Mayor Bloomberg Announces Nyc Tv Series "secrets Of New York" Will Be Aired Nationwide On Pbs Stations

August 31, 2006

"Secrets of New York" Will Be Broadcast By PBS Stations Serving 94 Percent of U.S. Television Households This Fall; Agreement Will Help Market the City To National Audience

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced that four episodes of the NYC TV series “Secrets of New York” will be aired on PBS television stations across the United States this fall, including eight of the ten largest U.S. television markets: Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington D.C., Houston, and New York.  The agreement will promote the City as a tourism destination by exposing a national audience to NYC TV’s award-winning programming. “Secrets of New York” is the first NYC TV television series to be distributed nationally, and this new partnership builds upon an unprecedented agreement with WNBC that created a daily “NYC TV on NBC” programming hour during the 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. time slot on Channel 4. “Secrets of New York” will be delivered to PBS stations this week and will begin airing this fall.

“PBS has a reputation for excellence, and I’m proud to announce that ‘Secrets of New York’ will become NYC TV’s first foray into programming for a national audience,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “When I came into office, we set out to build a world-class station that could capitalize on the marketing potential of the greatest city in the world, and this agreement – along with the recent one with WNBC – shows that the team at NYC TV is meeting  that challenge. With over 90 percent of the US television households able to watch ‘Secrets of New York,’ potential tourists from the City of Angels to the City of Brotherly Love will be further exposed to the vitality and history – and inside secrets – of the Big Apple.”

“Secrets of New York” is being distributed through one of public television’s marquee distributors, Executive Program Services, Inc., or EPS, based in Rocky Mount, Virginia. EPS serves public broadcast stations from across the country with a catalog of high-quality program offerings.

“Demand by our member stations for ‘Secrets of New York’ exceeded all our initial estimates,” said EPS President Alan Foster. “NYC TV has really put together a terrific series that will appeal to viewers of all age groups. The programs are visually stunning and provide a glimpse of where public broadcasting is heading. NYC TV is definitely ahead of the curve.”

“With this agreement, the rest of the country will be able to watch the creative and innovative NYC TV programming that we in New York have been enjoying,” said Deputy Mayor for Administration Edward Skyler. “Learning about the rich history and electric spirit of New York hopefully will encourage even more Americans to visit our great City. Taken with the recent WNBC announcement, this is another sign how the City’s station has been transformed over the past four years.”

“This latest agreement is just another example of the breakthroughs in municipal television we’ve come to expect from NYC TV,” said Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Paul Cosgrave. “Now, viewers throughout the country will be able to enjoy this fun and informative program. Its name notwithstanding, television this good shouldn’t be a secret.”

“‘Secrets of New York’ taps into America’s fascination with this fantastic and dynamic city,” said Arick Wierson, Executive Producer of “Secrets of New York.” “We’ve developed a compelling way of introducing viewers to New York City history. ‘Secrets of New York’ definitely has a rhythm that will appeal to younger viewers, but it’s the mysteries that we unravel that will reel in audiences across all demographics.”

“One of NYC TV’s primary goals has always been to use the many flavors of New York to attract visitors to our great city,” said Seth Unger, Director of Special Projects for NYC TV.  “We’ve already had tremendous success reaching a regional audience on Channel 25 and with this new distribution platform, we can now export little tastes of New York to hungry television viewers nationwide.”

The agreement enables NYC TV to attach underwriting messages to the program. Among these will be a 30-second spot produced by NYC & Co., the City’s official tourism board, which will promote the City.

“Secrets of New York,” a half-hour program hosted by New York Emmy-nominated local television personality Kelly Choi, is NYC TV’s highest-rated original series. It is shot in a fast-paced, graphically-intense documentary style and draws from New York City’s vast collection of historical footage and photographs housed by the municipal archives. Each episode explores little-known stories or unearths long-forgotten remnants of New York City’s past. The following episodes are part of the agreement:

  • “Deep New York: How Low Can You Go in the Big Apple?” – presents a quest for the lowest point in all of New York City. The episode showcases an array of underground treasures across the city, from abandoned subway stations to City Water Tunnel No. 3.
  • “Ancient New York: 400 Years and Counting” – offers viewers a guided tour of the oldest surviving remnants of New York City’s past, from the High Bridge – the city’s oldest surviving bridge and the first aqueduct bringing fresh water into Manhattan – to the Greenwood Cemetery, the city’s oldest landscaped cemetery whose design helped inspire  Central Park.  
  • “Secrets in the Sky: Towers of Gotham” – reveals New York City’s loftiest secrets, from the collection of gargoyles atop the New York Life Building to the unusual story behind the Woolworth Building’s two 26th floors.
  • “Jails of New York: Secrets Unlocked” – explores secrets behind bars – from the jails at Castle Williams on Governor’s Island to North Brother Island where Typhoid Mary was quarantined.

Also included in the agreement is NYC TV’s Emmy-award nominated special “Seven Secrets of Grand Central,” a half-hour guided tour of the famed railway terminal.

“Secrets of New York” will now be eligible for the national Emmy Awards, and NYC TV plans to submit the show for consideration. A program must be available to at least 51% of television households in the United States to become eligible. The station has been nominated for 34 New York Emmy Awards, winning 14, including one in 2006 for “Secrets of New York.”
The agreement for national distribution is the latest milestone in NYC TV’s short but highly successful history.  Earlier this month, Mayor Bloomberg announced that five NYC TV programs will be broadcast on Channel 4 starting September 4 as part of an unprecedented agreement with WNBC. NYC TV replaced Crosswalks as the City’s official television station, and now is one of the region’s fastest growing television networks with innovative programming showcasing the vitality of New York City. NYC TV has become a worldwide model for municipal television – cities such as Seoul, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston have looked to NYC TV to improve their own stations.

With its signature theme “Everything New York,” NYC TV’s flagship Channel 25 showcases New York culture, from entertainment, fashion and music to food, history and landmarks.  NYC TV also operates four other channels.  City Drive Live (Channel 72 on Cablevision, 93 on Time Warner, and digital broadcast Channel 25.2) provides local drivers with 24/7 live coverage of the City’s main roadways through the Department of Transportation’s network of traffic cameras.  Mayoral press conferences, City Council hearings, and other municipal services information are broadcast on Channel 74.  NYC TV Channel 73 features programming of special interest for the City’s diverse immigrant communities.  Off Track Betting is broadcast live on NYC TV Channel 71.

NYC TV’s flagship station is broadcast on Channel 25 on Time Warner Cable, Comcast New Jersey, RCN and Dish TV, Channel 22 on Cablevision, Channel 888 on DirectTV and digital broadcast Channel 25.1.  Additionally, NYC TV can be seen on WVVH-TV in Long Island on Cablevision’s Channel 78.  To learn more about NYC TV or to see a complete list of stations where “Secrets of New York” will air nationally, please visit

Stu Loeser / Matthew Kelly

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