PBS Kids Launches in Australia With Foxtel

PBS Distribution has collaborated with Foxtel to launch the PBS Kids channel in Australia. The channel, which serves children 2-8, launched July 1.

The PBS Kids channel from Foxtel includes the Australian premieres of “Donkey Hodie,” a social-emotional puppet series produced by Fred Rogers Productions and Spiffy Pictures that encourages preschoolers to aim high, embrace challenges and work hard to achieve their goals, and “Elinor Wonders Why,” a STEM-based animated series about a curious rabbit and her pals living in Animal Town, created by physicist and educator Daniel Whiteson and cartoonist and robotics engineer Jorge Cham, to help encourage preschoolers’ curiosity as they learn about science. The channel will also air award-winning PBS Kids programs such as “Arthur,” a four-time recipient of the Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program and Peabody Award-winner “Molly of Denali.”

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“’Elinor Wonders Why’ helps give parents the confidence to say, ‘I don’t know the answer. Let’s explore it together,’” Whiteson said in a statement. “Asking questions and investigating the answer are at the core of scientific discovery, and we designed the series to model and encourage children, parents and educators to do just that together.”

“Much like my own daughter, Elinor, who inspired the series’ main character, kids everywhere love to wonder about things around them and find out the answers,” Cham said in a statement. “Our hope is that the show will help foster the natural curiosity of young children and make them want to explore and learn, just like Elinor and her friends do in these stories.”

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with PBS Distribution to bring PBS Kids’ award-winning content to our customers,” Amanda Laing, chief commercial and content officer, Foxtel Group, said in a statement. “Foxtel is committed to providing viewers the very best in family entertainment, and the addition of PBS Kids and its high quality, educational programming parents can trust, bolsters our strong suite of kids channels.”

“We are excited to offer this new audience the opportunities that PBS Kids content offers,” Andrea Downing, president of PBS Distribution, said in a statement. “Foxtel is inviting parents and children to experience this trusted content that helps children learn and grow.”

PBS Kids on Foxtel will also feature episodes from “Hero Elementary,” “Pinkalicious & Peterrific,” “Dinosaur Train,” and Emmy Award-winning series “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and “Peg + Cat.”

Episodes of ‘Arthur,’ ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Wild Kratts’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July

PBS Distribution will be adding new volumes of “Arthur” and “Hero Elementary,” along with a “Wild Kratts” special, to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due July 2 is Arthur Vol. 24. In one episode, George creates a piece of art for the country-wide art show with the help of guest artist, Kevin Sampson. Also, Arthur must learn how to control his temper after getting angry over a pair of sneakers in “George Scraps His Sculpture/Arthur’s Big Meltdown.” Then, in “The Great MacGrady,” Arthur and his friends find out that Mrs. MacGrady is diagnosed with cancer. The kids must learn how to come together to support each other.

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Starting to stream July 16 is Hero Elementary Vol. 8. In the two-part “Heroes in Space,” Sara is excited to celebrate the full moon viewing with her pals, but they notice that half the moon seems to be gone. Sparks’ Crew flies to the moon to investigate where the other half went. In “Squeak to Me/Team’s Song Theme Song,” Sparks’ Crew wants to make their own theme song. Then, when Sparks’ Crew is looking for their classmates in “Search and Rescue/Secret Lives of Teachers,” the kids are shocked to see their teacher on the weekend outside of school. What happens when a toy train display featuring a model replica of City Town is ruined is explored in “Back on Track/Switcheroo-er.”

Coming July 13 is Wild Kratts: Cats and Dogs. In the special, while on the African savanna, Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt observe lots of wild cats and dogs interacting with each other. Soon, Wild Kratts kids are calling in from all over to ask about these wild animals and whether they’re like their own pets. Zach, who has been secretly listening to all the questions, comes up with a scheme to capture and sell these creatures as “special” pets. The brothers, plus Aviva, Koki, and Jimmy, race to save the wild cats and dogs and protect them so they can live free and in the wild.

Also coming to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July are Let’s Go Luna Vol. 8 and Nature Cat: Ocean Commotion.

‘Dinosaur Train’ and ‘Molly of Denali’ Specials, New Episodes of ‘Elinor Wonders Why’ Coming to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in June

PBS Distribution in June is adding a Father’s Day-themed “Dinosaur Train” special, a “Molly of Denali” special, and a sixth volume of “Elinor Wonders Why” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The Pteranodon family celebrates Father’s Day in Troodon Town in the two-part special Dinosaur Train: Father’s Day, debuting June 11. The Conductor sees Mr. Pteranodon’s celebration and is compelled to ask his mother what happened to his father. She decides he’s ready to learn the truth, so she tells him the story about how his father was the bravest Conductor of them all and dared to build an experimental Drill Train to tunnel into the future — she believes to the Cenozoic Era, which no dinosaur had ever seen. Unfortunately, the Conductor’s father never returned, and is apparently lost. The Conductor decides to take the new Drill Train and tunnel into the future to rescue his missing father.

“Elinor Wonders Why Vol. 6” debuts June 11. The kids are smelling flowers, but Ari has a cold and his nose is stuffed up, so he can’t smell anything. This makes Elinor wonder why we need to smell at all. Then, Ari’s attempts at making the world’s tallest toy block tower fail, as the tower keeps falling over, so he tries to get some inspiration from a special field trip to the forest. Plus, it’s Elinor’s father’s birthday and he’s excited to go camping.

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The one-hour special Molly of Denali: Molly and the Great One starts streaming June 8. When 10-year-old Alaska Native Molly Mabray learns about Grandpa Nat’s dream to reach the top of Denali, North America’s highest mountain, she helps him and her father prepare for the expedition. Meanwhile, her friend Trini Mumford is busy getting ready for her mother’s first visit to Qyah.

PBS Kids Channel Available on Samsung TV Plus

The PBS Kids channel has been added to Samsung TV Plus and is available for free on tens of millions of Samsung smart TVs across the country.

It joins eight other free kids’ channels on Samsung TV Plus.

PBS Kids includes such shows as “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Wild Kratts” and “Odd Squad.”

Other family friendly channels on Samsung TV Plus include The Lego Channel, Moonbug Kids and KiDoodle.TV. The Samsung TV Plus platform includes more than 160 free channels of movies, news, sports and more.

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New Series ‘Donkey Hodie’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel May 3

PBS Distribution May 3 will add the new series “Donkey Hodie” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Following the adventures of Donkey Hodie, granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (now known as “Grampy Hodie”), the new preschool puppet series arrives with three volumes. Children follow Donkey and her pals as they go on music-filled adventures while learning valuable lessons about resilience, persistence and problem solving.

The series is produced by Fred Rogers Productions (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) and Spiffy Pictures (“Nature Cat”) and features original music along with reimagined versions of Rogers’ songs.

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In volume one, Donkey Hodie must wait until all her pals are together to open a present. She uses her imagination to help pass the time. Then, Harriett Elizabeth Cow wants Donkey and her pals to try her new invention, the Bounce-a-Rino, and they must decide who bounces first. Also, a scary monster appears during Donkey and Panda’s sleepover.

In volume two, Donkey gives her new flower too much water, and it grows so big that it disrupts her garden and her pals’ fun. Then, when the wind ruins Donkey and Panda’s Camp Buddy Buddy plan, they must change the plan. Plus, Donkey and Panda host King Friday for the day, but they don’t know what kings like to do.

In volume three, Donkey and Panda lose Bob Dog’s favorite ball in Spooky Shadow Swamp, and they must find their inner bravery to get it back. Then, a noisy penguin interrupts Donkey and Panda’s band practice. Plus, Donkey creates a sculpture for the Someplace Else art show, makes mistakes and feels ready to give up.

Also coming to the channel in May are volume 10 of “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” and volume 17 of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

‘Dinosaur Train’ Movie, New Volumes of ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Xavier Riddle’ Streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in April

PBS Distribution is adding another “Dinosaur Train” movie, along with new volumes of “Hero Elementary” and “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in April.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The Pteranodon family takes the Dinosaur Train to Adventure Island, a new theme park on a volcanic island, in Dinosaur Train: Adventure Island, streaming beginning April 13. The Conductor’s archrival Thurston is in charge and he proudly shows off the park’s amazing steam-powered robot dinosaurs. When an earthquake causes the pressure to get too high, the malfunctioning robots go rogue. It’s then up to Buddy and his siblings (Tiny, Shiny and Don) to navigate safely across the island in order to reunite with their parents.

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Volume seven of “Hero Elementary” streams beginning April 2. In this volume, when the team heads to Citytown Hero Con, they need to find the real Jetman Jones in the crowd. AJ’s autism is key to saving the day in “AJ’s Extra Superpower (parts one and two). Then, when a hailstorm causes damage around Citytown, Sparks’ Crew calls upon a famous hero to understand more about hail in “Hail Caesar/Picture Perfect.” Plus, Sparks’ crew searches for a self-flying cape after it escapes from a store in “Looking Super/Schmubble Trouble.” They discover a mysterious creature in Super Superior Lake in “Sara Loses Her Snap/A Soupie Mystery.”

Volume eight of “Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum” starts streaming April 9. Viewers join Xavier, Brad and Yadina as they travel back in time again to learn more valuable lessons from historical heroes. In “I Am Albert Einstein/I Am Carol Burnett,” Albert Einstein helps Xavier figure out what to do when he’s really curious ─ starting with asking questions. Then in “I Am Abraham Lincoln/I Am Jane Jacobs,” Abraham Lincoln helps Yadina realize what she needs to do when she accidently loses her friend’s toy. Plus, Celia Cruz helps Yadina prepare for a special birthday performance in “I Am Edmund Hillary/I Am Celia Cruz.”

‘Dinosaur Train’ Movie, New Volumes of ‘Molly of Denali’ and Other Series Streaming on PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in March

PBS Distribution in March is adding a “Dinosaur Train” movie, along with new volumes of “Wild Kratts,” “Elinor Wonders Why” and “Molly of Denali” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

While learning basic scientific thinking skills, young viewers join their favorite dinosaur friends who travel beneath the Earth’s crust in Dinosaur Train: What’s at the Center of the Earth? streaming March 12. In this one-hour special, Mr. Conductor takes the Pteranodon family on a very special journey with the help of a new invention — the drill engine train. This amazing machine gives its passengers a front row seat as they dive deep into the Earth’s crust. With Mr. Conductor at the helm, the drill train makes several stops in their once-in-a-lifetime quest to find the perfect place for an underground train station. In each location, Buddy and his siblings — Shiny, Tiny, and Don — explore and discover fascinating qualities about layers, fossils, and minerals.

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Volume 20 of “Wild Kratts” also streams beginning March 12. In this volume, Chris and Martin Kratt bring viewers along on new adventures as they explore wildlife from around the globe. When a coyote pup sneaks into the Tortuga, the Wild Kratts want to learn why this creature is so adaptable in “Adapto the Coyote.” In “Creature Tail Fail,” the Kratt Brothers find out what happens when a stowaway red squirrel gets loose on the African Savanna. Then, in “Tardigrade Xtreme,” the gang wonders if there’s life on other planets, so they head to space to look for clues. Back on Earth, Jimmy discovers a tardigrade, a microscopic creature that can survive in extreme and other-worldly conditions. The Wild Kratts then cruise across the African savanna in the Tortuga when a gust of wind blows a piece of paper out of Aviva’s hand and into an ostrich nest, in “Uh-oh Ostrich!”

Volume 5 of “Elinor Wonders Why” starts streaming March 19. Elinor ignites the curiosity of children ages 3-5, encouraging them to find answers using science inquiry skills. A mystery is afoot at Elinor’s school when one of the class plants grows in a zig zag shape. Elinor wonders why the plant has been growing this way in “Zig Zag Plant/Butterfly Drinks.” Then, in “Frozen Fish/Pirate Treasure,” Elinor and her friends wonder what happens to fish during the wintertime, after they see a lake that has frozen over. They don’t understand how the fish can survive and eventually learn about what happens to aquatic animals when the temperature drops. Plus, Elinor explores the desert with her grandmother and comes across a small, peculiar looking owl in “Burrowing Owl Girl/Olive’s Tree.”

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New episodes of “Molly of Denali” debut March 26. In Volume 8, kids join Molly Mabray and her friends and family on adventures in Alaska. Tooey becomes worried when one of his sled dogs, Cali, isn’t feeling well. After he takes her to a vet, he receives some surprising news in “Puppy Palooza Part 1/Puppy Palooza Part 2.” Then, in “Going Toe to Toe with a Dinosaur/Sassy Ladies on Ice,” Molly and Vera join scientists as they visit a dinosaur fossil excavation site. Molly invites Oscar to go mountain climbing with her and Grandpa Nat in “Climb Every Mountain/Happy Trails,” and Molly and Tooey organize a funny face contest with their friends and family in “Big Sulky/The Funny Face Competition.”

‘Molly of Denali’ Episodes and ‘Sid the Science Kid’ Movie Among Titles Coming to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in December

New volumes of “Molly of Denali,” “Let’s Go Luna” and “Pinkalicious & Peterrific,” as well as a “Sid the Science Kid” movie, will be coming to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in December.

The subscription rate for the PBS KIDS Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Volume six of “Let’s Go Luna” debuts Dec. 4. In four new episodes, Luna continues traveling the globe with her group of friends from Juneau, Alaska, to Barcelona, and the group learn many life lessons along the way. In the episode “Nature Calls/Story Story,” Leo is nervous about wild animals wandering around Juneau, but he realizes animals need their own space and that we must all learn to live together. Then, Carmen wants to find a book to share with her mom, and during the process learns to appreciate the tradition of Native Alaskan spoken-word storytelling. In “More Than All That Jazz/Swamp Pals,” Carmen discovers that the joy of music doesn’t just come from fancy instruments. In “Lost and Found/Time of Goodbye,” Señor Fabuloso has lost his creativity and searches for it in his hometown of Barcelona.

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In volume seven of “Molly of Denali,” coming Dec. 11, kids join the curious Molly Mabray and her friends on adventures around Alaska learning about traditional Alaska Native values along the way in five new episodes. Auntie Midge loves to emcee the Spring Carnival, but a hurt hip takes her out of commission, so Molly and Tooey work to figure out a way that will allow her to get around in the snow in “Spring Carnival/Tooey’s Hole-i-day Sweater.” Molly and Tooey try to fix a hand-me-down Christmas sweater knit by Tooey’s Grandma before she arrives for the holidays. Then, in “King Run/The Native Youth Olympics,” it’s salmon season and the first order of business at fish camp is to help Grandpa Nat fix the broken fish wheel.

In Sid the Science Kid: The Movie, due Dec. 17, Sid and his pal Gabriela have won a contest to explore the brand new Super Ultimate Science Museum. However, while they’re on their tour, Bobbybot, the state-of-the-art robotic tour guide of the future, completely malfunctions. Then, it’s up to Sid and Gabriela, along with the other winners, YangYang and NiuNiu from China, to fix Bobbybot and save the museum.

Four episodes of “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” come out Dec. 18. In volume nine of the series, the Pinkertons are shocked to find their house is suddenly swarming with Flutterbugs and everyone is wondering what could possibly be drawing them into their home in “Invasion of the Flutterbugs/Ballet of the Bells.” Then, Pinkalicious and Peterrific are thrilled to meet a real-life pirate in “Treasure Hunt/Cheer Up, Archie” and the three of them join hands to search for a long-lost buried treasure. Plus, Pinkalicious decides to create polka dot art and Lila learns that her new glasses aren’t anything to be embarrassed about in “PinkaPolka Dotty/Lila Gets Glasses.”

Apple TV+, PBS Partner for Special Broadcast Airings of ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ and ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’

In a marketing twist, the “Peanuts” specials A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas will stream on Apple TV+, in addition to airing ad-free on PBS and PBS Kids on Nov. 22 (7:30 p.m. local time/6:30 p.m. CT) and Dec. 13 (7:30 p.m. local time/6:30 p.m. CT), respectively.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will start streaming on Apple TV+ Nov. 18, and the special will be available for free from Nov. 25 through Nov. 27. The Peanuts gang will also deck the halls with the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas, streaming on Apple TV+ on Dec. 4. The holiday special will be available for free from Dec. 11 through Dec. 13.

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After its launch on Nov. 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service. Apple Originals have been honored with 120 awards nominations and 39 wins and accolades in 12 months, including a Primetime Emmy Award, Daytime Emmy Awards, SAG Award, NAACP Image Award, Critics Choice Award, Peabody Award and more.

PBS’s Sara DeWitt Presented With DEG’s Hedy Lamarr Award

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group Nov. 9 presented its fourth annual Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology to Sara DeWitt, VP of PBS Kids Digital.

The DEG created the Innovation Award to recognize female executives in the fields of entertainment and technology who have made a significant contribution to the industry.

DeWitt was surprised by presenters in masks and gloves who gave her the award in her home during the virtual event.

“A fun thing about this being virtual is that my whole family is here with me,” DeWitt said, surrounded by her kids and husband.

“Sara oversees PBS kids streaming video services, the PBS kids games app and PBSkids.org, which collectively serve over 13.5 million visitors each month,” said PBS CEO Paula Kerger, who introduced DeWitt. “Under her leadership PBS Kids has produced and published cutting-edge experiences for children from AR games and podcasts to game video hybrids and texting programs. Her drive to understand how digital media can impact children’s learning has yielded profound findings from a variety of research studies, and she’s established the gold standard for children’s digital privacy and security.”

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DeWitt paid tribute to Lamarr, an Austrian-American actress who was a Hollywood legend and lifelong inventor whose innovative work included pioneering “frequency hopping,” which became the foundation for spread spectrum technology. Conceived by Lamarr and composer George Antheil for radio guidance systems and patented in 1942, this highly secure technology resists interference and dropout, and is utilized today for a variety of cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications. PBS chronicled her life in the “American Masters” documentary Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story.

“I loved this story of this glamorous movie star moonlighting as a technological powerhouse, but I think what struck me the most as I watched that ‘American Masters’ documentary Bombshell was how long it took for her contributions to come to light, that silence of 50 years from the time that she received her patent for the idea of frequency hopping to the time of actual public recognition for it,” DeWitt said. “And when I think about that piece of the story I get really frustrated. I hope many of you are as well. It just reemphasizes for me the importance of amplifying the successes of women here and now, women in technical fields, women in my own organization, women in our community. It reaffirms to me too how critical it is to provide opportunities for more voices, for those underrepresented in our industry to be heard and celebrated so that no one has to wait 50 years for their groundbreaking work to come to light.”

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DeWitt, who was a teacher before joining PBS, stressed the power of programming in helping kids envision their future.

“The media that we create has so much power to introduce kids to places and to people that they’ve never know about before,” she said. “Good storytelling has the power to help children imagine exciting possibilities for themselves and good technology can help even more children gain access to the tools and the resources that they need to realize these possibilities. I hope that our innovation at PBS Kids can inspire all children and all of those little girls in our audience to think big and to think about their own future to create new inventions and new art and new discoveries that won’t take 50 years to be recognized.”

The DEG also virtually presented the Hedy Lamarr Achievement Award for Emerging Leaders in Entertainment Technology, which recognizes female college students whose studies in the fields of entertainment and technology have shown exceptional promise. The Emerging Leader award was presented to Molly Mielke, who is earning her bachelor’s degree in film, TV and digital media at UCLA. Mielke will receive a financial award to continue her education. Her work can be found on her website, mollymielke.com.

Lamarr’s son Anthony Loder also joined the virtual event.

“It’s wonderful that you’re sharing her legacy forward in history while making history of your own,” he said.

Nominations for the 2021 awards are open Nov. 10 on the DEG website.