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'Arthur,' The Longest-Running Kids Animated Series In History, Is Ending

<em>Arthur</em> first aired on PBS KIDS in 1996.
Courtesy of © 2020 WGBH Educational Foundation
Arthur first aired on PBS KIDS in 1996.

There will soon be a day without the reminder that every day, when you're walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view.

But hey (hey!), Arthur had a good, long run.

The much beloved animated kids show is coming to an end in early 2022, after its 25th and final season.

"Arthur is the longest-running kids animated series in history and is known for teaching kindness, empathy and inclusion through many groundbreaking moments to generations of viewers," said the show's executive producer, Carol Greenwald, in a statement. She added that the show will continue to be available on PBS KIDS for years to come.

Arthur followed its titular character, an eight-year-old aardvark, as he navigated life among family, friends and school. The show had a knack for featuring characters from different cultures, classes and family backgrounds. At times it was boundary pushing — an episode of the show's spin-off, Postcards from Buster, received criticism from then-Education Secretary Margaret Spelling for a 2005 episode that featured lesbian parents, and Alabama Public Television refused to air a 2019 episode that showed a same-sex wedding.

The news of the show ending was first floated earlier this month in an interview featured in the July 13 episode of the podcast Finding D.W., where Arthur writer Kathy Waugh revealed that the show was no longer in production, and the final episode was completed years ago. "I think Arthur should come back," she said. "I know I'm not alone in thinking they made a mistake."

Still, this might not be the end of Arthur: The statement from Greenwald adds that "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."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR's Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He's also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He's the host of NPR's Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.

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