American Public Television (APT) is the largest syndicator of programming for public television stations in the United States. APT continues to distribute a wide variety of public television programs nationally, as well as the Create and World public TV multicast channels.
Eastern Educational Television Network
APT began in 1961 when it was incorporated as the Eastern Educational Television Network (EEN). At first, EEN was a regional cooperative that began to exchange programs between a couple of its member stations. EEN was one of the first distributors of shows such as The French Chef (with Julia Child) in 1963,Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and Washington Week in Review on a national basis.
Another first from EEN was the distribution of Newsfront, America's first live and non-commercial daily news program, starting in 1970. EEN introduced Wall Street Week in November 1970 before PBS began distributing it nationwide in January 1972. EEN also began importing BBC and CBC productions to America in 1974, with Monty Python's Flying Circus as one of them. In 1978, the EEN started the Free Library.
In 1980, Eastern Educational started the Syndication Service and was renamed Interregional Program Service (IPS). IPS started the Premium Service in 1989. The organization became American Program Service (APS) in 1992.
American Public Television
American Program Service was renamed American Public Television (APT) in April 1999. Also, with many fax requests from international outlets, an international division called APT Worldwide was started.
With the digital rollout, APT became the distributor of a couple of multicast networks. In January 2006, APT started distributing Create. The nonprofit company started distributing World on July 1, 2009.
- APT Exchange (originally the Free Library) was a service in which the company acts a clearing house for pre-funded programs that are offered free of charge to stations started in 1978. Rick Steves' Europe (starting in 1990), Nightly Business Report and America's Test Kitchen are offered through this service.
- APT Worldwide is the corporation's international sales division even representing some A&E and Discovery programs. Amongst its network clients are Discovery, National Geographic Channel, NHK, ITV and Italy's RAI-SAT
- Premium Service provides programming for stations via outsourcing or acquisition prime time pledge drive programs particularly performance or self-help shows, which would either trigger a pledge call or a DVD purchased for the viewer's use or as a gift. One of its earliest successful show was the first Three Tenors.
- Syndication is a service in which completed programs are acquired. Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World, purchased in 2002, was a top hit through this service along with the BBC's Battlefield Britain series.
APT also owns two digital subchannel networks together with WGBH, WNET.ORG, and NETA:
- Create, which offers lifestyle programming, including the genres of cooking, travel, home improvement, gardening and arts & crafts, primarily from the APT library. Established in January 2006, Create is licensed to local public television stations, including PBS stations, and Create is also carried on cable through local agreements with local public television stations. Shows regularly carried on Create include Lidia's Kitchen, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting, Chris Kimball's Milk Street Television, Simply Ming, and America's Test Kitchen from Cook's Illustrated.
- World Channel, is a 24-hour digital channel showing public TV non-fiction, science, nature, news, public affairs and documentaries.
APT distributes more than 300 new program titles per year, including documentaries, talk shows, music performance content, dramatic and comedic series, how-to programs, children's series and classic movies. Shows currently or previously distributed by APT include, but are not limited to, The Open Mind, Rick Steves' Europe, Live From the Artists Den, Jacques Pepin: Heart & Soul, America's Test Kitchen From Cook's Illustrated and its sister series Cook's Country, Yan Can Cook, Barbecue University with Steven Raichlen, The Big Comfy Couch, Net Cafe, Pati's Mexican Table, Samantha Brown's Places to Love, Globe Trekker (aka Pilot Guides in other countries), Doc Martin, Rudy Maxa's World, Sara's Weeknight Meals and Scully: The World Show.
APT distributes weeknight international news series Asia Insight and Newsline from NHK, as well as the business news program Nightly Business Report.
APT has also distributed special pledge shows to public television, including programs such as Frank Sinatra: Voice of Our Time, Anne of Green Gables, Carreras Domingo Pavarotti, Celine Dion: A New Day, Mike Douglas - Moments & Memories, Leonard Cohen: Tower of Song and Tony Bennett Duets: The Making of an American Classic.
In 2001, APT was the first company to bring a high-definition series to public television with the premiere of Smart Travels with Rudy Maxa.
Children's or family programming
As of January 1, 2018, the PBS Kids 24/7 channel started airing APT programs, starting with Peep and the Big Wide World/Pocoyo.
- The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon (October 8, 1995 - September 5, 1999)
- Animalia (March 5, 2007 - present)
- Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (September 2, 2001 - November 18, 2005; April 5, 2010 - April 4, 2015, distributed by both PBS and APT)
- Bali (September 12, 2010 - February 23, 2014)
- The Big Comfy Couch (February 11, 1995 - May 24, 2009, distributed by both PBS and APT)
- Biz Kid$ (January 6, 2008 - present)
- Bloopy's Buddies (March 6, 2006 - 2012)
- Bluey (2019 - present)
- Bug Bites (2016-present)
- Captain Kangaroo (1986 - 1993)
- Curiosity Quest (July 15, 2004 - present)
- Danger Rangers (September 5, 2005 - December 26, 2006, distributed by both PBS and APT)
- The Dooley and Pals Show (April 3, 2000-June 5, 2003)
- Groundling Marsh (September 1, 1997-January 2002)
- Hello Mrs. Cherrywinkle (1999-2001)
- H.R. Pufnstuf (September 3, 1973-April 30, 1989)
- Kidsongs (1998-2001)
- Kid Stew (2018-present)
- Land of the Lost (September 7, 1992-April 30, 1995)
- Lost Treasure Hunt (2014-present)
- Mack & Moxy (2016)
- Mustard Pancakes (2005-2008)
- My Bedbugs (2004-2007)
- Peep and the Big Wide World/Pocoyo (April 12, 2004 - present, distributed by both PBS and APT)
- Raggs (February 4, 2008 - February 18, 2009)
- Redwall (April 1, 2001 - 2006)
- The Reppies (1996-1997)
- Ribert and Robert's Wonderworld (September 4, 2005 - November 30, 2008)
- Roey's Paintbox (2015)
- Ruby's Studio (2016)
- The Saddle Club (2006-2012)
- Scientastic! (2014)
- SeeMore's Playhouse (September 10, 2006 - January 15, 2008)
- Sheira & Loli's Dittydoodle Works (2006-2009)
- Signing Time! (January 1, 2006 - January 19, 2008)
- Someday School (1998-2000)
- Space Racers (May 2, 2014 - present, distributed by both PBS and APT; rights now owned y Universal Kids)
- SpongeBob SquarePants (May 6-7, 2009; rights primarily owned by Nickelodeon, also presented WNET, WGBH, CPTV and Bowling Fails)
- Thomas Edison's Secret Lab (2015-2018)
- The Toy Castle (2002-2005)
- The Zula Patrol (September 5, 2005 - June 18, 2008, distributed by both PBS and APT)
- Wild Animal Baby Explorers (October 3, 2010 - June 29, 2014)
- Wunderkind Little Amadeus (September 7, 2008 - March 1, 2009)