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.)
Photo: Sesame Workshop
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Lady Mary and Matthew

Downton Abbey - Masterpiece

Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary Crawley (Michelle Dockery) – a.k.a the power couple that left every Downton Abbey fan with a broken heart. Although Mary and Matthew’s first encounters seemed spiteful on the surface, fond feelings ran deep. After an on-and-off again romance – and two proposals later – the couple finally wed in 1920. Keep your tissues close though, as fate takes a tragic turn for Matthew after the birth of their son.
Photo: Masterpiece
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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 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) 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!

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood debuted 50 years ago in 1968 and to honor the anniversary THIRTEEN premieres Mister Rogers: It's You I Like on March 6 at 8pm. Whoopi Goldberg, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Esperanza Spalding, Sarah Silverman, and many others share their memories of the show. Michael Keaton hosts.
Photo: mrdestructicity via Flickr
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Victoria and Albert

Victoria – Masterpiece

Victoria and Albert weren't your standard royal couple - their courtship (as depicted in Victoria on MASTERPIECE) followed the Four Stages set down by the Lady Mary Crawley School of Seduction: You impudent beast! You Bore me. I hate you! Shut up and kiss me!

Ultimately, it was Victoria who asked for Albert's hand in marriage (go, girl!), and the rest is history. Victoria and Albert's relationship was filled with passion all the way to the end - did you know that the queen was buried with a plaster cast of Prince Albert's hand?
Photo: ITVS for Masterpiece
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David Brooks and Bob Shields

PBS NewsHour

Not to be confused with Brooke Shields, the duo Shields and Brooks are billed in that order for their weekly news commentary on PBS NewsHour. Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks, leaning politically to the left and right, respectively, respectfully disagree (or agree) as they discuss news and political affairs with PBS NewsHour host Judy Woodruff.
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Stuart and Freddie


In the Britcom Vicious, Stuart (Sir Derek Jacobi) and Freddie (Sir Ian McKellen) are a couple who bicker so much they make the Golden Girls seem like Care Bears. The air gets thin in a small London flat after living together for nearly 50 years. Constantly picking each other apart and holding on to petty slights for decades, Freddie and Stuart are always at each other's throats, cracking snide remarks aimed at the other's age, appearance and flaws. The sideswiping means the moments of making up are all the more heart-warming.
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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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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!
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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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Ross and Demelza

Poldark – Masterpiece

If Ross and Demelza's Cinderella romance can teach us anything, it's that first impressions don't matter. Demelza was disguised as a boy when she and Ross Poldark first met. Their marriage initially shocked people in their village, but even as Demelza struggled to transition from scullery maid to nobleman's wife, Ross was always there to support her and shower her with gifts. Through all of the flirting, bickering, loss, romance, and even - gasp! - betrayal, we will always root for Ross and Demelza to stay together. Can you even picture either of them with anyone else?
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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, we couldn’t leave out one of the most beloved and unlikely couples. 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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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.
Photo: © 2009 Sesame Workshop
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