Ruff Ruffman is coming back to PBS! YAY! If that isn’t enough good news, PBS KIDS is debuting a new show LUNA AROUND THE WORLD next fall! We enjoyed FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman when it premiered a couple of years ago, and I’m interested to see how The Ruff Ruffman Show compares, especially since I have kids in the sweet spot for age demographic for it. Below, you can read the press release, and then immediately join me in counting down to September 28th for Ruff! Next fall can’t come soon enough for Luna either!
Ruff Ruffman, the star of the classic series FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN returns in THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW, an all-new short-form animated digital series designed to help kids ages 4-8 learn core science concepts through videos, game-play and hands-on activities. The PBS KIDS series stars canine host extraordinaire Ruff Ruffman, who, along with his assistants Blossom and Chet, answers questions from real kids, takes on challenges and learns the value of perseverance—all while modeling science inquiry skills.
All 20 videos of THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW will be available September 28 on PBS KIDS digital platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video App and pbskids.org. The videos will roll out on the PBS KIDS YouTube channel starting on September 28, and segments from the series will air on the new PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream this fall. PBS stations will also engage families with the content in underserved communities across the U.S.
Related games will be available on the free PBS KIDS Games App and pbskids.org, and a RUFF RUFFMAN app will be available on a variety of tablet and mobile devices. One of the RUFF RUFFMAN games, Fish Force, will offer hundreds of possible levels and features that can be tailored to the child, based on performance and behavior. This is the first of many new adaptive games for young children that PBS KIDS will roll out in the coming months.
“At PBS KIDS, we’re always looking for ways to innovate across platforms through new formats and interactive content to meet the needs of today’s kids,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS. “We’re excited to offer THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW through digital shorts to introduce children to a variety of science concepts that allow them to learn from challenges and failure. Ruff is a character kids can relate to, modeling skills they can apply to their own daily curiosities.”
THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW was developed as part of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS Ready To Learn Initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Ready To Learn is a federal program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families.
“WGBH is dedicated to creating opportunities for children to discover and learn, and Ruff Ruffman is the ideal character to engage kids in science experimentation,” said Terry Fitzpatrick, WGBH Vice President for Children’s Media and Education. “We’re delighted that he is joining the CPB-PBS Ready to Learn Initiative to introduce real-world science experiences that are essential building blocks for lifelong achievement.”
Produced by WGBH Boston, the series is part of a multiplatform, playful learning media experience themed around four kid-friendly physical science topics: wearable science, sports science, kitchen chemistry and structures. Research has shown that the more children are exposed to foundational STEM skills early on in life, the more successful they are in other areas of learning in the future.*
“Public media’s free and high-quality educational programs introduce important learning concepts to children in innovative ways,” said Deb Sanchez, CPB’s Senior Vice President for Education and Children’s Content. “THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW demonstrates for young learners how to think like scientists, promoting positive perceptions of themselves as explorers of their world and learners.”
THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW: Ruff Ruffman is voiced by five-time Emmy®-nominated actor/writer Jim Conroy, the voice of every character in the Ruff Ruffman family since its debut in 2005. Carol Greenwald, Executive Producer; Marcy Gunther, Senior Producer; Bill Shribman, Digital Executive Producer; Glen Berger, Script Writer.
Another announcement came today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour. PBS KIDS announced the new animated series LUNA AROUND THE WORLD, produced by 9 Story Media Group and created by Emmy Award-winning animator, writer and artist Joe Murray (Rocko’s Modern Life, Camp Lazlo). This new multiplatform series will debut nationwide in fall 2018 on PBS stations, the new 24/7 PBS KIDS channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms. With a social studies curriculum, LUNA AROUND THE WORLD will encourage kids ages 4-7 to explore and appreciate cultures from all over the world, and build global citizenship and social skills.
“Our approach with LUNA AROUND THE WORLD is to offer engaging stories and adventures that are fun, developmentally appropriate and align with our whole-child approach to content,” said Linda Simensky, Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS. “Luna is a trusted guide who will encourage children to learn about the world beyond their own neighborhoods. The series seeks to foster an appreciation for cultural diversity, developing social and civic skills and promoting global stewardship.”
LUNA AROUND THE WORLD follows the adventures of three friends – Leo, a wombat from Australia; Carmen, a butterfly from Mexico; and Andy, a frog from the U.S. – as they traverse the globe with their parents’ traveling performance troupe, “Circo Fabuloso.” At each of the Circo’s stops, Luna the moon guides the trio as they experience the local language, music and daily life. The gang’s adventures take them across continents – from London to Cairo to Beijing – where they explore the food, architecture and other features that make each region unique.
“LUNA AROUND THE WORLD is designed to ignite kids’ curiosity about the world and inspire them to learn about the many different cultures that call it home,” said series creator Joe Murray. “Through this show, my goal is to give all children the opportunity to explore cultures other than their own, and to learn about the similarities that unite all of us – through challenges that kids can relate to, with the universal language of laughter woven into each story.”
LUNA AROUND THE WORLD brings an innovative approach to social studies for young viewers. The series takes kids on an informative and imaginative exploration of global culture to make connections between communities all over the world, integrating concepts of anthropology, history, ecology, geography, sociology and economics.
“We are thrilled to be working with PBS KIDS and the incredibly talented Joe Murray to bring LUNA AROUND THE WORLD to life,” said Vince Commisso, President & CEO of 9 Story Media Group. “We’ve had the pleasure of working with PBS KIDS over the years on several shows, including DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, PEG + CAT, WILD KRATTS and NATURE CAT, and it’s exciting to take our partnership to the next level. The PBS KIDS team is best-in-class at what they do, and showcasing LUNA AROUND THE WORLD across their various platforms will have tremendous reach with kids.”
Along with the television series, LUNA AROUND THE WORLD will offer digital content for kids, parents and teachers, debuting in fall 2018. LUNA AROUND THE WORLD games will be available at pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Games App, along with clips and full episodes streaming across PBS KIDS’ video platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video App. A LUNA AROUND THE WORLDapp will also launch after the series’ debut. Parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities to extend the learning at home, will be available on the PBS Parents site, and PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials for teachers, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.
Each episode of LUNA AROUND THE WORLD will include two 11-minute stories as well as interstitial content – including live-action segments about arts and cultures, and animated folktales and songs. The series is currently in production of 38 half-hour episodes and a one-hour special.
9 Story Distribution International is managing the distribution and merchandising rights for LUNA AROUND THE WORLD worldwide outside Canada.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.