Producing for THIRTEEN


THIRTEEN accepts proposals for limited series, single stand-alone programs that can be broadcast as specials, single programs that fit existing strands, and short program segments that can fit existing programs.

If you wish to submit a completed film to THIRTEEN, please review the submission policy of THIRTEEN’s Scheduling and Acquisitions Department.


The Scheduling and Acquisitions Department identifies, screens, and evaluates completed programs from a broad variety of sources for possible inclusion in the local THIRTEEN broadcast schedule. Due to an ever-increasing number of new programs on the one hand, and drastically reduced budgets and discretionary air time on the other, most program submissions cannot be entertained.

Submission policy:

We are interested in completed programs only (no proposals, or shows that require additional funding to complete).

Submit a short, written program description that must include its length and any funders; do not send tape.

Submissions should be e-mailed to Ana Ramos at

After you have submitted your program description, we will send you an email acknowledging that we have received it. We will only contact you further if we are interested in pursuing your program.

Programs acquired for broadcast on THIRTEEN are for local air only. They are not distributed nationally via PBS, or offered by us to other distributors or public television stations.

We cannot be responsible for unsolicited tapes or DVDs, which cannot be returned.

Submitting Proposals To THIRTEEN

All unsolicited proposals must be submitted online. When submitting a proposal to THIRTEEN you will need to indicate to which content area or program you are submitting. THIRTEEN’s programming includes Performance and Arts, News and Current Affairs, Science & Nature, Documentaries, and Children’s and Educational Media.

Existing national programs include:

  • American Masters

    This award-winning biography series, celebrates our nation’s arts and culture. It has just completed its 22nd broadcast season and is still acclaimed as “the best biographical series ever to appear on television.” American Masters has produced an exceptional body of work, exploring the lives and illuminating the creative journeys of more than 150 of America’s most enduring writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, dramatists and filmmakers. In content and style, these are uniquely crafted programs, reflecting the particular attention deserved by each of our subjects, reflecting the extraordinary mosaic of our creative heritage and traditions. However, American Masters produces most of its programming in-house and is able to accept very few proposals.

  • Great Performances

    With 2008-09 marking its 36th season on PBS, Great Performances (along with its sub-series Great Performances@The Met and Dance in America) brings the best in the performing arts from across America and around the world to a US television audience. The only continuing primetime performance showcase on American television, Great Performances develops, produces, co-produces and acquires a diverse programming portfolio of classical music, opera, popular song, musical theater, dance, drama, and performance documentaries. Regardless of geographic or economic limitations, Great Performances ensures its audiences “the best seats in the house,” with a roster of artists and performing arts companies that represent a “Who’s Who” of excellence and virtuosity in the international performing arts.

  • Nature

    The premier natural history series on American television, Nature is in its 27th season. The series works with major natural history producers/distributors and is interested in one-offs and mini-series (no more than three parts). Shows should be an hour in length with HD as the required format. The series features “blue chip” animal behavior films as well as exciting and engaging stories about the human-animal relationship.

  • Secrets of the Dead

    Since its premiere in 2000, Secrets of the Dead has built its brand around high-quality single-hour films that use scientific and historical investigations to shed new light on iconic moments from the past. Innovative forensic and investigative techniques, testable hypotheses and strong central characters are key, as is the ability to debunk accepted historical wisdom or uncover forgotten history. All Secrets of the Dead episodes are co-productions, so story ideas should appeal to an international audience and/or already have co-production partners in place.

  • PBS NewsHour Weekend

Local programs include:

  • NYC-Arts

    Celebrating its fourth year of production in 2012, Thirteen’s weekly newsmagazine (SundayArts) moved into primetime on Thursdays and was renamed NYC-ARTS. Featuring the best in the world of arts and culture in our area, recent programming highlights include interviews with filmmaker Ed Burns, actor/playwright Anna Deavere Smith, philanthropist/art collector Ronald S. Lauder, baritone Thomas Hampson, violinist Mark O’Connor, pianist Jeremy Denk, artist Kiki Smith, and author Jennifer Egan, as well as feature/profiles on Theater for a New Audience, The Emerson String Quartet and American Ballet Theater.

  • Reel 13

    Every Saturday night, Reel 13 brings NY-area viewers a complete movie experience, featuring a Classic movie, an Independent feature, and a short film chosen by viewers’ voting at Reel 13 Classics are all-time Hollywood favorites introduced by writer and film historian Neal Gabler. Reel 13 Indies, hosted by Richard Pena, Professor of Film at Columbia University, spotlight award-winning contemporary independent films from around the world. The evening concludes with Reel 13 Shorts, featuring the weeks’s winning short film chosen for broadcast by fans voting at To submit a short film for consideration, visit

  • Treasures of New York
  • MetroFocus

    MetroFocus is a multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. The MetroFocus television program features interviews, in-depth reporting, content from many partners and solutions-oriented reports from the community. Major areas of coverage include sustainability, education, science and technology, the environment, transportation, poverty and underserved communities. amplifies that reporting with daily updates and original stories that also cover culture, government and politics, the economy, urban development and other news in the metropolitan region. View our full episodes, segments and web extras on our Watch MetroFocus page.

As a major provider of content for PBS, we receive hundreds of proposals each year, many on the same or similar subjects. And although we do consider unsolicited proposals, we develop and produce the majority of our programs on our own or in collaboration with existing production partners. Our decision to pursue an unsolicited proposal will be based on the originality and importance of the content, the qualifications and experience of the producer, director, and other key production personnel, and the availability of resources with which to pursue further development and production.

The submission forms below will require some basic information from you as well as your consent to a standard release. Proposals should be kept to a reasonable length and, if possible, include a budget. Please do not send video material unless requested.

After you have submitted your proposal, you will receive an email acknowledging that we have received it and that it has been sent to the appropriate department for review. We will only contact you further if we have an interest in pursuing your proposal. Please begin the submission process by filling out the proposal submission form.