In an unusual arrangement, the television show that features the "Science Guy,'' Bill Nye, will appear next season both on the Public Broadcasting Service and on local commercial-television stations.
This past season, "Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy'' has appeared only in syndication, with many local stations airing it during less convenient early-morning time slots.
PBS and the Walt Disney Company's Buena Vista Television arm announced the joint arrangement at a press conference last week in Washington. Beginning next fall, "Science Guy'' will air on PBS stations Monday through Friday, probably in the late afternoon. Commercial stations will continue to air it once a week on Saturday or Sunday.
The deal should greatly expand the audience of young people for the science series, said Ervin Duggan, the president of PBS.
Mr. Nye, a former engineer for the Boeing Company, uses humor and MTV-style graphics to explore one science topic during each half-hour program. His show is part of a new wave of science television series that have appeared in recent years. (See Education Week, Jan. 19, 1994.)
The series is produced at public-television station KTCS in Seattle. The first season was funded by Buena Vista Television and a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation.
The N.S.F. is providing $3 million to help with the production of the show's second season, as well as for educational-outreach efforts such as science-activity kits for viewers and teachers' kits.
Continental Cablevision, the nation's third-largest operator of cable systems, has announced a television-literacy campaign that will provide teaching tools to schools, libraries, and families.
The firm's "TV Tool Kit'' includes "Master Control,'' a 30-minute video that shows children how to think critically about what they view on television.
The kit also has a video for educators produced by Renee Hobbs, the director of the Institute on Media Education at Harvard University.
Continental Cablevision will make 3,000 kits available to schools, libraries, and parent-teacher organizations.
The kits will initially be available in 650 communities served by Continental-owned cable systems. The firm is also working to make the kits available through other cable operators.ÄÄMARK WALSH
Vol. 13, Issue 33