Arthur is coming to an end after 25 seasons on the air, and PBS has big plans for the animated series’ send-off. Next month, a special marathon will precede the premiere of the four final episodes. In the finale, viewers will be given a glimpse into the futures of Arthur and his friends.
The end of the series does not mean the end of Arthur, however. Viewers will be able to see Arthur Read and his family and friends on other platforms for years to come. Projects include a podcast, video shorts that tackle timely and compelling topics, and digital games. PBS revealed more about the plans for the end of the animated series in a press release.
“PBS KIDS and GBH Kids today announced that ARTHUR, the iconic Peabody and Emmy Award-winning® series based on the bestselling books by Marc Brown, will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special marathon, including four new episodes, which culminate in a much-anticipated ending that gives a glimpse into what’s in store for the future of these beloved characters. The marathon will feature more than 250 episodes and movie specials back-to-back on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and livestream, as well as on the PBS KIDS YouTube channel from February 16 at 9:00 a.m. EST to February 21 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The four brand-new episodes will air on PBS stations (check local listings) and stream free on PBS KIDS on February 21, concluding the show’s 25th and final television season.
New content from ARTHUR will continue rolling out in 2022 and beyond, including a podcast, video shorts that tackle timely and compelling topics, and digital games. The 25 seasons of ARTHUR (250+ episodes) will continue to be available on PBS KIDS.
“For more than 25 years, Arthur and his friends have kept viewers learning and growing through their true-to-life experiences,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “We can’t wait to debut these episodes and introduce new ARTHUR content that will give fans more ways to engage with their favorite aardvark.”
ARTHUR is the longest-running kids’ animated series on television and is known for teaching kindness, empathy, and inclusion through everyday adventures and many groundbreaking moments. In the new episodes, Arthur and his friends solve a mystery, see a silent movie, find out what it’s like to be a reporter, learn how to help a grieving friend, go on a family vacation, and get a hint of their futures from a mysterious fortune-telling game.
It’s been a privilege to work with an extraordinary and talented team to bring to Arthur to public television audiences for more than two decades, “said Carol Greenwald, Senior Executive Producer, GBH Kids. “We’re excited about Arthur’s next chapter – sharing the stories and experiences of Arthur and his Elwood City community to the media platforms where the next generation of kids and families will connect with them for years to come.”
Marc Brown, the author of the “Arthur Adventure” book series, which has sold more than 65 million copies in the U.S. alone, is also releasing a new book, “Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur” (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), on January 25, 2022.
“It’s amazing that what began as a simple bedtime story for my son eventually evolved into over a hundred books and a collaboration with GBH and PBS KIDS that would last 25 years,” said Marc Brown the creator and author of ARTHUR. “Now more than ever the last line of my first book Arthur’s Nose rings true- ‘There is a lot more to Arthur than his nose.’”
Since its inception, ARTHUR has tackled many important, timely topics. In 2020, GBH Kids created a series of digital short videos to give parents and families tools to talk about current events – including the importance of hand-washing and wearing a mask; talking about racism; and encouraging everyone to participate in elections. Over the next several years, the team will produce additional new shorts to address timely topics families will be facing as well as everyday Elwood City adventures.
ARTHUR will also create new content for other platforms. GBH Kids will partner with Gen-Z Media for a new podcast, which will leverage ARTHUR’s incomparable library of stories, favorite characters, and heartfelt moments that have strongly resonated with audiences to create engaging audio content that reaches existing fans, as well as help introduce a new generation to the series and some of its classic storylines. This podcast will be available on podcast streaming platforms and on pbskids.org.
New interactive ARTHUR games will also launch on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Games app.”
What do you think? Are you sad to see Arthur end on PBS? Have you or your kids enjoyed the animated series?