Weigel Broadcasting’s ‘Green Screen Adventures’ fades to black

"Green Screen Adventures"

“Green Screen Adventures”

A Chicago-based children’s show that promoted literacy by bringing the ideas of young authors to life has run its course after eight years.

Weigel Broadcasting has ceased production of “Green Screen Adventures,” the nationally acclaimed educational series that aired weekend mornings on the MeTV Network.

Stories submitted by students were adapted and performed each week by a cast of local actors using green-screen technology. Since the show debuted in 2007, more than 400 half-hour episodes featuring the writings and illustrations of more than 2,000 students were produced in the form of sketch comedy, original songs, puppetry and story theater.

“By basing the stories on the writing of elementary school students, children get the message that their words have power and that their voices are being heard,” the show’s mission statement read.

Calling it “a great run for a children’s program,” Bob Ramsey, executive vice president of local media for Weigel Broadcasting, said reruns of “Green Screen Adventures” will continue to air for the foreseeable future on The U (WCIU-Channel 26) and Me-Too (WMEU-Channel 26.4) as well as stations in Milwaukee and South Bend. The company will maintain the show’s website at greenscreenadventures.tv.

Gail Sikevitz

Gail Sikevitz

The show was the brainchild of producer Gail Sikevitz, who joined Weigel Broadcasting as director of educational programming in 2006. She previously was executive producer of programming at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5 and executive director of the Dolores Kohl Education Foundation.

“When we bring children’s stories to life, we inspire young viewers to express themselves through language,” Sikevitz said after “Green Screen Adventures” won its third Daytime Emmy Award last June. “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by the academy for our efforts.”

Among other citations, it twice was honored with Gabriel Awards for excellence in programming by the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts, and it received a Service to America Award for Children from the National Association of Broadcasters.

Since the show’s final taping in September, four of the seven staff members accepted other positions at Weigel Broadcasting and three left the company, according to Ramsey.

Word of the shutdown comes just weeks after Weigel Broadcasting confirmed the cancellation of “First Business News,” the long-running weekday morning syndicated financial news show. Its final broadcast will be produced December 22.