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Childrens' TV Programs Honored

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Noting that "most commercial broadcasters have abandoned their public-service obligations where children are concerned," Action for Children's Television, a Boston-based advocacy group for children's programming, last month honored 13 programs or series for "achievement in children's television."

The majority of the television winners represented public-broadcasting or cable organizations. "At a time when more than 30 syndicated programs have been developed by toy companies to promote their toy lines, there is little incentive for commercial stations to provide locally produced shows for young people," said Peggy Charren, president of act.

She said the group plans to press for the reintroduction of a measure in the Congress to promote more children's programming on commercial television. A similar bill was defeated in the last session.

Among the winners in act's 13th annual awards competition were:

Public Broadcasting--Bank Street College of Education, for "The Voyage of the Mimi," "an exciting project combining a science documentary with the fictional adventures of three teenagers at sea"; Children's Television Workshop, for "3-2-1 Contact," "an ambitious daily program that takes a creative look at science"; KCTA-tv, Minneapolis, for "Newton's Apple," "a thought-provoking series that attracts young audiences to science and technology"; and KQED, Pittsburgh, for "Wonderworks," "a prime-time anthology of comedy and drama for young people and their parents."

Commercial television--CBS Entertainment, for "CBS Schoolbreak Specials," "an afterschool dramatic series handling controversial subjects with sensitivity"; CBS Entertainment, for "Pryor's Place," "introducing live-action comedy to the Saturday morning line-up"; WCCO-tv, Minneapolis, for "High School Yearbook Special," "an exceptional example of a local series that speaks to the concerns of teen-agers"; and WNEV-tv, Boston, for "The Story Lady," "bringing the fine art of storytelling to the tv screen."

Cable Television--The Disney Channel, for "The Edison Twins," "a fast-paced science series focusing on the adventures of two enthusiastic teens"; Home Box Office, for "Braingames," "a fun-filled family show that challenges the viewer through creative animation and interactive games"; Home Box Office, for "Fraggle Rock," "a delightful fantasy for the senses and the imagination"; Nickelodeon, for "Belle and Sebastian," "proof that an international animated series can engage an audience with visual sophistication"; and Samaritan Health Services, for "Just for Kids," "a local cable show offering helpful advice for pre-adolescents."

Radio--Family Radio Programming, for "New Waves," "a bold new program format harnessing the power of commercial radio for young audiences"; WNYC-am, New York, for "Small Things Considered," "an entertaining, commercial-free alternative to television for the area's two million children"; and WUNC-fm, Chapel Hill, N.C., and the Southern Educational Communications Association, for "East of the Sun--West of the Moon," "dramatizing stories from different cultures with a musical flair."

Special Commendations--Agency for Instructional Technology, for "proving that education can be entertaining and that instruction can engage the imagination"; and UA-Columbia Cablevision of New Jersey, for "helping adults and teen-agers develop the know-how to use access channels creatively."

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