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For immediate release
April 5, 2002

CBS Television To Air Movies And Mini-Series With Description For Viewers With Visual Impairment

Media Access Group at WGBH Provides Description Services
BOSTON, MA - Beginning April 7, 2002, CBS Television will provide video description for viewers who are visually impaired on four movies and a mini-series set to air during the month. The described broadcasts include The Deep End of the Ocean on Sunday, April 7; The Pilot's Wife on Sunday, April 14; Two Against Time on Sunday, April 21; Diagnosis Murder: Without Warning on Friday, April 26; and Living With the Dead, on Sunday, April 28 (Part 1) and Tuesday, April 30 (Part 2). All air 9-11pm, ET/PT.

The described programming will be available on all CBS-owned television stations and CBS Television network affiliates in the 25 largest TV markets. The Media Access Group at WGBH will provide description services for these broadcasts, and funding for the description is provided by CBS.
  • The Deep End of the Ocean:Michelle Pfeiffer and Treat Williams star in this tense drama about a family whose three-year-old son is kidnapped and reappears nine years later. Airs Sunday, April 7 at 9pm, ET/PT. Check local CBS listings.
  • The Pilot's Wife: Christine Lahti, Campbell Scott and John Heard star in this drama - adapted from the best-selling book by Anita Shreve - about a woman who loses her airline pilot husband in a mysterious plane crash and subsequently discovers that he had been leading a double life. Airs Sunday, April 14 at 9pm, ET/PT. Check local CBS listings.
  • Two Against Time:Marlo Thomas stars in this drama, inspired by actual invents, about a single, working mother who must reconcile with her rebellious, teenage daughter when they both confront life-threatening illnesses. Airs Sunday, April 21 at 9pm, ET/PT. Check local CBS listings.
  • Diagnosis Murder: Without Warning: Dick Van Dyke reprises his role as Dr. Mark Sloan in this new Diagnosis Murder movie. Dr. Sloan tries to avert catastrophe and panic in Los Angeles when people working at a migrant farm workers' camp die of a mysterious ailment for which there seems to be no cure. Airs Friday, April 26 at 9pm, ET/PT. Check local CBS listings.
  • Living With the Dead:Based on the life and work of famed medium James Van Praagh, this drama mini-series stars Ted Danson as a man who comes to terms with his ability to speak to the dead and is then asked to help solve a series of murders by communicating with the victims on "the other side." Airs Sunday, April 28 (Part 1) and Tuesday, April 30 (Part 2) at 9pm, ET/PT. Check local CBS listings.
Descriptive Video Service®; (DVS®) is a service that 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 such viewers 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 viewers who are visually impaired 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.

CBS will premiere described programming on Saturday, April 6 on the children's series Blue's Clues, which airs during the "Nick Jr." children's program block. In late May 2002 (date TBA), CBS will introduce video description on two of its popular prime-time dramas JAG and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. CBS will provide video description on additional movies, mini-series and specials in the future, which will be announced on a pre-broadcast basis.

The Media Access Group at WGBH is a non-profit service with offices in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York. The Group includes Descriptive Video Service, which has made television, film and video more enjoyable to audiences who are blind or visually impaired since 1990, and 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. The third branch of the Media Access Group, the CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), is 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 at 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