Twilight Sparkle's Retro Media Library
Twilight Sparkle's Retro Media Library

PBS was originally the National Educational Television network, or NET for short, which was founded in 1952, and television broadcasts commencing on May 25, 1953, starting with the PBS station KUHT-TV. On October 5, 1970, NET officially became the Public Broadcasting Service, or PBS for short. The company's old logos were rediscovered on Wikipedia on May 29, 2005, and on YouTube since around January 2006.

Children's programming

Children's programming began on February 19, 1968 with Misterogers' Neighborhood (color episodes began in 1969), followed by Sesame Street on November 10, 1969, The Electric Company on October 25, 1971, and ZOOM on January 9, 1972, the latter being the first one produced by WGBH Boston. These were the only four shows made for kids that aired on PBS during the 1970s.

The Electric Company aired its last episode on April 15, 1977, as so did ZOOM on March 24, 1978.

The fifth program made for kids licensed by PBS, 3-2-1 Contact, premiered on January 14, 1980, several months before ZOOM was last seen on reruns. Another show called Reading Rainbow premiered on June 6, 1983.

On October 4, 1985, The Electric Company ceased broadcasting on reruns, leaving behind Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, Sesame Street, 3-2-1 Contact and Reading Rainbow as the only four shows made for kids to remain on PBS. A replacement program from the Children's Television Workshop, Square One Television, premiered on January 26, 1987.

Shining Time Station, the series that introduced Thomas & Friends to U.S. viewers, premiered on January 29, 1989. This marked the first time there were at least six shows made for kids available on PBS, all of which were closed-captioned by the National Captioning Institute.

The first made-for-kids show closed-captioned by The Caption Center was Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, which premiered on September 30, 1991. It was the only show captioned by The Caption Center until late 1993, when more shows shared this treatment.

3-2-1 Contact was last seen on reruns in September 1992.

Transition from NET to PBS

The network was renamed PBS on October 5, 1970. Despite not being affiliated with any of the "Big Six" film studios, PBS has provided the most public television stations in America.

PBS today

The official PBS website ( launched on April 19, 1995.

As of November 1998, PBS has been available in HDTV (16:9/1080i) format, though nearly not any shows were presented in HD until at least in 2006. On September 6, 1999, PBS introduced a new generation of PBS Kids, in addition to the launch of a new digital over-the-air broadcast network with the same name on many PBS stations.


Title Premiere date
(first known)
(or last aired)
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood February 19, 1968 August 31, 2001
Shining Time Station January 29, 1989 June 11, 1998
Barney & Friends April 6, 1992 September 3, 1999
The Kidsongs Television Show April 4, 1994 June 29, 2001
Arthur October 7, 1996 present
Thomas & Friends September 4, 2004 December 31, 2017


1967-1970 (National Educational Television)

National Educational Television (1968).jpg

Two versions -- black and white, then color. Both versions had different voiceovers. It appeared on the first season of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (the one in black and white) and also on Seasons 2-3 from February 10, 1969 to November 19, 1971, as well as on other shows like Washington Week in Review and Sesame Street. It's still intact on the "Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1" DVD set.

The logo was most likely last seen in 1981, when Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired the second half of its 1969 season for the final time on PBS stations.


Public Broadcasting Service (1970).jpg

A too plain logo, it is now extremely rare, as it is no longer seen on TV at all, but was seen on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (only the initial broadcasts of Season 4), Sesame Street, and early episodes of Masterpiece Theatre.


PBS (1971).jpg

It's pretty unlikely that you'll ever see this on TV again, but it's still intact on the "Best of the Electric Company" and "Sesame Street: Old School" DVD sets. This logo has appeared on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (since November 22, 1971; reruns included), along with three other programs: Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and ZOOM, which were the only programs available for children until 1980. Other programs that had this logo in its late years were 3-2-1 Contact and Reading Rainbow.

The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, PBS' flagship news program, last used this logo on September 28, 1984, although the logo itself continued use on pre-1984 episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (up to #1535) until the late 1980s.


PBS (1984).jpg

The PBS logo was redesigned in 1984, and was seen at the end of programs such as Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (usually on Episodes 1536–1610, which first aired from November 19, 1984 to May 5, 1989, as well as on initial closed-captioned broadcasts of older episodes), Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, 3-2-1 Contact, Square One TV, and several more.

On one variant, the first episode of Square One TV has the logo multiplying off into the distance.

The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour used this logo from October 1, 1984 to September 15, 1989.


PBS (1989).jpg

Again, a pretty rare logo. Currently, it's mostly available on home video, but was seen on shows like Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (starting on September 25, 1989, including reruns of any older episodes since #1141), Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, Square One TV, Shining Time Station, Barney & Friends, Lamb Chop's Play-Along, etc.

Practically all the Barney & Friends videotapes from 1992 have a silent version of this logo.

The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour used this logo from September 18, 1989 to January 4, 1993.


PBS (1993).jpg

You still might find this on VHS prints of programs from the mid 90's, but other than that, it was the last logo to be seen on children's programming, before the PBS Kids idents began. Such shows include Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, Ghostwriter, and Shining Time Station.

This logo was first seen at the end of the January 5, 1993 broadcast of The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour, and continued use through September 4, 1996.

It was also seen after Barney in Concert during the Barney & Friends Family Marathon in March 1993.

Episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from 1974-1975 that last reran from May 31 to July 2, 1993 also had this logo.


PBS (1996).jpg

Like the other PBS idents, it's best to find it on PBS videotapes.

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer used this logo from September 5, 1996 to September 30, 1998. It also likely appeared on 1997 reruns of the 1995 Shining Time Station specials, as the 1993 regular PBS logo was seen on initial broadcasts.


PBS (1998).jpg

When programs began being presentable in HDTV format, the logo slightly changed in 1998. Here, it had many different people holding up a disc with the P-head on it, and different acrobats jumping from all directions. It is the first to contain the company's web address (

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer used this logo from October 1, 1998 to September 20, 2002.


PBS logo 3D.png PBS (2002).jpg

When the logo changed yet again in 2002, it inluced the slogan "Be More". It can still be seen on lots of primetime shows from the 2000s decade, as well as on digital broadcast networks affiliated with PBS.

It first appeared on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on September 23, 2002.


PBS (2009).png

This ident is currently seen on many programs in ordinary PBS stations.


PBS (2019).png

This logo can be seen on the Mister Rogers Meets New Friends Collection DVD, which was released on October 27, 2020.

On Twitch

When the show aired on the online streaming channel "Twitch", these logos were used at the end of each episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood:

Episode(s) Logo
001–130 NET (1968)
1001–1046, 1048, 1052–1055, 1057–1062, 1064, 1065 PBS (1971)
1047, 1049–1051, 1056, 1063 NET (1969)
1066–1073, 1075–1130 PBS (1971)
1074 NET (1969)
1131–1140, 1168 PBS (1971)
1141–1167, 1169–1195 PBS (1989)
1196–1197, 1199–1260 PBS (1989)
1198 PBS (1971)
1271, 1291, 1295–1302, 1304–1309, 1311–1314, 1316–1317, 1319–1322 PBS (1971)
1261–1270, 1272–1290, 1292–1294, 1303, 1310, 1315, 1318, 1323 PBS (1989)
1324–1338, 1340–1347, 1350, 1378, PBS (1971)
1339, 1348–1349, 1351–1360, 1361, 1363, 1366–1377, 1379–1390 PBS (1989)
1362, 1364, 1365 PBS (1993)
1391–1394, 1401–1407, 1410 PBS (1993)
1395–1400, 1408, 1411–1416, 1418–1420, 1426–1430, 1441–1445 PBS (1971)
1409, 1421–1425, 1431–1440, 1446–1455 PBS (1989)
1417, 1456 PBS (1984)
1457–1460 PBS (1971)

On Episodes 1072, 1168, 1198, 1271, 1313, 1319 and 1330, the trolley card is absent, meaning that the episodes come from a pre-1976 print.


This website also included children's programming until 1999.