‘Hero Elementary’ Premiering on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in June

PBS Distribution in June is premiering the new PBS Kids program “Hero Elementary” on the PBS KIDS Prime Video Channel.

The first volume is available now, with the second due June 19.

In the series, viewers learn about science through a group of students attending a school for superheroes led by their quirky teacher, Mr. Sparks. The team works together to solve problems and help make the world a better place.

In volume one, they chase a giant ball through Citytown in “With a Little Push/Track that Pack!” To save the day, the team uses hands-on investigation and learns that pushing an object can start or stop its movement. The crew also reunites a young bird with its parents, rescues a kitten that’s on the loose, and investigates why decorations at a young girl’s birthday party are suddenly whisked away, among other adventures.

In volume two, the heroes can’t find Fur Blur in “Where’s the Fur Blur/The Blob,” so they use their five senses to track her throughout the school. Then, a bird takes AJ’s twig-cam and flies off with it while sending footage of its flight in “All Over the Map/Lights go Down in Citytown.” Plus, the crew looks forward to seeing a meteor shower, learns how to recognize the signs of changing weather, and more.

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Also available on the channel in June is the fifth installment of “Let’s Go Luna!” Andy is asked to help make a simple repair to the stairs of the family trailer in “Stairway to Art Day/Melvini Madness,” and in the process, he learns all about making great art in modest places. Then, Andy helps make a Rio Carnival float. Plus, Carmen volunteers to play the accordion for a friend in “The Big Squeeze/Meet the Presses,” and Leo becomes a reluctant caregiver of an orphaned baby elephant in “Me and My Elephant/Mukandi’s Farm.”

‘PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails’ and ‘Berenstain Bears’ DVDs Available in May From PBS

The DVD titles PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails, with multiple episodes from popular PBS shows, and a third volume of “The Berenstain Bears” are available in May from PBS Distribution.

The 15-episode PBS Kids: 15 Pet-tastic Tails features episodes from “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Molly of Denali” and “Nature Cat,” among others. Kids learn about responsibility, compassion and caring for others with stories on everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and turtles. In “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” Daniel and his classmates release their classroom pet named Ducky after he’s grown too big in “Duckling Goes Home,” and in “Wild Kratts,” Chris and Martin unpack from an adventure, only to discover a wolf pup in their bag in the “Little Howler!” episode. “Winter Champions,” a special bonus episode from “Molly of Denali,” is also included.

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In The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3 children join Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Sister and Brother for more adventures. When Sister must write about a bear she admires the most for a school project in “The Giddy Grandma,” she quickly learns just how many awards and trophies Grizzly Gran won in her younger years. Then, in “Car Trip,” the cubs are excited about going on a family trip — until they find out the destination isn’t Grizzlyland, but instead a tour of Bear Country’s national parks.

Finally, the cubs are sad when they hear that their friends down the street are moving away in “Moving Day.” Brother and Sister learn about the positive side of moving — new adventures and new friends.

‘Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum: Meet Xavier’ Due on DVD and Digital March 17 From PBS

Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: Meet Xavier will be released on DVD and digital March 17 from PBS Distribution.

It’s the first DVD release for the new series which follows the adventures of Xavier, his sister Yadina, and their friend Brad as they solve problems that come their way with the help of a “secret museum.” The museum is a portal that sends the friends back in time to meet real-life heroes when they were kids, who help them solve their problems.

“Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” debuted on PBS KIDS in November 2019. The series is based on the children’s book series Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos and is designed to teach kids about influential historical figures and living heroes and some of the key experiences that shaped their lives, while emphasizing important social emotional concepts and positive character traits such as courage, resilience, and commitment to setting and accomplishing goals.

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In the three-episode Meet Xavier, Xavier, Yadina and Brad meet Marie Curie in the episode “I Am Marie Curie.” She shows Brad that he should always follow his dreams. In the episode “I Am George Washington Carver,” Xavier learns how important plant life is and why we need to take care of the earth. And in “I Am Charles Dickens,” the writer shows Yadina that she doesn’t need new toys because her imagination can be just as fun.

 

Disney+ Revives ‘The Proud Family’ Animated Series

SVOD service Disney+ has ordered the revival of the animated series “The Proud Family” which premiered 18 years ago on the Disney Channel.

The series “is still beloved for its characters, stories and multilayered humor and for its messages about inclusion and cultural diversity in a smart, modern way,” according to a Disney press release.

The new animated family sitcom “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” is currently in production at Disney Television Animation with creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar, who led the original series, at the helm, reuniting them with Calvin Brown Jr. who is co-executive producer and story editor.

All previous seasons of “The Proud Family” are currently available on Disney+.

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“In our minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell,” Smith and Farquhar said in a joint statement. “It’s the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can’t wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us.”

Picking up the story of its central character Penny Proud, the new series will also include her family: parents Oscar and Trudy, twin siblings BeBe and CeCe, and her grandmother Suga Mama (and Puff!). Also returning are Penny’s crew Dijonay Jones, LaCienega Boulevardez and Zoey Howzer, among others.

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Reprising their voice roles are Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, Jo Marie Payton as Suga Mama, Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones, Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer and Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez. Cedric the Entertainer will also return as Uncle Bobby Proud.

“The show’s humor and relatable stories are as relevant with audiences today as ever,” Agnes Chu, SVP of content at Disney+, said in a statement. “Our audiences have loved rediscovering their favorite episodes of ‘The Proud Family,’ and we’re excited Bruce, Ralph, Calvin, and the returning cast are creating new stories for their new home on Disney+.”

“The genius of the original ‘Proud Family’ series was that, under the guise of a family comedy, it provided a brilliant social commentary on our life and times,” Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a statement. “With this new series, Bruce and Ralph will once again challenge everyone to think differently about the world we share.”

 

‘Mister Rogers and Making Mistakes’ Collection Due on DVD and Digital Dec. 3 From PBS

PBS Distribution will release Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Mister Rogers and Making Mistakes on DVD and digital Dec. 3.

The 30-episode collection includes segments where Mister Rogers helps children understand that everyone make mistakes from time to time. Never afraid to tackle tough subjects, he speaks openly about the topics children silently wonder and worry about, but adults often struggled to discuss. World famous pianist Andre Watts performs for Mister Rogers in the collection, and together they talk about practicing and learning from mistakes.

A biopic on Fred Rogers, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, is currently in theaters.

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‘Kids & Family’ Service Added to the Roku Channel

Roku has announced the addition of the “Kids & Family” service on the Roku Channel, making it easy for children and parents to find a selection of tailored content available for free and through premium subscriptions, according to the company.

In addition, Roku is rolling out parental control features for the Roku Channel.

“We recognize that it can be a challenge to find quality kids and family entertainment across multiple streaming channels, particularly free, ad-supported options,” said Rob Holmes, VP of programming and engagement, Roku, in a statement. “’Kids & Family’ not only provides a selection of great free, ad-supported content from partners like pocket.watch with ‘Ryan’s World’ and Lionsgate’s ‘Leapfrog,’ but also highlights kids’ entertainment from existing premium subscriptions partners. Parents looking to find great programming for their children will enjoy the ease of going to the Roku Channel as their one place for kids and family entertainment.”

“Kids & Family” delivers a blend of shows, movies, and live linear and short-form video typically found across multiple free and paid kids’ channels and brings them together to watch in a single place, according to a Roku release. In addition to free, ad-supported options, users who have already subscribed to premium subscriptions through the Roku Channel will be able to view subscription-based kids and family content from partners such as Hopster, Noggin and Zoomoo, as well as children’s entertainment from services such as HBO and Starz, directly within “Kids & Family.”

Roku’s in-house editorial team created the “Kids & Family” experience to feature series, movies and entertainment for kids, according to the release. It offers 7,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes from more than 20 partners such as All Spark, A Hasbro Company, DHX Media, Happy Kids TV, Lionsgate, Mattel, Moonbug, and pocket.watch, among others. Programming includes  shows such as “Care Bears,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Leapfrog,” “Little Baby Bum,” “My Little Pony,” “Rev & Roll,” “Super Mario Brothers” and “Thomas & Friends”; live/linear streams featuring 24/7 kids programming available from Moonbug, pocket.watch and partners powered by Xumo, including Ameba, BatteryPop and KidGenius; five exclusive episodes of 22-minute series “Ryan’s World” by pocket.watch available directly on the Roku Channel for the first time; and premium subscriptions from Blue Ant Media’s ZooMoo, CONtv, Dove Channel, HBO, Hopster, Noggin, Starz or Up Faith and Family through the Roku Channel, featuring such series as “Bubble Guppies,” “Dora the Explorer,” “PAW Patrol,” “Peppa Pig” and movies including Adventures of Elmo in Groucholand and Muppets Take Manhattan.

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“There is a tremendous opportunity to expand our reach with the quickly growing audience on the Roku Channel,” said Chris M. Williams, founder and CEO, pocket.watch, in a statement. “Family time is often enjoyed in the living room where Roku is so successful and we’re thrilled to bring our biggest creator partners, like Ryan from ‘Ryan’s World,’ into the heart of the home through the new pocket.watch channel.”

Kids & Family” will have approximately 40% of the advertising time of traditional linear television, according to Roku. Lego Systems has signed on as the first advertising sponsor of the service.

“Roku offers a custom experience that will help us connect with our kid and family audiences, who are consuming content on an evolving array of platforms,” said Michael McNally, senior director at the Lego Group, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be the exclusive sponsorship partner in ‘Kids & Family’ on The Roku Channel.”

PIN-based playback controls to the Roku Channel help parents set access limits to content based on ratings within the Roku Channel. If the setting is enabled, a PIN will be required in order to view videos on the Roku Channel based on the content rating.

“Kids & Family” is now available to users of the Roku Channel in the United States and will be available on Roku devices, via the Web and on select Samsung smart TVs that access the Roku Channel.

Nickelodeon Celebrates 20 Years of ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ With 200-Episode DVD Set

Nickelodeon is celebrating 20 years of “SpongeBob SquarePants” with a special DVD collection, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Best 200 Episodes Ever!, comprised of two box-sets, available exclusively on Amazon Prime Day July 15.

The DVD collection will be available nationwide at other outlets Aug. 27 from Nickelodeon and Paramount Home Entertainment.

Each DVD set comes with the special-edition 20th anniversary “SpongeBob SquarePants” poster, which was created specifically for Nickelodeon for San Diego Comic-Con and features all 760 characters and creatures that have ever appeared on the show.

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The DVD collection contains SpongeBob SquarePants: The First 100 Episodes and SpongeBob SquarePants: The Next 100 Episodes and features every deep-sea adventure from the first 200 episodes of the series.

PBS Kids Launches Spanish-Language Shows on Amazon Prime Video Channel

PBS Distribution has launched Spanish-language versions of a variety of PBS Kids programs on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel.

Spanish-language versions of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Scigirls,” “Cyberchase” and “Caillou” debuted on the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Video Channel May 24.

“We’re excited to expand our PBS KIDS channel offering to include a selection of episodes presented in Spanish,” said Andrea Downing, co-president, PBS Distribution, in a statement. “Our aim is to provide educational and entertaining programming for all kids, and this expansion helps further that mission.”

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The launch includes a total of 30 episodes of PBS Kids programming available in Spanish. Subscribers of the PBS Kids Amazon Prime Channel will not need to pay any extra fee for the newly available programs.

Nickelodeon Buys ‘Sparkler’ for Noggin SVOD Service

Nickelodeon March 29 announced the acquisition of children’s learning technology platform Sparkler for its branded Noggin subscription streaming video service.

Viacom-owned Nickelodeon named Sparkler co-founder Kristen Kane EVP for the preschool subscription service that features more than 1,500 full-length library episodes, short-form videos, Spanish-language videos and music videos.

Over the next year, Sparkler’s technology will be integrated into Noggin’s platform, enabling parents to guide and support their kids’ growth and development through playable content and experiences on and off screen, with personalized features that track progress over time.

Kane will oversee the integration of Sparkler and drive Noggin’s strategy and next phase of development as an educational digital platform. She will be based in New York and report to Brian Robbins, president of Nickelodeon.

“Pairing Sparkler’s capabilities with our curriculum-driven content will fully transform Noggin into a premier interactive learning destination for preschoolers and their families,” Robbins said in a statement. “Kristen brings extensive experience in the education and technology space, and she will help drive Noggin’s growth with an increased focus on delivering even greater value to our direct-to-consumer service.”

Subject to the terms of the transaction, Sparkler’s work with schools, healthcare providers, and social services providers will continue through a new non-profit organization called Sparkler Learning, and Viacom will support its mission of helping families give their children a strong start in life through partnerships with educators, doctors, and others serving young families.

Previously, Kane was the founding COO of Amplify, an education technology company dedicated to collaborating with educators to create learning experiences for students K-12. Prior to that, she was COO of the New York City Department of Education in the Bloomberg administration, responsible for the implementation of reforms and oversight of daily operations. Kane also served at the Federal Communications Commission, where she led the development of strategies for applying broadband technologies in the education, healthcare, and energy sectors.

Since its launch in 2015, Noggin has ranked among one of the Top 10 Kids Apps on the Free Apps chart on the App Store, in addition to the No. 1 grossing app for music and video in the family category on Google Play. Noggin was also selected by Apple as an Apple TV app of the year.

Since launching in 2015, Noggin subscriptions have grown by triple digits from 2017 to 2018, and the service is currently available for iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Android, Fire tablet and Roku devices, as well as on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels and The Roku Channel.

 

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‘Ready Jet Go!: Chasing the Sun,’ ‘Wild Kratts: The Briny Blue Sea’ Coming to DVD April 9 From PBS

Four episodes of “Wild Kratts” and eight episodes of “Ready Jet Go!” are racing to DVD April 9 from PBS Distribution.

In Ready Jet Go!: Chasing the Sun, kids learn about the sun as Jet and friends discover that the sun is actually a star in the episode “Our Sun is a Star.” Then Jet and his friends turn their treehouse into their own observatory in “Treehouse Observatory.” They build their own telescope to observe the nighttime sky. In “Galileo, Galileo!” Mindy tells Jet she can see the sun move across the sky. Jet has to explain to her that the sun isn’t moving, it’s the earth moving around the sun. Other episodes on this DVD include: “Just the Right Distance From the Sun,” “Solar Power Rover,” “Mindy’s Bedtime,” “Sunspot’s Sunspot” and “How We Found Your Sun.”

In Wild Kratts: The Briny Blue Sea, kids have some underwater adventures with Chris and Martin Kratt. In the episode “Osprey,” Jimmy accidentally drops the keys to the Tortuga into the ocean. Chris, Martin and Aviva are on a race to develop osprey creature powers to find the keys before they disappear forever. Then in the episode “Sea Otter Swim,” the Wild Kratts take time out for a swim but Jimmy reveals that he’s not a strong swimmer. Martin and Chris take Jimmy to meet his own personal swimming tutor — a sea otter named Coach. Other episodes included on the DVD are “Puffin Rescue” and “Aye Aye.”