‘Arthur’ Canceled: Why PBS Kids Show Is Ending After 25 Years

Arthur PBS
PBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection

It’s the end of an era for children’s television as beloved PBS cartoon Arthur is bowing out after its upcoming 25th season.

Rumors of Arthur‘s cancellation emerged earlier this month when Kathy Waugh, who first developed the show for TV, appeared on Jason Szwimer’s Finding D.W. podcast. “Arthur is no longer in production. We had our wrap party two years ago,” Waugh stated.

She continued: “I think [PBS] made a mistake, and I think Arthur should come back, and I know I’m not alone in thinking they made a mistake. I don’t know if it was a ratings issue or if it felt like it needed to be retired. To me, it felt evergreen, like it was never going to end, but it did end; we finished the last episode, season 25 two years ago.”

Carol Greenwald, executive producer for Arthur, has since confirmed the news in a statement to IGN. “In the winter of 2022, the 25th and final season of Arthur will debut. Arthur will continue to be available on PBS KIDS for years to come,” Greenwald said. “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 longest-running kids animated series in the history of American television, Arthur, based on the Arthur Adventure book series by Marc Brown, debuted in 1996 and has run for over 240 episodes. The show is set in the fictional Elwood City and centers around the lives of 8-year-old Arthur Read, an anthropomorphic aardvark, his friends and family, and their daily interactions with each other.

Throughout its 25-year run, Arthur has picked up four Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program, as well as a Peabody Award. It’s also known for tackling a number of important issues families face, such as asthma, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, and autism spectrum disorder. In 2019, the show captured attention for featuring a same-sex wedding between teacher Mr. Ratburn and Patrick the chocolatier.

Arthur, final season, 2022, PBS Kids