Another Unidentified PBS Series

I’ve mentioned before that I find identifying programs broadcast on PBS challenging. Not every PBS station aired the same programs nor were they always shown at the same time. And many programs broadcast by PBS were re-purposed, often from the United Kingdom. So when Jason e-mailed me with the following vague recollection, I knew I wasn’t going to be much help:

I’m going crazy trying to find this program I saw one time when I was a kid in the 80s. I’m not sure if it was part of a series or just a stand alone program. I remember it being on PBS. It was most likely shot in the 1970s or early 1980s. I remember there being a vague “moral” to the program. All I DO remember clearly was that the program focused on two kids on a school field trip to like a nature park or something. One of the kids was a “good” kid, and the other was the “bad” kid. Anyway, the two kids get separated from the rest of the group, which they have been told specifically not to do. The bad kid falls into a ravine, or like off of a cliff, and he gets hurt. He tells the other kid not to tell on him, but the “good” kid knows he has to go get help somehow. Eventually he does get help, and its this big ordeal getting the kid out of the ravine. The last shot of the program, that I remember, is the “bad” kid being pissed off at the “good” kid for ratting on him. He says something as he’s being taken off in a stretcher to the effect of, “you shouldn’t have told on me.” I swear to God, this has been driving me crazy for years. No one remembers this. And I think I’m the only person who ever saw it. Please HELP!

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

23 Replies to “Another Unidentified PBS Series”

  1. Two possibilities, though both were essentially the same show: Inside/Out and Bread & Butterflies were both fifteen minute programs produced in the early- to mid-seventies by the Agency for Instructional Television (AIT). They were “realistic” programs, like rougher, lower-budgeted Afterschool Specials, and frequently featured open endings designed to stimulate classroom discussions after viewing.

  2. My Grandfather passed away before Christmas and speaking with family we remember a television show about our family that was shot in the late 80s or early 90s. We believe the name was Pass It On, but not sure. We used to have a VHS copy recorded off of channel 33, our local PBS network, but it has been lost. It was a show or documentary about the three generations of my family living on a small dairy farm in rural Vermont. We think it had our name int he title; the Coreys. I would greatly appreciate any information anyone can provide to help find this piece of family history.

  3. I remember this show! It’s called Ripple, it was produced by NIT(the precursor to AIT), indeed in the 70’s. I can’t say about this particular episode, but a lot of them were made in Virginia.

  4. Charlie Cheen and his Fun Machine was a show I used to watch. I can draw the machine by memory and even used such in my own stories. It had levers , wheels and knobs and showed cartoons on a screen.(old Farmer Alfaflfa silent B & Ws. )In one episode, pushing a forbidden button changed the machine into a garbage can, and the crew had to find how to change it back !

  5. Wow, a good site and I remember most all of the shows you are talking about. There was a 1970’s PBS segment that I have been trying to find and might be “Inside Out”. It was about a teenager (16) who befriended (or tried) a deaf boy, maybe 12. I don’t remember much but I think the kid that played the teen was the actor who played Kelley on the “Bad News Bears” TV series.

    I don’t know much about the episode except the teen was perceived as a bully when he was really trying to help/understand the kid. In one scene where he (teen) is sitting alone in his living room watching TV, he tries to see how the deaf boy feels so he plugs his ears with his fingers and takes in the silence. If anyone knows where this episode is from I appreciate it. I watched it on PBS, maybe WLRN around 1977.

  6. Does anyone know the name of a show on PBS which played on Fri or Sat evenings on early-mid 70’s…very trippy & combined animation & music+??

  7. Does anyone know the name of a show on PBS which played on Fri or Sat evenings on early-mid 70’s…very trippy & combined animation & music+??

    1. I think Tony’s right, you’re thinking of THE GREAT AMERICAN DREAM MACHINE, which also did relatively straight reportage (Andy Rooney was on the show, along with Albert Brooks doing short films before his similar work on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, Chevy Chase and his early comedy partner, Ken Shapiro, and Marshall Efron as the closest thing to a unifying onscreen presence). Very trippy at times. One cartoon that really made an impression on 7yo me involved brainwashing where the cartoon character had his skull flip-topped so they could run a spray-nozzle over his brain.

  8. Was it The Great American Dream Machine? I only saw it a few times and it was trippy. But it had sketch comedy and Chevy Chase was on it. I remember liking it and it was on PBS

  9. There were 2 shows I saw probably around 1985 and they were like after school specials but different… I remember in one episode kids drink or use drugs after school and they have to tell an adult. And another one which I really would love to know about, was a little girl who goes to do something normal and ends up in an abandoned amusement park. A bunch of weird stuff happens and she ends up back at home. Totally creepy, very early 80s. There’s also another episode of a show where I thought it was the main actor from Star trek, and he has a son who is getting bullied on the playground. He ends up going out and seeing these bully’s himself and they’re really scary looking. I think they are bully’s from his childhood…
    He makes a comment about them having snotty noses or something. I think he ends up trading places with his son so his son doesn’t get hurt and the kids beat the crap out of him. I’ve always wondered about all those shows. Wish it was easier to find them!!

  10. I remember an amalgamated version of the main discussion and others listed – l remember two kids in the woods and one was like a bully, but I remembered it as a snake bit him in or near a stream and the other child being ?kind? ran to find help and I think it stopped there. Not sure if it was ripples or after school or some other learning group listed here but it shook me!

    While we were shown some things in school, the one I viewed was at home, after school but unsure if it was PBS.
    Always wondered about this. Really touched that others had deep attachments to dramatic shows as well. Up until today I only knew of Ripples and now I have found others like me and more leads to my childhood search. I have been looking for so long

    ~ Happy and thrilled

  11. The WIKI article on INSIDE/OUT is pretty good, and includes this datum:

    Inside/Out was the first in a series of similarly produced instructional programs made by AIT. Others that followed that used the similar formula included Bread and Butterflies (1974), Self Incorporated (1975), Trade-Offs (a program on economic theory, 1978), Thinkabout (a series on creativity, 1979), On The Level (1980) and Give & Take (a series about the economy in general, 1982). All of the series, including Inside/Out, were produced for only one season, but were frequently rerun on television and shown in schools for several years afterward, as the topics presented kept its currency.

    I believe RIPPLES was a slightly older series, and skewed slightly younger (I recall an episode where some kids find an abandoned box of donuts and make a point of not saving one for one the members of their group, and his obvious dejection about this)(I imagine some parents had the fantods at the notion of the kids eating a ?dropped box of donuts).

    1. Oh my gosh! Thank you for that link. I haven’t seen that Ripples intro since I was a little girl in the 70’s. It brought back good memories of watching TV in class.

    2. Wow, yeah I remember this around 1972 Early Grade school in Massachusetts, they would bring a television into the classroom one day a week for the class to watch the Ripple program, the word RIPPLE would ripple/wiggle on the screen, and I remember a couple of the episodes shown on the Link. – they’d shut the lights off for the duration of watching the program To which it would end with the classroom lights being switched back on before everyone dozed off. -?There was another PBS program that was shown at the same time in grade school as well, I think it was Canadian, but same format, it had to do with individual outdoor crafts/ making raft out of branches shaped like a wreath and wrapped in tarps.., and a three pine tree, tree fort that was being built with multiple floors skyward.. ah, ..the early 1970’s PBS programming, Lol, -Good call Todd, thanks for the link.

  12. Trying to remember another 15 minute PBS type show. Teacher wheeled the tv into our first grade classroom around lunchtime. They wer 10-15 minute segments about the body. It’s not Sim Goodbody though as he came several years later. This would’ve been smack dab in the mid-70s, right around the bicentennial, airing in the NYC market.

    A second show I’m going crazy over aired, I believe, on WHT and was Uncle (somebody). It’s not the Uncle Smiley videos that are on You Tube. It may be Uncle Willy and Floyd from Canada with Les Lye of YCDTOTV, but I can’t find the opening credits to that. I remember the opening credits being kind of sped up and a man rowing in a rowboat.

    Any help, greatly appreciated.

  13. My Dad was a DC fireman and I’m sure he was in an episode of Ripples! I remember he was training a new fireman in the episode. Does anyone have any idea how I could find a copy of the episode? Thank you!

  14. Can someone please help me recall the name of a late 70s educational tv show – likely PBS. Each episode taught a lesson about creative writing. I thought the tithe had the word wings in the title – zebra wings or dragon wings? I recall an animated opening with some sort of flying animal. I watched it in class in South Carolina likely in 1977. I’ve googled everything I can with no success. Thanks!

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