PBS is a nonprofit broadcaster with a varied programming lineup including news, children's shows, travel and home improvement. PBS provides programming to independent public television stations, which may also show programming that is not distributed by PBS.
PBS has long been known for children's programming, such as "Sesame Street," "Arthur" and "Curious George." The network also sometimes imports children's shows, such as "Thomas the Tank Engine," from other countries.
The network has also established itself as a source of news coverage and commentary on public affairs with programs such as "PBS NewsHour," "Washington Week" and "Frontline." Other long-running programs that the network is known for are the "Charlie Rose" and "Tavis Smiley" interview programs, the science programs "NOVA" and "Nature," the home improvement show "This Old House" and the reality show "Antiques Roadshow."
PBS has also has the longest-running primetime drama program, "Masterpiece" (formerly "Masterpiece Theater"). The drama "Downton Abbey" has also become very popular, as of 2015.
As of May 2015, PBS has over 350 member stations in the United States and its territories. Programming is produced by some of these member stations rather than by central production units. Member stations are free to choose what PBS programming they carry to some degree, but are usually required to broadcast the primetime shows.