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The long-running PBS cartoon “Arthur” will end its 25 years on television in 2022 with a flash-forward look at where its characters end up as adults.
Four new episodes featuring Arthur and the gang as grown-ups will follow a marathon of more than 250 episodes and specials from the popular TV show, which centers on an 8-year-old aardvark, his family and his pals. The marathon of all “Arthur” episodes is set to air over six days from Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. ET to Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. E.T. on the PBS Kids channel, livestream and YouTube page.
“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,” PBS revealed in a Jan. 18 news release.
The final episodes will start Feb. 21; check local stations for airtimes. But if you love the show, don’t despair that the series is ending: PBS will continue rolling out new content from “Arthur” in the form of video shorts, a podcast, digital games and other online through 2022 and beyond. The entire series will be also available for streaming on PBS Kids.
“Arthur” is the longest-running animated children’s series in the U.S. It first aired on PBS in 1996 and has earned numerous recognitions including a Peabody and daytime Emmy awards for outstanding children’s animated program. The show teaches values and talks about important and timely issues.
The TV series is based on the “Arthur” book series by Marc Brown and is produced by GBH Kids, part of Boston-based public media company GBH. The first book, “Arthur’s Nose,” came out in 1976, and showed an Arthur with a distinctly longer nose than he eventually developed in the books and cartoon.
“Arthur” author Brown said that the idea for his character came from a bedtime story he told his son Tolon when he was a boy.
“One night our story was about an aardvark who hated his nose,” he wrote in an afterword of one of the editions of “Arthur’s Nose.”
“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,” Brown said in the PBS press release. “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.'”
Brown will release a new book, “Believe in Yourself: What We Learned from Arthur,” on Jan. 25.
“Arthur” has aired for free on over-the-air TV on PBS since it debuted. You can also catch the show on television through your cable service or streaming through PBS Kids (it’s available on-demand at Amazon Prime Video).