US broadcaster PBS KIDS has greenlit new series Elinor Wonders Why and plans to premiere it in September 2020 on its channel and digital platforms. Currently in production, the 40 x half-hour animated series will break each episode into two 11-minute stories.
Targeting kids three- to five-years-old, the series features a young girl and her animal friends who work together to solve problems and learn about the world.
Co-created by cartoonist Jorge Cham (Piled Higher and Deeper, also known as PHD comics) and Daniel Whiteson (We Have No Idea: A Guide to the Unknown Universe), the science-focused show is produced in partnership with Canadian animation prodco Pipeline Studios (Bubble Guppies, Sunny Day). It is developed as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the PBS Ready to Learn Initiative, which gets funding from the US Department of Education.
PBS received a US$5.6-million grant from the CPB in October 2017 to fund research and digital innovation. Following the Ready to Learn grant which provided US$19 million in year one of a five-year grant. WGBH Boston and Atomic Cartoons’ Molly of Denali, which premieres on the kidcaster in July, also received funding from both initiatives.
Educational content for kids, parents and teachers will launch alongside the show and be available on the PBS KIDS websites and the free PBS KIDS Games app. Resources for parents and teachers include hands-on-activities, printable materials and teaching tips. The kidsnet will also release an Elinor Wonders Why app after the premiere.