PBS Wisconsin Archives

Explore the PBS Wisconsin video archives by decade.

1950s: The Wisconsin Idea

In 1954, the Television Laboratory was born out of the University of Wisconsin’s mission to reach every corner of the state. During the 1950s, WHA introduced educational shows like The Friendly GiantLet’s Draw and Let’s Ask Ranger Mac.

1960s: Friendly Faces

PBS Wisconsin Archives: 1950s began broadcasting Wisconsin sports for the first time, as well as inviting rising political leaders like John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon to its studios. At the same time, PBS was giving familiar characters like Big Bird, Kermit the Frog, and Mr. Roger their debut.

1970s: Theater, Music & Science

As PBS Wisconsin Archives: 1950s broadcast Once Upon a Midnight Cheery in the Lab of Shakhashiri for the first time in 1970, iconic shows like Austin City LimitsThe Electric Company,Nova and Masterpiece Theater were expanding the reach and renown of PBS.

1980s: Going Above and Beyond

The 1980s brought some of PBS Wisconsin Archives: 1950s most popular shows like Sewing With Nancy and Storylords to a national audience. It was also the beginning of some of PBS’s most recognizable shows like Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting, Levar Burton’s Reading Rainbow, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

1990s: Fun & Games

Some of the most iconic kids programming came out of PBS and PBS Wisconsin Archives: 1950s during the 1990s. You could Get Real, ride on The Magic School Bus, hang out with Arthur, learn from Bill Nye the Science Guy, or go on an adventure with Wishbone.