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PBS Kids Sprout

September 30th, 2005

It’s the new PBS Kids network that DirectTV just switched to. Bye-bye PBS Kids, hello Sprout! Here’s what’s different: most of the shows are now 15 minutes instead of 30 which means you only get one episode of Thomas the Train or Dragon Tales instead of two each segment. And the cynical part of me says that means kids are exposed to twice as many brands they’ll want to buy toys from. There are some commercials. And in-between each show you are treated to one of their hosts, Kevin or Melanie, showing some kind of craft or activity. Man, that Melanie is a sugar-coated, Stepford robot. The way she talks with her wide-eyes, her glued-on smile, and her imitation upbeat attitude is almost insulting. She’s not as snotty as Brenda Blue but not as cool as Steve (did I just say that?). Come on, Sprout people — pre-schoolers are more sophisticated than you think.

Update Oct 10, 2005: Contact information for PBS Kids Sprout and providers carrying the network:

PBS KIDS Sprout
PO Box 59269
Philadelphia, PA 19102-9997
215.320.5891
sprout_network@comcast.com

Also, you can try contacting DirecTV (scroll down for the phone and email) and Comcast directly. I believe they’re also being carried on Insight Communications but I couldn’t find contact information for that one.

Update Jan 2, 2006: I’ve disabled comments on this post because the discussion is getting repetitive. If you think you have something unique to add, email it to me and I’ll add it. Please don’t comment about this post on a different post. Thanks.