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KCET-TV announces children’s programming, digital lineup changes

KCET-TV has already made clear that it will no longer be telling children how to get to “Sesame Street.” But that’s not the only kiddie fare that the public- television station is relinquishing once it assumes its new guise as an independent channel on Saturday.

Gone will be the furry friends of “Curious George,” the scientific principles of “Sid the Science Kid” and the wacky adventures of “Clifford the Big Red Dog.” Ditto “Dinosaur Train,” “Martha Speaks,” “Super Why!” and “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!”

When KCET stops broadcasting PBS programming — after four decades as Los Angeles’ major PBS outlet — its kid-friendly weekday lineup will include “Busytown Mysteries,” a Canadian animated series with feline characters, and “Peep and the Big Wide World,” a cartoon that teaches kids about nature and basic science concepts with the help of a chicken and a duck, among others. The Peabody Award-winning series “A Place of Our Own” and “Los Niños en Su Casa” will remain part of the station’s morning programming.

But caregivers looking to occupy youngsters past the morning will likely have to tune elsewhere. Whereas KCET’s current weekday schedule features children’s programming from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. — including a double dose of “Sesame Street” — the daytime schedule that goes into place Monday is more adult-oriented. Once the clock strikes 10 a.m., the lineup turns to travel, gardening and cooking shows, some of which are reruns. Among the initial offerings are “Lidia’s Italy,” seen on PBS in 2007, “Barbecue University With Steven Raichlen,” which ran on PBS from 2003-2006, and “Art Wolfe’s Travel to the Edge,” which launched in 2007 and ran for two seasons.

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As with prime-time PBS staples such as “Nova,” “Masterpiece” and “Great Performances,” much of KCET’s current children’s programming will be offered by KOCE-TV. KCET chose to withdraw from the PBS network in a dispute over fees.

Although it is losing “NewsHour,” KCET will still offer news in its weekday lineup. “Newsline,” which has an Asian focus, will air at 6 p.m., followed by " BBC World News” at 6:30. KCET’s local news show, “SoCal Connected,” is slated to run Saturdays at 6:30 p.m.

KCET said Tuesday that it also would be making changes in its digital programming lineup Saturday, launching the KCET Kids & Family Channel, with educational programs for children, and MHz Worldview, offering international programming including news, documentaries and cultural specials. And it said it will continue to broadcast Vme, the Spanish-language channel.

KCET Kids & Family will be available on broadcast channel 28.2, Time Warner Cable channel 237, Cox 103 and Charter 310. Shows will include “Big Green Rabbit,” “Signing Time,” “Wild Animal Baby Explorers,” “Anne of Green Gables” and “Curiosity Quest.” In addition, the channel will present Spanish-language content, including “Los Niños en Su Casa” and “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss” (which will appear in both English and Spanish) from the Jim Henson Co.

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MHz Worldview will be available on 28.4, Time Warner Cable 238, Cox 105 and Charter 311. Its content is pulled from broadcasters such as Al Jazeera English, Asian News International, Beijing TV, Deutsche Welle, Euronews, France 24, Israel Broadcasting Authority, MAC TV and NHK World TV as well as local and independent producers, global content providers and original MHz Networks productions.

The digital channels will be format changes for KCET Orange, which transitions to KCET Kids & Family Channel, and PBS World, which transitions to MHz Worldview. KCET Desert Cities will reflect KCET Kids & Family, with most of its current programming moving to KCET’s daytime lifestyle block.

yvonne.villarreal@latimes.com


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