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For immediate release
August 20, 2002

CBS and FOX Series Return with Description This Fall

The Media Access Group at WGBH Provides Description Services
BOSTON, MA - When this fall's television season premieres, a variety of prime-time and kids' series will return to CBS and FOX with video description service for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. Returning with description are the series BLUE'S CLUES, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION and JAG on CBS, as well as the series THE BERNIE MAC SHOW, BOSTON PUBLIC, MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE and THE SIMPSONS on FOX.

The Media Access Group at WGBH - which pioneered description in 1990 - is providing description services for each of these continuing series on CBS and FOX. Funding for the description is provided by CBS, the FOX Broadcasting Company and the US Department of Education.

CBS Series with DVS®:

BLUE'S CLUES: The popular children's series from the Nickelodeon Network airs on Saturday mornings as part of CBS's "Nick Jr" programming block, which is designed especially for 2 to 5-year-old viewers. Check local CBS listings for broadcast times.

CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION: This slick crime drama - which premieres its fall season on Thursday, September 26 at 9pm ET/PT on CBS - focuses on "crime scene investigation," the specialty of the forensic team in the Las Vegas Police Department's Criminalistics Bureau. William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger and Jorja Fox star.

JAG: Kicking off its fall season on CBS on Tuesday, September 24 at 8pm ET/PT, the series looks at the cases tried by Judge Advocate General (JAG) attorneys, featuring their activities both in the courtroom and out in the field. David James Elliott, Catherine Bell and John M. Jackson star.

FOX Series with DVS:

THE BERNIE MAC SHOW: The series premieres its second season on FOX on Wednesday, September 18 at a new time- 8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT. This daring half-hour comedy - recipient of a 2001 Peabody Award for broadcast excellence - is inspired by the real-life of stand-up comedian Bernie Mac, a family man with unique views on parenting.

BOSTON PUBLIC: Premiering its new season on Monday, October 21 at 8pm ET/PT on FOX, this thought-provoking, hour-long drama from creator/writer/producer David E. Kelley (ALLY MCBEAL, THE PRACTICE) goes inside Winslow High, an urban high school outside of Boston. There, Principal Steven Harper spends his days putting out fires, defending his faculty and keeping things going.

THE SIMPSONS: Beginning its 14th hit season on Sunday, November 3 at 8pm ET/PT on FOX, this animated sitcom, created by Matt Groening, follows the colorful everyday lives of the Simpson family - Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie - and other residents of Springfield.

MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE: This popular comedy debuts its 2002 season on Sunday, November 3 at a new time - 9pm ET/PT. Winner of a 2000 Peabody Award for broadcast excellence, the series tells the story of a middle-class family with four squabbling brothers, as seen through the eyes of Malcolm - a "normal" kid with a genius IQ.

Developed in 1990 by Boston public broadcaster WGBH, Descriptive Video Service® (DVS) makes visual media more accessible to the nation's 12 million viewers who are blind or visually impaired. The service provides descriptive narration of key visual elements - making television programs, feature films, home videos and other visual media accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. Key visual elements are those that viewers who are visually impaired would ordinarily miss, such as actions, costumes, gestures, facial expressions, scene changes and on-screen text. Inserted within the natural pauses in dialogue, audio descriptions of important visual details help to engage these viewers with the story.

Viewers can access description on their stereo-equipped televisions or VCRs through the Second Audio Program or SAP channel. Stand-alone SAP receivers also are available (these can be used with or without a television; a list of vendors can be found at dvs.wgbh.org). Most TVs and VCRs purchased since 1992 are equipped with the SAP feature. To hear the narrated visual descriptions through a stereo TV or VCR, simply activate its SAP feature.

In addition to these series on CBS and FOX, the Media Access Group provides video description for a wide variety of programs broadcast on PBS, as well as for selected programs on Lifetime, Nickelodeon, TBS and TNT, and numerous films on the Turner Classic Movies cable network. First-run feature films - including current releases AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER, BLOOD WORK, ROAD TO PERDITION, SIGNS and STUART LITTLE 2 - are made accessible via closed captioning and description technologies WGBH developed for theaters, which are now installed throughout the US and Canada. For a complete list of described programs and films, visit access.wgbh.org or call the toll-free DVS information line at 800-333-1203.

The Media Access Group at WGBH is a non-profit service with offices in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. In addition to DVS, the Group includes The Caption Center - the world's first captioning agency - which has made audiovisual media accessible to audiences who are deaf or hard-of-hearing since 1972, and the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, a research, development and advocacy entity that works to make existing and emerging technologies accessible to all audiences. Members of the Group's collective staff represent the leading resources and experts in their fields. For more information about access services, visit the Media Access Group Web site http://access.wgbh.org or call 617-300-3600 (voice and TTY).

Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY
mary_watkins@wgbh.org


















Caption Services Description Services NCAM