Discover the PBS Hours of Operation: A Comprehensive Guide to When You Can Catch Your Favorite Shows

Ever found yourself wondering, “What time does PBS come on?” or “Is PBS on 24/7?” You’re not alone! It’s essential to know the PBS hours of operation to enjoy your favorite shows without missing out. This article will answer your questions and leave you feeling like a PBS pro!

PBS: A Beloved American Institution

PBS, or the Public Broadcasting Service, is a non-profit television network in the United States. Established in 1970, PBS has been a cornerstone of American television, offering educational, cultural, and entertainment programs for all ages.

A Network of Member Stations

Unlike commercial networks, PBS operates through a network of more than 350 local member stations. These stations broadcast PBS programs and contribute content to the national schedule, making PBS a uniquely collaborative effort.

PBS Hours of Operation: The Big Question

Now, let’s dive into the heart of the matter: PBS hours of operation.

PBS Programming Schedule: A Flexible Approach

PBS does not have a uniform schedule, as local stations have the flexibility to air programs at different times. However, PBS does provide a national program schedule that lists suggested air times for each show.

Weekdays (Monday – Friday)

During the week, PBS offers a mix of daytime children’s programming, news and public affairs shows, and prime-time entertainment.

Children’s Programming

Morning and early afternoon hours typically feature children’s shows such as Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and Wild Kratts.

News and Public Affairs

Later in the afternoon, PBS airs news and public affairs programs like PBS NewsHour and Frontline.

Prime-Time Entertainment

Evenings bring popular programs like Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, and Nova to the screen.

Weekends (Saturday – Sunday)

On weekends, PBS offers a mix of children’s programming, arts and culture shows, and documentaries.

Children’s Programming

Saturday mornings are dedicated to children’s shows, with some repeats from the week and exclusive weekend content.

Arts and Culture Shows

Later on Saturdays, PBS features arts and culture programs such as Great Performances and American Masters.


Sundays are often devoted to documentaries, with shows like Independent Lens and POV exploring various social, political, and cultural topics.

PBS Passport: On-Demand Access

If you can’t catch your favorite shows during their regular PBS hours of operation, consider PBS Passport. Passport is a member benefit that offers on-demand streaming access to a library of PBS content.

Streaming Availability

With PBS Passport, you can watch programs at your convenience, making it a great option for busy viewers.

How to Find PBS Hours of Operation in Your Area

To determine the specific PBS hours of operation for your local station, follow these steps:

Step 1: Visit Your Local Station’s Website

Find your local PBS station’s website by entering your zip code at

Step 2: Check the Program Schedule

Explore the station’s website to find the program schedule. This will help you identify the PBS hours of operation in your area.

FAQs About PBS Hours of Operation

1. What time does PBS come on?

PBS does not have a universal schedule, so the hours may vary based on your location and local station. Check your local station’s website for details.

2. Is PBS on 24/7?

While PBS offers a wide range of programming throughout the day, not all stations air content 24/7. Consult your local station’s schedule for specifics.

3. How can I stream PBS shows if I miss the PBS hours of operation?

Consider PBS Passport, a member benefit that offers on-demand streaming of PBS content.

4. How do I find my local PBS station’s website?

Enter your zip code at to find your local station’s website.

5. What kind of programs does PBS air during the daytime hours?

Daytime hours typically feature children’s programming, news and public affairs shows, and some lifestyle and cooking programs.

6. What kind of shows are featured during prime-time hours?

Evening hours focus on prime-time entertainment, including drama series, documentaries, and science programs.

7. Are there any arts and culture shows on PBS?

Yes, PBS offers a variety of arts and culture programs on weekends, such as Great Performances and American Masters.

8. What are the PBS Passport membership requirements?

PBS Passport is a member benefit, so you’ll need to make a donation to your local PBS station to gain access.

9. Can I access PBS Passport on any device?

Yes, PBS Passport is available on various devices, including smartphones, tablets, computers, and streaming media players like Roku and Apple TV.

10. How do I sign up for PBS Passport?

After making a qualifying donation to your local station, you’ll receive an activation link via email. Follow the link to create a PBS account and start streaming.

Understanding PBS hours of operation can help you maximize your viewing experience and never miss an episode of your favorite shows. With its diverse and engaging programming, PBS remains a treasured part of American television culture.

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