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'Arthur' Canceled: Why the Show Is Ending After 25 Years

Newsweek logo Newsweek 7/28/2021 Samuel Spencer
engineering drawing: 'Arthur' is coming to an end after 25 years on PBS Kids. © PBS Kids 'Arthur' is coming to an end after 25 years on PBS Kids.

Arthur has been airing on PBS Kids since 1996, with over 250 episodes of the cartoon airing over the years. PBS Kids, however, has announced the cancelation of the show, with the final episodes coming in 2022.

Rumors of the show ending have been circulating since November 2018, when Bink/Dad voice actor Bruce Dinsmore tweeted he had recorded his last episodes of the series. However, the end of the show was confirmed in July 2021 by PBS.

Arthur executive producer Carol Greenwald confirmed to IGN that the show, which is the second longest-running animated series in American TV history behind The Simpsons, was coming to a close.

She said: "In the winter of 2022, the 25th and final season of Arthur will debut. Arthur will continue to be available on PBS KIDS for years to come.

"Producer GBH and PBS KIDS are continuing to work together on additional Arthur content, sharing the lessons of Arthur and his friends in new ways."

In 2018, Arthur animators Oasis Animation announced that they were contracted to produce four seasons of the beloved children's animation, taking the show from Season 22 to 25. However, the show is now coming to an end following the end of that contract, rather than choosing to start a new one.

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There have been signs that Arthur was winding down for a few years. Between Season 4 in 1999 and Season 19 in 2016, the show made 10 episodes a season. The show then made two seasons of seven episodes, while the last four seasons have had just three or four episodes.

Arthur's cancelation comes in a year when PBS Kids canceled another of its long-running animations. In January, the channel announced it was to stop airing Caillou after 24 years on the channel—leading many parents on social media to rejoice that a character they saw as a bad influence on their children would no longer be on screens.

Though news of Arthur ending has been announced in 2021, it seems that the Season 22 to 25 episodes were actually completed in 2019 and have slowly been released since then. Director and creative producer Greg Bailey, for example, writes on his LinkedIn page that he wrapped on the final episode of the show in late 2019.

After Dinsmore's first tweet said he was done on the show, he followed it up with a second post that read, "Wow. I didn't intend to make an announcement of any kind, not my place, but Arthur fans have shown a lotta love, so thanks! New follows beware I mostly tweet about hockey. But re: Arthur—Lots of new episodes coming and then...? Well there's always the Brooklyn 99 model right?!"

This is a reference to the fact that Brooklyn Nine-Nine was canceled by Fox and brought back by NBC, suggesting that it was PBS Kids who decided to bring the show to an end.

Replying to Dinsmore's original tweet, Sue Ellen voice actor Jessica Kardos reply-tweeted, "we (the cast) are heartbroken."

Across its 25 year run, Arthur has won six Daytime Emmys, with the most recent win coming in 2007. The series also won a Peabody in 2001.

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