Award-Winning PBS KIDS® Launches New Programming This Fall 2003
Labor Day "PBS KIDS Pet-Tacular!" Programming Block Unleashes New Series - CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS - Featuring the Voice of Henry Winkler
(Press Tour, Hollywood, CA; July 12, 2003) Continuing its commitment to provide the highest quality programming and learning environment on television for children, PBS KIDS¨ gears up for the back-to-school season with two new series and new episodes from its award-winning series - ARTHUR¨, BARNEY & FRIENDS¨, THE BERENSTAIN BEARS, BETWEEN THE LIONS, CAILLOU, CYBERCHASE, GEORGE SHRINKS and TELETUBBIES. PBS' children's programs have won more prestigious awards than any other broadcast or cable network, including 10 Daytime Emmy Awards this year. Only PBS KIDS shows have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers - including the most popular single source of in-classroom content.
The season launches on Labor Day, September 1, 2003, with "PBS KIDS Pet-Tacular!," a special two-hour block of pet-themed programming. Headlining the special line-up is a new series, CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS, from Scholastic Entertainment, producers of the PBS KIDS series CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG. The Labor Day special two-hour "PBS KIDS Pet-Tacular!" program block. Hosted by ZOOM kids Shing Ying and Mike, the event features two episodes of CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS paired with two pet-themed episodes of ARTHUR.
CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS presents the young, bright, loveable bundle of energy before he was the biggest dog that ever was. Young fans will find that even though he's small, Clifford has a huge heart and tremendous good humor that win him friends and fans everywhere he goes. Henry Winkler, the voice behind Norville - a city bird with attitude - is among the celebrities lending their voices to the cast of this new animated venture for children ages three to seven. Following the Labor Day premiere, kids can look forward to 23 additional episodes of CLIFFORD'S PUPPY DAYS each Wednesday in the regular CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG time slot on PBS KIDS. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG will continue to air at its regularly scheduled time every weekday except Wednesday.
Joining the PBS KIDS weekend line-up this fall is new series JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS. Produced by Mike Young Productions (the animators of CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG), JAKERS!, a 3D CGI-animated series, follows the adventures of Piggley, a spunky eight-year-old pig, and his friends Dannan the Duck and Ferny the Bull on Raloo Farm in Ireland. The tops and tails of the show feature Piggley Winks as a granddad, who tells tales from childhood as entertaining life lessons. As a complement to the moral lesson of Piggley's exploits, each episode ends with a four-minute live action epilogue, entitled "Live and Learn," hosted by soccer great Cobi Jones of the 2002 MLS Cup Champion team, which features children sharing real-life anecdotes. The 26-episode series airs on Sundays beginning September 7, 2003 (check local listings).
Also this fall, PBS KIDS offers up a full week of new episodes of continuing series during a special "PBS KIDS Share a Story" theme-week, beginning Monday, September 15 (check local listings). The "PBS KIDS Share a Story" literacy initiative inspires adults to help millions of children develop language and
literacy skills through storytelling, singing, reading, rhyming, pretending and talking. The research-based multimedia campaign promotes children's literacy using television, the Web and the unparalleled resources of PBS and local public television stations. First Lady Laura Bush serves as Honorary National Chairman of the campaign. READING RAINBOW host LeVar Burton is National Chairman. "PBS KIDS Share a Story" is sponsored in part by Target Stores.
PBS KIDS series premiering new episodes during "PBS KIDS Share a Story" theme-week include:
- ARTHUR - Based on the best-selling books by Marc Brown, ARTHUR begins its eighth season on PBS with new episodes that revolve around a world neighborhood theme. Arthur and his friends embark on adventures that encourage kids to better understand and appreciate their neighbors - both near and far. Produced by WGBH Boston and CINAR Corporation, 10 new episodes premiere this fall, including five the week of September 15 and five the week of December 22.
- BARNEY & FRIENDS¨ - Produced by HIT Entertainment, the lovable purple dinosaur Barney and his young friends share adventures featuring songs, dances and games that make learning fun for children. Ten new episodes premiere this fall, including five the week of September 15 and every subsequent Friday through the end of October.
- THE BERENSTAIN BEARS - For four decades, THE BERENSTAIN BEARS have introduced children to a range of important values. The animated series continues Stan and Jan Berenstain's commitment to reflecting traditional community values and the joys and challenges of family life. Produced by Nelvana Limited and Agogo Entertainment, 25 new episodes premiere this fall beginning September 15 as the BEARS move to a full 30-minute program.
- BETWEEN THE LIONS - Produced by WGBH Boston and Sirius Thinking Ltd., BETWEEN THE LIONS helps children learn to read in a fun-filled, variety-show format centered around a mix of colorful characters who watch literature leap to life in the lions' magical library. The fourth season premieres this fall the week of September 15.
- CAILLOU - CAILLOU, the infinitely curious four-year-old whose unique way of relating to the world has charmed children, parents and caregivers - continues his journey of growing up. Produced by CINAR Corporation, CAILLOU launched a new show format with the release of 16 new episodes, the first eight premiered in February and the remaining will premiere the week of September 15.
- CYBERCHASE - Produced by Thirteen/WNET New York and Nelvana Ltd., CYBERCHASE takes kids on a wild ride through cyberspace where they are challenged to use the power of math in a classic good-versus-evil battle. Five new episodes premiere this fall, including four the week of September 15 and a Halloween-themed episode in October. Jasmine Guy and Al Roker lend their character voices in two new episodes this season.
- GEORGE SHRINKS - Produced by Nelvana Limited and Jade Animation Corporation, GEORGE SHRINKS celebrates the power of being small. George may only be three inches tall, but that's not a problem - he never sweats the minor tasks or shies away from challenges. Six new episodes premiere this fall the week of September 15.
- TELETUBBIES - TELEBUBBIES introduced a brand new 10-minute segment within each day's half hour broadcast called "Teletubbies Everywhere" in January 2003. Produced by Ragdoll, Ltd., this new segment focuses on early learning concepts and features the loveable characters in a completely different visual format. Ten new episodes premiere this fall, five during the week of September 15 and five during October.
PBS KIDS provides a nonviolent, noncommercial daily television schedule that empowers children as members of their communities, nation and world. PBS KIDS welcomes parents, teachers and caregivers as learning partners through broadcast as well as online through pbskids.org. PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise, owned and operated by the nation's 350 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media.
More information about PBS and these programs is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.
Kevin Dando, PBS
Stephanie Aaronson, PBS