Happy Birthday, Arthur! PBS’ Animated Aardvark Turns 20

What a Wonderful Kind of Day!

Arthur PBS Kids
Arthur Read (right) rides with his BFF, Buster Bunny.

I don’t know what cake flavor an aardvark prefers (if it’s ant flavored, I’ll pass), but PBS’s lovable star, Arthur Read is blowing out a lot of candles today as his eponymous series celebrates the start of its 20th season! The PBS kids series Arthur is based on books by author Marc Brown, and is premiering new episodes will give fans a glimpse into the “Past, Present and Future” of Brown’s beloved characters. Especially noteworthy is a new episode titled “Cereal” (premiering Oct. 11), in which Buster launches a podcast to uncover the truth about a missing cereal box — a nod to the popular “Serial” podcast series.

In his two decades on TV, Arthur and his friends have tackled important topics like bullying, cancer, and autism in a kid-friendly way that helps children gain important socio-emotional skills they need to navigate through life. And Arthur is a record-breaker too; having reached major important media milestones including:
Premiered in 1996, and currently is TV’s longest-running animated children’s series.
Broadcast in over 80 countries.
Averages 7 million viewers per month.
Over 13 million streams per month.
Has been nominated for 22 Emmys and has earned 7 Emmy wins.
1 million Facebook followers.

Arthur’s PBS website has over 161 million website visits from 2008 – today.
Ranked as one of the “50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” by TV Guide.

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PBS Kids

Take a peek at new adventures that Arthur and his friends will experience this week:

Buster’s Second Chance – premieres Monday, October 10
With the help of a little time travel, Buster turns back the clock to see what his life would be like if he were a genius. But will a life winning science competitions mean a life without Arthur?

Arthur and the Whole Truth – premieres Monday, October 10
Arthur isn’t happy when he discovers that Buster has been telling him some white lies, even if it was just to spare his feelings. But can Arthur handle the harsh truth if Buster finally gives it to him?

Fern’s Flights of Fancy – premieres Tuesday, October 11
Will Fern give up her dreams of being a writer just because of one silly rejection? This is one case George might have to solve alone.

Cereal – premieres Tuesday, October 11
Buster tells the story of a missing cereal box on his all-new podcast. Will he be able to find the thief – and in the process – the truth?

He Said, He Said – premieres Wednesday, October 12
A special episode of Bionic Bunny is interrupted, and Arthur, Buster, and George try to remember what comes next. But Carl is the only one who can straighten out the story.

Bunny Trouble – premieres Wednesday, October 12
D.W. is excited to be taking care of the class bunny, Larry. But when Larry is feeling adventurous and wanders off, it’s up to Ladonna the “Bunny Whisperer” to help get him back.

That’s MY Grandma! – premieres Thursday, October 13
D.W. gets jealous when Grandma Thora becomes the most popular babysitter in town.

Bud’s Knotty Problem – premieres Thursday, October 13
When Bud falls in love with a snazzy new pair of boots, he might face his toughest adventure yet – learning to tie his shoes.

When I went to college, I wanted to make children’s shows for PBS, and Arthur was one of the shows that I looked to as a model of engaging and entertaining television. I’m glad that it still exists so that my own children can watch and experience the happenings in fictional Elwood City.

Arthur > PBS > Weekdays (Check local PBS station for time)