Arthur is a Canadian/American animated educational television series for children, created by Cookie Jar Group and WGBH for PBS. The television series is based on the Arthur book series, which are written, WGBH Boston along with Cinar began production of the animated series in 1994, and aired its first episode on October 7,1996. Since its debut, the show has broadcast 225 thirty-minute-long episodes, with 225 episodes, Arthur is the second-longest active running show on PBS Kids, behind only Sesame Street. It is the longest running animated television series. A pilot for the spin-off series Postcards from Buster aired in December 2003 as a season 8 episode of Arthur, Arthur often deals with important issues families face such as asthma, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, and Asperger syndrome. It also encourages reading and relationships with family and friends by explaining that people have different personalities, Arthur became one of the highest-rated shows on PBS Kids for several years since its debut, averaging almost 10 million viewers weekly in the U. S. It is the childrens animated series in the U. S. In late 2015, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a 20th and 21st season, Arthur Read, the seriess titular character, is an anthropomorphic eight-year-old brown aardvark who lives in the fictional town of Elwood City. He is a student at Lakewood Elementary School. Arthurs family includes two home-working parents, his father David and his mother Jane, his two sisters, Dora Winifred, who is in preschool, and Kate, who is still an infant. Arthur also has several friends who come from ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Elwood City is portrayed as a suburban area which bears a strong resemblance to the Boston area. Furthermore, Elwood Citys professional baseball team, the Elwood City Grebes, the episode The Curse of the Grebes in Season 10 clearly references baseball lore such as Curse of the Bambino. In another episode, the Elwood City Airport is shown to have a name that represents Bostons Logan International Airport, crown City, as featured in other episodes, is apparently a fictional representation of New York City. In one episode, it is inferred that an ice hockey team wearing the WGBH logo, there are also firm references to Browns hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. Most notably, the shopping mall in the TV series is called Mill Creek Mall. In 1994, Marc Brown was approached by WGBH and PBS about the possibility of adapting the Arthur books into a television series. Although the program is written and produced by WGBH of Boston, the production of the animation and voice acting are done in Montreal, Toronto, South Korea
(Clockwise from upper left): The Brain, Binky, Sue Ellen, Francine, Muffy, Buster, Prunella, George, Arthur, Baby Kate
The Brain, Francine and Arthur animated in the style of South Park, from the episode "The Contest"