Starting in January 1997, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, conducted research on educational television programming for children and developed a pilot program based on that research.
The project was launched in the wake of a 1996 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling that commercial broadcast stations must air at least three hours a week of children's educational programming.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center produced five reports summarizing its research on children and television.
- Newspapers provide little coverage of educational children's television.
- FCC requirements have had little effect on parents' awareness of educational programming.
- Children will not automatically reject a program because it is educational.
- Audiences for educational programs are not disproportionately undercounted.
- Parents may reward advertisers on educational programs by purchasing their products.
- Financial and other barriers pose challenges to independent producers of educational programming.
Annenberg Public Policy Center produced a resource guide to educational programming, Teaching Through Television.
Annenberg Public Policy Center published Covering Kids'® TV: A Resource Guide for Journalists.
Unapix produced a pilot program for a children's educational series entitled Young Heroes. By mid-2000, the proposed series had yet to find a buyer.