13 Favorite PBS Couples

Love is On the Air

To celebrate Valentine’s Day and the aura of love it brings with it, we picked 13 favorite PBS “couples.” While not all the pairs we chose are couples in the traditional sense, much like Grant & Lee, Ali and Frazier, Batman and Robin or Homer and Marge, some folks just can’t be mentioned without the other. View our 13 favorite PBS couples, and suggest your own below!
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Maria & Luis

Sesame Street

Who doesn’t love a wedding episode? On an abundantly sunny day on Sesame Street in 1988, this couple thrilled kids nationwide when they said “I do.” Singing their way through the ceremony, the beautiful bride and dashing groom were surrounded by their friends and got help from best man Bob and ring-bearer Elmo, who was the only one more nervous than the bride. And to answer that burning question – yes – Luis and Maria (Emilio Delgado and Sonia Manzano) are really married! (Just not to each other.)

Luis and Maria decide to get hitched (with a little help from Big Bird)
Photo: Sesame Workshop
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Mimi and Rodolpho

Great Performances: La Boheme

One of the greatest love stories ever sung, Puccini’s tragic operatic tale premiered in 1896. Performed ever since by companies around the world, a dream team of opera stars brought a film adaptation to Great Performances (Aired 12/09) starring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón as star-crossed lovers Mimi and Rodolpho. The heart-stirring production was truly something to adore, except for the ending – not so wonderful for Mimi.

> Watch an interview with Anna Netrebko
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Pale Male & Lola

Nature: Pale Male

It doesn’t get more clichéd than this: Love birds building a love nest. Pale Male has hosted numerous partners in his swingin’ Fifth Avenue pad, but none are more memorable than Lola. This New York City power couple hatched seven eyasses together, from 2002-2004. They resided in the nest they built together until January 2011, when, sadly, Lola went missing. No time for mourning though — barely a week after Lola flew the coop, a 4-year-old hawk swooped in to join the apparently unfazed Pale Male.

Watch the love birds in action (no, not that kind of action)
Photo: Palemale.com
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King Friday XIII and Queen Sara Saturday

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

We can’t think of a royal couple we like more (no offense to William and Kate) than these first citizens of the Neighborhood of Make Believe. While the King could be stubborn and egocentric (you’d be high-strung with that trolley clanging by all the time), he ultimately listens to reason and more often than not, it’s the rational and compassionate Queen Sara (named for Fred Rogers' wife) who gets through to him. Long live the King and Queen!

Watch Mister Rogers sing “Won’t you be my neighbor?”
Photo: mrdestructicity via Flickr
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Emma Woodhouse and Mr. Knightly

Masterpiece Classic: Emma

Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse was always the matchmaker, but never quite part of the match. In a journey filled with secret admirers, mystery pianos, extravagant balls, proposals and rejections, Emma finally succumbs to the realization that it’s Mr. Knightly she fancies, leaving the many suitors in her wake crying “Bollocks!”

Watch behind-the-scenes video from the series
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Hacker and Wicked


Don’t you think that the two most villainous creatures in cyberspace would make the perfect couple? Wicked Witch thinks so, and often tries to convince fellow lover of evil Hacker, to join forces as a power couple. In The Wedding Scammer episode, Wicked finally convinces Hacker to walk down the aisle but much like Charlie Brown to a football-holding Lucy, it’s just not in the cards.

Watch the full Wedding Scammer episode
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Bill and Judith Davidson Moyers

Bill Moyers Journal

One half of this dynamic journalism duo has been a monumental success in front of the camera, while the other has been running the show from behind it. For more than 30 years, they’ve collaborated to produce memorable programs like Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, Faith and Reason and of course, Bill Moyers Journal. More impressively, despite being a couple in showbiz, they’ve been married for more than fifty years.

Bill and Judith talk with Charlie Rose about one of their collaborations
Photo: ©WNET
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Jacques Pepin and Julia Child

Cooking at Home with Jacques and Julia

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more passionate couple. Of course, for Jacques and Julia, food was on the receiving end of their love. Side-by-side, these two titans of French cuisine combined their culinary forces to delight the palates of countless food-savvy viewers. Nothing says love like strawberries sabayon, chocolate soufflé and cream roulade – bon appétit!

Julia & Jacques take on a stuffed turkey roulade
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John Lennon and Yoko Ono

American Masters: LENNONYC

Regardless of what you think about their music or their political views, there’s no denying these two were deeply in love with each other. As seen in American Masters: LENNONYC, their relationship was not without its rocky moments. But whether they were strolling through Central Park, staging one of their famed “bed-ins” or working late in the recording studio, they made the most out of their all too short time together.

Watch a program excerpt
Photo: © Ben Ross
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Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy

Great Performances & Sesame Street

We know…they’re no PBS regulars, but with Kermit’s Sesame Street cred and Miss Piggy’s unforgettable collaboration with Andrea Bocelli and David Foster on Great Performances (Last aired 12/10), we couldn’t leave out one of the most beloved couples to ever grace the screen. Kermit knows it’s not easy being green, but you figure he’s got to love the mountains of affection thrown his way by the fabulous Miss Piggy. However, it’s safe to assume he doesn’t adore the occasional karate chops she throws his way.

Miss Piggy and “Kermie” on the dance floor – guess who’s leading?
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Ronald and Nancy Reagan

American Experience: Reagan

It was, quite literally, a love story born in Hollywood. The two film stars met in 1949 and three years later, they tied the knot and embarked on their now historic path from film studios to the California governor’s mansion, and finally into The White House. Their 52-year marriage, much of it under close media scrutiny, is the real American dream. Watch American Experience: Reagan tonight at 9pm on THIRTEEN.

Watch American Experience: Reagan
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The Hardcastles

As Time Goes By

Sometimes true love takes time to blossom. In the case of As Time Goes By’s Jean and Lionel – portrayed by Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer—its about 40 years. Since many Yanks are unfamiliar with this Britcom, we’ll fill you in: Boy meets girl…they fall in love…boy goes to war…boy sends girl a letter…she never receives it (Bloody Postman!)…both figure, “oh well.”…38 years later, boy and girl reunite and rekindle the romance – hilarity ensues.

Enjoy some most amusing outtakes
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Ernie and Rubber Duckie

Sesame Street

Who hasn’t professed their love for something inanimate? Thoreau had nature, Willy Wonka had chocolate, and Ernie has Rubber Duckie. RD, as we call him, has everything you could possibly want in a friend — he’s yellow, he’s cute, he squeaks, he’s a fantastic listener (when he’s not squeaking) and most of all, he makes bath time lots of fun. That’s why he’s “the one” - bo ho bo dee oh.

Ernie sings his classic bath time hit
Photo: © 2009 Sesame Workshop
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