click here to skip directly to page content
Media Access Group  Versión en español
About Us Services and Products Research and Development Resources Get Involved

Who we are, who we work with, what we've done, what's next, and how to reach us.

News Archive

Press contact:
Mary Watkins
Media Access Group at WGBH
(617) 300-3700
(617) 300-2489 TTY
For immediate release
March 25, 2003

FOX Introduces New Series - Oliver Beene - with Description
The Media Access Group at WGBH Provides Description Services

Boston, MA — The FOX Broadcasting Company recently introduced a comedy series - Oliver Beene - which premiered in early March with video description for viewers who are blind or visually impaired. The Media Access Group at WGBH is providing description for the FOX series, as well as closed captioning for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Funding for the description services is provided by the US Department of Education.

Airing Sunday nights at 8:30pm (ET) on FOX, Oliver Beene is a new, half-hour comedy that depicts the often-hilarious trials and sometimes-outrageous tribulations of 11-year-old Oliver and his eccentric family. Set in Queens, it vividly re-creates the Kennedy-era 1960s through a variety of flashbacks and flash-forwards.

Descriptive Video Service® (DVS®) 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 which 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 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.

FOX previously introduced descriptive narration on four other series, including The Bernie Mac Show, Boston Public, Malcolm in the Middle and The Simpsons. In addition to these FOX series, the Media Access Group at WGBH provides video description on a wide variety of programs broadcast on PBS; selected programs on CBS and Nickelodeon; and numerous films on the Turner Classic Movies cable network. For a complete list of programs that we describe, visit 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, New York and Los Angeles. The Group includes the Descriptive Video Service (DVS), 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, 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's Web site or call 617 300-3600.

Caption Services Description Services NCAM