The Time a Certain PBS Station (KTEH) Aired Anime

TheCartoonRailfan

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From 1995 to around the early-mid 2000’s, KTEH, a PBS station in the San Francisco Bay area, aired anime, mostly of the science fiction variety. Catering mainly to Gen X’ers and older Millennials, the station was well-known for airing anime, dubbed and subtitled. Unlike Toonami, KTEH would air its series completely uncensored. Alongside anime, the station would also air British science fiction series such as Doctor Who and Red Dwarf. The anime block aired every Sunday night from 8 to after midnight.

KTEH was notable for airing certain anime series that never appeared on other stations such as Ranma ½, Urusei Yatsura, Please Save My Earth, Serial Experiments Lain, and All Purpose Cultural Catgirl Nuku Nuku. The block was the first television station in the U.S. to air Neon Genesis Evangelion (subtitled) and Tenchi Muyo (uncensored and before it was acquired by Toonami). Many of these series were the result of pledge drives supported by the local anime community.

I have found some old threads on the forum, a blog, and one video of a pledge drive proving the existence of the block.

PBS Anime
Urusei Yatsura on PBS
Anime Channels plus PBS
Anime Titles and PBS
Uncut Anime Plus PBS
Anime on PBS
KTEH-Wikipedia Page
 

Gold Guy

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I have to admit, this is all new to me. I can't believe I had never heard of this before. I kinda wish PBS stations would still do things like that...
 

TheCartoonRailfan

Where's my senior discount?
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I actually lived in the San Jose area during the early 2000’s, and I only found out about this block a few years ago. Back then, I was just focused on the children’s shows on PBS.

There are a couple of theories on why anime aired on KTEH. The first reason was the large college-age and 20-something crowd moving to the Bay Area for tech positions since the majority of anime fans belong to that group. In fact, San Jose was the site for the first anime convention in the U.S. The second reason was the large Japanese community living in the Bay area. Some believed that anime could be considered educational since viewers could learn about the Japanese language and culture.

I found another old thread on the forum and couple of stories from the Anime News Network:

KTEH Anime
VIZ and KTEH
Dirty Pair Flash and KTEH
 
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LinusFan303

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That is cool.
Secondary PBS stations were always fun ( I have one in my area) they experimented with their line ups . Kind of wish some would air anime now. The theories do make sense as to why KTEH would air them the Bay Area market has a few stations and programs that target the Asian audiences.
 

TheCartoonRailfan

Where's my senior discount?
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Just to bump this thread, but I found a recent video showing how the opening for Key the Medal Idol appeared on KTEH. There are also videos of endings for this show and Tenchi Universe as they appeared on the block.

 

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