PBS KIDS Debuts New Episodes and Online Content from ARTHUR and MARTHA SPEAKS

Posted by PBS Publicity on

New episodes and collection of digital nonfiction storybooks help children build key skills

ARLINGTON, VA, October 22, 2013 – This fall, PBS KIDS will premiere new episodes of ARTHUR and MARTHA SPEAKS, as well as a new collection of free digital storybooks. Starting Monday, November 11, 2013, ARTHUR and MARTHA SPEAKS premiere new episodes (check local listings) featuring guest voice actors Alan Cumming and Kenan Thompson. The adventures continue online with a new series of MARTHA SPEAKS interactive nonfiction books that help build vocabulary. Produced by WGBH, both series help kids build pro-social and literacy skills.

“PBS KIDS is committed to using the power of media across platforms to educate and inspire young children,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Programming, PBS. “With new episodes and digital content from two of our most popular characters – Arthur and Martha – our goal is to get kids excited about reading, learning new words and exploring the world around them.”

ARTHUR – New Episodes
PBS KIDS kicks off ARTHUR’s 17th season with a week of new episodes, in which award-winning actor Alan Cumming (MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!; The Good Wife) makes a special appearance. In “Show Off,” it’s the Elwood City dog show and Killer is facing off against Sebastian Winkleplotz (voiced by Alan Cumming), the snooty, championship-winning poodle. At stake: the Read family honor. Can Killer’s coach, Pal, transform her from combative canine to sophisticated show dog? The ARTHUR episodes that debut during the week of November 11 are:

  • 11/11 #1701 “Show Off/Dog’s Best Friend” *NEW*
  • 11/12 #1702 “Adventures in Budylon/Ladonna Compson: Party Animal” *NEW*
  • 11/13 #1703 “Molina’s Mulligan/Buster Bombs” *NEW*
  • 11/14 #1704 “Opposites Distract/Just the Ticket” *NEW*
  • 11/15 #1705 “All Thumbs/Kidonia” *NEW*

MARTHA SPEAKS – New Episodes
PBS KIDS premieres new episodes of MARTHA SPEAKS, featuring special guest star Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), starting Monday, November 11, 2013. In “Stanley Saves the Day,” Thompson stars as Truman’s cousin Stanley, whose obsession with watching movies tends to get on his cousin’s nerves. When the gang spots two crooks at the Wagstaff City Hotel, Stanley’s knowledge of heist movies may be the best tool they’ve got to prevent a robbery. Episodes include:

  • 11/11 #507 “Stanley Saves the Day/Milo Goes for Gold” *NEW*
  • 11/12 #506 “Mouse Patrol/The Big Knockover” *NEW*
  • 11/13 #504 “My Mother the Dog/Martha’s Must-Have” *NEW*
  • 11/14 #508 “The Return of Ralph/Little Bo’s Sheep” *NEW*
  • 11/15 #507 “Stanley Saves the Day/Milo Goes for Gold”

MARTHA SPEAKS – New Interactive Storybooks
PBS KIDS also launched a new collection of online activities from MARTHA SPEAKS, available at pbskids.org/martha/stories/truestories. “Martha’s True Stories” introduces children to the world of nonfiction through interactive books. The collection includes a series of free storybooks with interactive features, such as parent tips and scroll-over definitions. Designed for kids ages 4 to 7, “Martha’s True Stories” supports vocabulary development with the following features:

  • Eight nonfiction interactive storybooks, divided into four STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) categories. Within each category, families can find two nonfiction stories about the topic and an additional nonfiction text (such as instructions or a recipe).
  • Four related MARTHA SPEAKS videos (one for each STEM topic)
  • A “Word Bones” interactive glossary to reinforce the vocabulary featured in the stories
  • A “Quizmo” – or vocabulary quiz – for each story or text, supporting the new vocabulary and concepts that the stories teach
  • A companion Parent Guide (in English and Spanish) and a Teacher Guide

This collection of PBS KIDS MARTHA SPEAKS games was developed in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and was funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Ready To Learn Initiative, a program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families.

For images, episode descriptions and more information from ARTHUR and MARTHA SPEAKS, visit PBS PressRoom.

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, mobile and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including the PBS KIDS video player, now offering free streaming video accessible on computer- and mobile-device-based browsers.  For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About The Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement. It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching low-income children. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach and research on educational effectiveness.

Maria Vera, PBS; 703.739.3225; mvera@pbs.org
Meredith Gandy, 360PR; 646.568.3238; mgandy@360pr.com

The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. [PR/Award No. U295A100025, CFDA No. 84.295A]

#  #  #