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There’s Something Nerdy Going on at WSRE

Last Updated by Mary Riker on

Pensacon will be launch pad for new PBS Nerd campaign, events and programming

PENSACOLA, Fla., February 16, 2016—With the rise in popularity of Comic Con events and other trends celebrating the popular arts, a growing number of PBS stations are celebrating their role in pop culture by engaging with fans most likely to embrace the label, “PBS Nerd.” Locally, WSRE is launching the PBS Nerd campaign with a presence at Pensacon this weekend in Downtown Pensacola, a free lecture by notable robotics engineer James McLurkin next week and the announcement of “Dr. Who” and “Mystery Science Theater 3000” coming to WSRE’s late night broadcast on Saturdays.

Local nerds devoted to intellectual pursuits already tune in for PBS standard-bearers like “NOVA” and “Nature.” Most adults born in the mid-to-late ’60s and since grew up on iconic PBS children’s shows like “Sesame Street” and “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.” More mature WSRE viewers have been nerds for “Masterpiece Theatre” and “Masterpiece Mystery” for decades; though, the historic popularity of “Downton Abbey” has expanded the British drama series’ audience to include younger viewers, as well.

WSRE’s PBS Nerd booth at Pensacon will feature appearances by Clifford from the PBS KIDS show “Clifford the Big Red Dog” on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 20 and Feb. 21.

Next week, the focus will be on STEM education, robotics and engineering. “Rise of the Robots” on “NOVA” will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, featuring robots from the Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola. This “NOVA” special investigates the cutting-edge technologies that are advancing robotics and the enormous challenges that robots still face.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, the WSRE Public Square Speakers Series will present a lecture by robotics engineer James McLurkin. His talk, “Dances with Robots: The Story of One Engineer, 112 Little Robots and the Toys, Insects and Star Wars Movies that Made it all Possible,” begins at 7 p.m. in the Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio. Doors open at 6 p.m. Admission is free.

For lovers of old school PBS and sci-fi classics, the broadcast of “Dr. Who,” as portrayed by Tom Baker, will air Saturdays at 11 p.m. with Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) following at 12 a.m. starting April 2.

WSRE’s program schedule and event information are available online at

Media Relations Contact:
Mary Riker