Philosophy of
Executive Producer Barbara Pyle

As early as 1980, Pyle was concerned about the lack of positive television programming and understood she was in a position to do something about it. She recognized television’s power to inspire change, encourage tolerance and unveil stereotypes. For 20 years, she has done just that, producing award-winning programs such as the Finite World Series, Without Borders, Captain Planet and The Planeteers (A 113-episode animated series for children) and the Save the Earth campaign. Each of these innovative programs, along with many others in which Pyle has been involved, has had a far-reaching impact on viewers around the world.

Pyle's approach to television production has paralleled the evolution of her own philosophy about social issues. As a result of her work with the United Nations, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and women’s and environmental groups, Pyle grew increasingly aware of a common thread in each successful project – individual determination. Ordinary people were doing extraordinary things – inspiring change, encouraging others in their own communities to better themselves, and set the stage for a safer, more fulfilling future. Motivated citizens were often the ones who had the respect of their peers and the ability to carry a message that would be heard. Pyle was inspired to tell the stories of these individuals. In 1993, People Count was born.

People Count became the centerpiece program of Turner Broadcasting's company-wide initiatives for United Nations Summits and Conferences. People Count puts a human face on the complex social, environlental, development and population issues being tackled in the global arena.

Pyle’s experience in television has taught her that when problems are presented in conjunction with practical solutions, viewers are more receptive to the information and often empowered to act. The series encourages grassroots activity by offering viewers contact information at the end of each program and is central to the People Count philosophy.

Pyle’s programming recalls the notions expressed by forward-thinking idealist, Thomas Hutchingson, during the infancy of the broadcast medium. In his 1946 essay, “Here is Television, Your Window to the World,” Hutchingson discussed how TV should do more to bring understanding and peace into the world than any other single material force on the planet. Although many people today would argue that television has become an obstacle to understanding and peace, Pyle and her colleagues are firm believers in television’s power to inform and educate.