PBS Greenlights ‘Curious George,’ ‘Texas Ranch House’

Jan 17, 2005  •  Post A Comment

PBS announced Saturday at the Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour it is going forward with several new projects for 2006, including an animated children’s project, a documentary special and a reality miniseries.

Universal Home Entertainment Productions, Imagine Entertainment and Boston’s WGBH-TV are developing 30 half-hour animated episodes based on the classic children’s book series “Curious George.” The series, which will premiere in fall 2006 as part of the PBS Kids block, will be narrated by William H. Macy.

Following in the footsteps of PBS’s past historical reality series, including “Frontier House” and “Colonial House,” New York City’s WNET-TV and production company Wall to Wall are developing an eight-part series called “Texas Ranch House,” where 20 volunteers will live in a post-Civil War Texas environment. Scheduled to begin filming in Texas this summer, the producers will begin a participant search Feb. 1. The series is set to air in spring 2006.

WGBH is also developing a two-hour documentary, “Adoption: An American Revolution,” which will tackle the issues of foster care, public adoption agencies and the phenomenon of adopting from abroad. The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute is partnering with the station to help develop educational materials and a companion web site.

In addition, WGBH and Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions have teamed with The Merck Company Foundation to develop “Rx for Survival,” a six-hour series that will focus on global health, premiering this fall. The series will include a partnership with Time magazine, which will produce a special issue on the subject, as well as with National Public Radio, which will also do stories on global health.