Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ARTHUR Premieres Season 14 on PBS KIDS GO!

This fall, everyone's favorite aardvark, Arthur Read, is back for an all-new season of ARTHUR, which will introduce a new friend and encourage kids to get creative through the arts, making movies and even writing graphic novels! Five new episodes premiere Monday, October 11 on PBS KIDS GO! (check local listings).

In the premiere episode, "The Wheel Deal," Arthur and his Elwood City friends meet Lydia Fox - a new character created by ARTHUR/All Kids Can Character Search winner, Connor Gordon. After being introduced by Connor last season in a live-action segment, Lydia now moves into Elwood City as an animated character. In "The Wheel Deal," Brain has to spend some time using a wheelchair after an injury, and is afraid his plans to compete in a basketball tournament for charity may be dashed! Luckily, his new friend Lydia happens to be a wheelchair basketball player, and shows him how it's done. The story is followed by a live-action segment featuring 10-year-old Kaitlyn, who doesn't let the fact that she uses a wheelchair stop her from enjoying life. Kaitlyn shows viewers that, like all kids, she has homework to do, enjoys spending time with her family, eating pizza and going to the beach.

Kicking off Halloween week, the spooktacular author of Coraline and The Graveyard Book Neil Gaiman gets "animated" in "Falafelosophy." At the urging of Neil, Sue Ellen tries her hand at writing and illustrating a graphic novel. When Sue Ellen needs inspiration and encouragement, she turns to Neil - who pops up in unexpected places! - and to the philosophy lessons of her local falafel vendor! And, ARTHUR offers up another haunting episode in time for Halloween - the "Tales of Grotesquely Grim Bunny." When the local comic book store changes ownership, the new darker and scarier comics are right up Fern's alley. But Arthur can't seem to stomach them and now he's worried. Is it wrong to be afraid? Maybe his friends will be more supportive than he realizes.

"This season, we're hoping to empower our young viewers to go after their goals and dreams. Whether that means becoming a wheelchair basketball champion, or expressing yourself through writing, drawing, and making movies, Arthur and his friends show kids that determination and hard work really pay off," said Executive Producer Jacqui Deegan. "Both Lydia and Neil serve as great role models, and we're excited to have them to reinforce these important lessons for our audiences."

Other new episodes find your favorite Elwood city friends getting creative and exploring various types of media. In "Agent of Change," after watching the latest animated hit in movie theaters, Muffy and Francine are disappointed that there never seem to be any cool female characters on screen. With the help of a very talented artist, Molly, the "Group of Three" set out to make their own movie! And, in "D.W. Unties the Knot," after watching the Wedding Channel, Arthur's younger sister sets out to plan the biggest unicorn wedding imaginable. Will she be able to back out in time, when she realizes she's getting more than she bargained for?

Tune-in for these and more ARTHUR adventures when all-new episodes premiere Monday, October 11 on PBS KIDS GO!

ARTHUR online at pbskidsgo.org/arthur!

The award-winning ARTHUR website is home to many games and activities, including the new game "Buster Baxter, Lung Defender." In this game, kids fight common asthma triggers in a wild ride through Buster's lungs. Supporting material for parents and caregivers can be found in the new Kids & Asthma section on the Parents & Teachers site. Also new this season, Arthur and his friends team up with Martha from Martha Speaks in a new game called "Marthur Stickerbook Mashup." Kids can choose characters and props from each show to create unique mashup scenes. Arthur will also make a surprise appearance - online only - in Martha's show opening. Finally, in a comic-creator feature inspired by Neil Gaiman, kids can create their very own comics, featuring Arthur and his Elwood City friends. The ARTHUR website is also home to most of the series educational materials including resources, lesson plans, and activities and has features to help kids understand their neighbors, near and far, and gain a better appreciation for the world around them. Kids can also watch video clips and full episodes of ARTHUR at pbskidsgo.org/video.

About ARTHUR
ARTHUR, based on Marc Brown's best-selling books, ranks alongside Curious George as the highest rated weekday children's series on PBS among children 6-11 (Source: Nielsen NPower, October 2009-July 2010). ARTHUR has won numerous awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award, a BAFTA and six Daytime Emmys®--four for Outstanding Children's Animated Program. ARTHUR is produced by WGBH Boston and Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc. Executive producers are Jacqui Deegan (WGBH), Toper Taylor (Cookie Jar), and Marc Brown (Marc Brown Studios). Directed by Greg Bailey.

Funding for ARTHUR is provided by public television viewers. Corporate funding is provided by Chuck E. Cheese's®.

About WGBH Boston
WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup along with some of public television's best-known lifestyle shows, many public radio favorites, and a roster of children's programs that empower kids with innovative, entertaining, curriculum-based content. Among the WGBH produced children's titles: Arthur, Curious George, Postcards from Buster, Between the Lions, Design Squad, Martha Speaks and Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman. WGBH is the number-one producer of websites on pbs.org, one of the most trafficked dot-org websites in the world, and a pioneer in educational multimedia and in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who rely on captioning or video descriptions. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards . . . even two Oscars. In 2002, WGBH received a special institutional Peabody Award for 50 years of excellence. For more information, go to http://www.wgbh.org/.

About Cookie Jar Group
Cookie Jar Group develops, produces, distributes and markets quality products to children, their caregivers, parents and teachers. Cookie Jar Group's products reflect its commitment to providing the best in children's published content, animated and live action programming and innovative educational and entertainment-driven products worldwide. The group of companies consists of Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc. and Cookie Jar Education Inc. Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., Cookie Jar Group's entertainment operation, is a leading, global, independent producer, marketing and brand manager of such renowned children's properties as "The Doodlebops," "Caillou," "Arthur," "Spider Riders" and "Johnny Test". Combining globally renowned intellectual properties with an industry-recognized management team, Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc. is a market-driven, brand building company that is committed to children first and foremost and is dedicated to the development and production of quality programming that embraces the whole child, with animated and live-action series that entertain, inspire and enlighten children and family audiences worldwide.

About PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's nearly 360 public television stations, serving more than 124 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.


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