted to adult-oriented informational and cultural offerings: concerts, travelogues, and local interview shows such as "The Fourth Estate," which featured Connecticut journalists.
Although learning has always been a part of CPTV's agenda, the station dropped "Educational" from its name in 1970, substituting "Public": It had become part of the
Since then, CPTV has put together many nationally broadcast specials and documentaries, garnering praise and awards. In the 1990s, it co-produced "Barney and Friends," the children's show about the purple dinosaur that has aired worldwide.
The past years have had their low points, too. After 18 broadcast seasons, the University of Connecticut announced in 2012 that it was moving its women's basketball games from CPTV to SportsNet New York. It was a huge blow to the network.