‘Arthur’ To End At PBS After 25 Years
After its upcoming 25th season, Arthur will end its run on PBS. The beloved children’s show, based on a book series by writer and illustrator Marc Brown, first aired in 1996. Arthur follows its titular aardvark through his day-to-day life with his family and friends in Elmwood City. He is joined by his precocious sister DW, his loyal rabbit friend Buster, and a myriad of other animal classmates with distinct personalities. The series also incorporates educational elements, teaching young kids about a wide range of different social interactions.
In an email to IGN, executive producer Carol Greenwald confirmed the show’s cancellation by stating: “In the winter of 2022, the 25th and final season of Arthur will debut.” While no new episodes of the show will be produced, Greenwald still has plans for keeping Arthur in the public eye. “Arthur will continue to be available on PBS Kids for years to come," she wrote. “Producer GBH and PBS Kids are continuing to work together on additional Arthur content, sharing the lessons of Arthur and his friends in new ways.”
Greenwald’s message hints at the possibility of a spinoff program, such as the previous Postcards from Buster, which ran from 2004 to 2008. The show chronicled Buster Baxter’s international travels with his father. The reasoning behind Arthur’s cancellation is unknown, but it can't be denied that 25 years is an impressive run. Today, it stands as the longest-running children’s animated TV show in history, and the second-longest running animated series behind The Simpsons.
Over the years, Arthur has stood out from other children’s animated shows in how it has dealt with a variety of social issues. The show has deftly dealt with bullying, anxiety, autism, and dyslexia, and made headlines when an episode featured a gay marriage between Arthur’s teacher Mr. Ratburn and his partner. Across the series’ 246 episodes, there have been numerous celebrity cameos, including the Backstreet Boys, Matt Damon, Art Garfunkel, and Neil Gaiman. Arthur has also inspired a series of internet memes, which are popular among the now-grown millennials who were raised with the show.