‘Smurfs,’ ‘Wonder Years’ Reboot & More Family Friendly Fare on TV
Searching for some family-friendly TV fare? Here are a few titles, tips, and options that both kids and adults will love.
The Smurfs (Series premiere, Friday, September 10, 7:30/6:30c, Nickelodeon)
We’re not smurfing around — the iconic blue troublemakers (above) are back in action. Villainous wizard Gargamel (voiced by Lenny Mark Irons), out to capture them, ups the stakes, but a tribe of girl Smurfs (making their debut) are here to help. Best for: Everyone
The Wonder Years (Series premiere, Wednesday, September 22, 8:30/7:30c, ABC)
The beloved 1988–93 comedy gets a reboot following a family in 1968 Alabama. Narrated by Don Cheadle as the adult version of its tween protagonist (Elisha “EJ” Williams, second from left, with Laura Kariuki, Saycon Sengbloh, and Dulé Hill), the series tackles first crushes and the time period’s racial divides in Little League. Best for: Tweens
Top Chef Family Style (Streaming now, Peacock)
In this delicious competition series, child prodigies in the kitchen team up with adult family members to show off their culinary wizardry. Challenges include making morsels for WWE Superstars and the cast of the rebooted Saved by the Bell. Grammy-winner Meghan Trainor hosts. Best for: Everyone
The Greatest #AtHome Videos (Fridays, 9/8c, CBS)
Initially broadcast as filler content during the COVID production shutdown, the uplifting, humorous clip show is still hosted by Cedric the Entertainer (The Neighborhood). On the September 17 episode, Curb Your Enthusiasm’s J.B. Smoove makes a guest appearance. Best For: Teens
I really liked that we could watch the new Paw Patrol: The Movie at home on Paramount+, and not just in theaters. Should we expect to keep seeing more movie releases like this? —Caroline
Watching big-budget animation flicks like Paw Patrol: The Movie at home looks like it will continue in the age of COVID, especially with family-friendly titles like Disney+ flicks Luca and Raya and the Last Dragon available on Disney Premiere. Even Sony, which recently sent The Mitchells vs. the Machines to Netflix, is now in talks to sell Hotel Transylvania: Transformania — the fourth film in the monster franchise — to Prime Video.
Kids Streaming Apps
The Lego Channel
This free streamer, which debuted in 2019, has Lego-ized content, including Cartoon Network series Legends of Chima and Ninjago and even Marvel’s Lego spin-offs. Plus: You can learn building tips, so get your bricks ready!
Stream live TV or watch (and download) episodes of top educational shows, such as Sesame Street and Arthur, at no cost with this service that launched in 2017. Plus, there’s a “Grownups” button with local schedules so you can plan your TV time too.
Annie Live! has found its star! Celina Smith, 12, joins Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan and Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks in NBC’s December 2 event musical. • If you make it, they will watch.… Peacock has ordered a reboot of the 1989 Kevin Costner baseball classic Field of Dreams from The Good Place creator Michael Schur. • Thora Birch, Riki Lindhome, Jamie McShane, and Hunter Doohan have been cast in Netflix’s live-action Addams Family series Wednesday alongside star Jenna Ortega.