Fifty years ago, CPTV was launched on Oct. 1 at 9:40 a.m. with a discussion of the humanities with critic Clifton Fadiman. The channel was the 68th station in the National Education Television Network, which predated PBS.
Fifty years later, Connecticut Public Television evolved into one of the nation’s most award-winning PBS stations, responsible for countless local and national concert specials, documentaries, sports broadcasts, children’s shows and innovative educational initiatives.
Beginning in October, CPTV marks its golden anniversary with a look back at fifty years. This year-long celebration includes special television programming and community events throughout the coming year.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy will host a special reception at the Governor’s Mansion kicking off Connecticut Public Television’s 50th Anniversary celebration. A select group of dignitaries—including Jerry Franklin, President & CEO of the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network—will be on hand to accept a special Governor’s Proclamation marking the anniversary of the public television network and its contributions to the state.
CPTV’s latest original documentary, Prohibition: Connecticut Goes Dry, will be screened at a special event on Wednesday, November 7 at 6 p.m. at the Connecticut Historical Society in Hartford. As part of the station’s 50th anniversary, the screening will feature creative, speak-easy cocktails and a first look at this CPTV that examines Connecticut’s role during this pivotal time in America’s history. Prohibition: Connecticut Goes Dry premieres later that month on CPTV.
On Saturday, April 20, 2013, CPTV will host a 50th Anniversary Gala Event at the Hartford Marriott. This black-tie affair will offer attendees the chance to reminisce about the station’s history and accomplishments while also highlighting the innovative projects and programs on the horizon.
The station has two 50th Anniversary events planned for kids and families. On Sunday, November 18 at 1 and 4 p.m. CPTV will host a concert with PBS Kids host and family performer Mr. Steve (a.k.a. Steve Roslonek) at the Theater of the Performing Arts at the Learning Corridor in Hartford. The event is sponsored by theS Connecticut Science Center. CPTV is also sponsoring the Big Y Kids Fest on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 2 & 3, 2013 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Connecticut Public Television will also be celebrating its golden anniversary on the air with special programming. CPTV’s signature weekly magazine series, All Things Connecticut, will mark the occasion with two special 50th Anniversary Editions premiering on Friday, Oct. 12 and Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:30 p.m. on CPTV.
In addition to fascinating stories about young musicians in New Haven, Connecticut’s declining bee population and the rise in popularity of yoga, these specials will also feature host Matt Roberts taking a trip down memory lane recalling CPTV’s history discovering Barney the dinosaur, producing the first Spanish/American weekly drama for television and advancing women’s sports.
Viewers will also notice a number of special 50th anniversary vignettes marking CPTV’s role in children’s programming, sports broadcasts, educational initiatives, telling Connecticut’s stories and more. A number of celebrity fans of CPTV, including Martha Stewart, Jacques Pepin, Alan Cumming, Laura Linney, Judy Collins, the members of Celtic Thunder and others have also recorded anniversary messages that will begin airing on CPTV in October.