It’s the end of an era as the PBS mainstay Arthur is taking a bow after 25 years on air. And, look, things change. It’s natural to feel a little bit of sadness for the passing of a show that may have been a huge part of your childhood. But it’s also important to note that you probably weren’t even aware that it was still on, so let’s put this in perspective.
“In the winter of 2022, the 25th and final season of Arthur will debut,” EP Carol Greenwald told IGN via email. “Arthur will continue to be available on PBS KIDS for years to come. 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.”
The series premiered in 1996, starring a dorky aardvark who’s been voiced by several child actors over the years. It’s based on Marc Brown’s Arthur Adventures series, which was first published in 1976 and featured a very different design for our hero, one which looks much more obviously like an aardvark than the bespectacled, oval-faced kid we know as Arthur today. But as the design evolved, it became more ripe for children’s TV, which is how at least two generations think of it today.
Arthur, his family and friends in Elwood City have dealt with a number of important issues, and the show has snuck in a surprising amount of solid writing for a kid’s program. It’s won four Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program and even got a coveted Peabody Award. It’s the longest running children’s animated series of all time and the second longest-running animated series, period, after The Simpsons.