Miami FL— Created by best-selling author James Patterson and hosted by an engaging pre-teen cast, the new public television series KID STEW celebrates imagination and encourages children’s interest in reading, music, art, and creative expression. Featuring comedic sketches, music videos, fun facts, virtual visits around the globe, and guest appearances from creative adults and kids alike, the series offers four, half-hour episodes packed with fun in a ‘for kids, by kids’ format that appeals to elementary school age viewers.
Producing station South Florida PBS will premiere the series on stations WPBT in Miami and WXEL in West Palm Beach on Sunday, April 15 with marathons of the four, half-hour episodes airing 8 – 10 am on channel 2 in Miami and 10 am to noon on channel 42 in West Palm Beach. Encore presentations of the program will air with weekly episodes on WPBT/2 Fridays at 4 pm beginning April 20 and on WXEL/42 Saturdays at 9 am beginning April 22. South Florida PBS will distribute the series nationally to public television stations via American Public Television beginning May 1, 2018 (check local listings).
Series creator James Patterson, the number three kids author in the United States with best-selling children’s titles including the I Funny and Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life series and Word of Mouse (along with his hundreds of bestsellers for those kids’ parents), has long been an advocate for children’s literacy, founding the Read Kiddo Read initiative and spearheading grants for teachers to supplement their school libraries each year. As Patterson explained at the American Public Television Fall Marketplace in November 2017, “Everything goes down better with some entertainment, and that’s especially true with kids of today… learning has to be joyful.” KID STEW’s mix of ingredients keeps young viewers interested with music and jokes while exploring seriously important forms of art and expression.
The kids cast includes nine pre-teens – Satine, Luke, Milena, Caroline, David, Blake, Madison, Nicholas, Armando – and their mascot dog, Ozzie, who hang out in the clubhouse of elementary schoolers’ dreams between segments in which they time travel, conduct interviews with famous creatives, host newscasts, star in parody commercials, perform in music videos, read to animals, and more kid-centric cool, all while inspiring their viewers to ‘mix it up’ when it comes to how they consider creativity.
Interviews with authors Dave Barry, Brad Meltzer and Carl Hiaasen reveal their early inspirations for becoming writers, tracing powerhouse careers back to the moment in school when it clicked for them. NFL running back Kenyan Drake talks about the creativity required of athletes. Artists ranging from pinball machine designers to a chalk artist whose work appears three dimensional to Cosplay participants, a sculptor, amusement park animatronic designers and more demonstrate the limitless ways young viewers can find to express their creativity. Subtle suggestions to visit the library to further investigate interesting topics remind viewers that reading isn’t just something you have to do for school.
Recurring segments in the magazine style format bring a familiar combination of ingredients to each KID STEW but with unique perspectives each time. Humorous travel skits find the cell phone era kids travelling in a phone booth to visit iconic figures like William Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison and Cleopatra at critical points in their personal stories (and changing the course of history in the process). The Kid Stew Ewws! newscast, “the news where the truth is always gross” offers fun facts about bacteria, odd animal behaviors and more, including parody commercials with a gross take on traditional late-night sales pitches. The kids go to the Really Big Brain (or “RBB”) for scientific explanations for how brain function impacts creativity (with a bonus of bad jokes). Amazing Kids features spotlight young people excelling in creative fields from a young ballerina to musicians playing the violin and guitar to an artist who makes fashion from recycled soda cans. KS Classics tidbits explore the challenges faced by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Mahler with an inspiring take away of how they overcame adversity to make their mark. Art by the Globeful segments virtually visit Japan, Italy, India and Haiti to explore other cultures and learn about their unique creative legacies. Segments in which the kids read with animals ranging from monkeys to marsupials offer book recommendations for viewers to look for in their local library to read themselves or to a younger sibling. Music videos and sketches – sometimes with a message about issues important to kids like self-esteem or bullying, sometimes just for fun, along with jokes, keep the pace moving along.
KID STEW is co-produced by South Florida PBS and James Patterson, and presented nationally by South Florida PBS via American Public Television. The series was made possible by support from The Eunice Joyce Gardiner Charitable Foundation.
About South Florida PBS
South Florida PBS, Florida’s largest public media company, connects organizations and institutions across our region and preserves South Florida's history. Leading the way in this global society, SOUTH FLORIDA PBS serves diverse communities from Key West to the Sebastian Inlet and from the Atlantic Ocean west to Lake Okeechobee. SOUTH FLORIDA PBS is committed to creating and presenting unique arts, education and cultural heritage programming, and serves as a model for telling unique local stories across a wide variety of media platforms.
American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. For more than 10 years, APT distributed one-third or more of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. Founded in 1961, among its 250 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, performance, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, AfroPoP, Rick Steves’ Europe, Chris Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Front and Center, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Midsomer Murders, A Place to Call Home, Lidia’s Kitchen, Globe Trekker, New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton, Simply Ming, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Now in its 13th year, Create®TV — featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming — is distributed by American Public Television. APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.