“Arthur” will end soon.
PBS Kids plans to end the long-running children’s series after 25 seasons, an original developer of the show said in a podcast released Wednesday. The final season will air in 2022.
Kathy Waugh, who was a guest on the Finding DW podcast, said the animated series is no longer in production. She said the show’s closing night was two years ago.
“I think (PBS) made a mistake, and I think ‘Arthur’ should come back and I know I’m not the only one who thinks they made a mistake,” Waugh said. “I don’t know if this was a scoring issue or if I felt like it should be removed.”
The series, which first aired in 1996, is based on the popular book series by Marc Brown, who created the character Arthur in 1976. It stars the aardvark character with his family. and his friends.
Executive producer Carol Greenwald said PBS Kids will continue to air reruns of the show.
Over its more than two-decade run, “Arthur” has won a lasting following and a number of awards, including several Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Entertainment Program, as well as a Peabody Award.
The show first aired on PBS in 1996 and for a time ranked as the most popular TV show for children ages 2-11. In the series as in the books, Arthur (an aardvark in third grade), his friends (a variety of other anthropomorphized animals) and their teachers and families have adventures, learning lessons about everything including friendship, the schoolwork, public libraries and loss.
Ziggy Marley, the son of Bob Marley, performed the theme song – itself about empathy and confidence in oneself and in others.
Available to a wide audience on public television, ‘Arthur’ was the rare children’s series that drew fans among children and their parents. The main character, Arthur, had an “Everyman” quality that made him so easy to understand, Waugh said on the podcast.
“The best children’s television – and ‘Arthur’ is absolutely on top of that particular genre – expands a child’s life, reflects the life of a child, and makes children of all shapes and sizes feel seen,” Waugh said.
She added that “Arthur”, unlike many children’s shows that have survived, faced not only the experiences of the playground and the classroom, but also difficult realities like harassment, fear of death. and cancer.
The tone of the show reflected that, she said. To be constantly cheerful or twittering, she said, would have been “a disservice to the children.”
– With contributions from the New York Times