These wonderful kind of days in a neighbourhood where aardvarks, rabbits and other animals go to school, learn about life and play, are ending.
“Arthur,” the beloved and educational children’s show, is coming to a close after 25 years, PBS confirmed on Wednesday. The show’s final season will air in the winter of 2022.
The show, based on a series of children’s books titled “Arthur’s Adventures” by Marc Brown, wrapped up production almost two years ago, according to one of the show’s writers, Kathy Waugh. In an episode that aired this month of “Finding D.W.,” a podcast about the series, she said the team had disbanded.
An executive producer on the show, Carol Greenwald, confirmed on Wednesday that the series would be ending. She said in a statement that episodes of the show would continue to be available on PBS Kids, but that no new ones would air after next year.
“‘Arthur’ is the longest-running kids animated series in history and is known for teaching kindness, empathy and inclusion through many groundbreaking moments to generations of viewers,” Greenwald said.
The statement did not offer a reason for the show’s cancellation. Greenwald said that the producer GBH and PBS Kids were “continuing to work together on additional Arthur content, sharing the lessons of Arthur and his friends in new ways.”
During its more than two-decade run, “Arthur” won an enduring audience and a number of awards, including multiple Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program, as well as a Peabody Award.
The show first aired on PBS in 1996, and for a time ranked as the most popular television show for children ages 2 to 11. In the series as in the books, Arthur (an aardvark in third grade), his friends (a variety of other anthropomorphized animals) and their school faculty and families have adventures, learning lessons about everything including friendship, school work, public libraries and loss.
“The best kids television – and ‘Arthur’ is absolutely at the apex of that particular genre – expands a child’s life, reflects a child’s life and makes children of all shapes and sizes feel seen,” Waugh said.
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