Bring Back Classic PBS Kids Shows

Bring Back Classic PBS Kids Shows

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Why this petition matters

Started by PBS Rewind

How many people can remember that feeling of waking up in the morning or getting back home from school and turning on the television set to watch quality children’s programming on PBS Kids?

Whether a person grew up in the 90's watching programs like Shining Time Station, The Puzzle Place, or The Magic Schoolbus, or grew up in the 2000's watching the likes of Dragon Tales, Clifford the Big Red Dog, or Cyberchase, or even the iconic episodes of Sesame Street, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Reading Rainbow, or Arthur, PBS and PBS Kids have been providing children across the United States with quality educational programming since the establishment of the Public Broadcasting Service on October 5, 1970.

As children, many viewers took these programs for granted, always expecting a favorite episode to air again the next day. However, these viewers likely never realized that one day they would unwittingly watch their favorite TV show for the last time.

Nevertheless, this situation may not need to be repeated. Together, with help by signatures from viewers like you, many of these beloved educational programs can return once more to the realm of PBS.

This is not asking for any reboots or revivals of classic PBS children’s programming, but rather a way to provide a new generation of viewers a look back at where their favorite shows originated, and how far educational programming has advanced in the past few decades. Recent years have seen reboots and spiritual successors of many beloved children’s programs like Wild Kratts, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and the 2019 reboot of Clifford the Big Red Dog, all of which remain popular and steadfast staples of the current PBS Kids programming lineup. Surely, modern children who enjoy Wild Kratts should be able to enjoy its predecessor Zoboomafoo, and fans of Donkey Hodie and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood would most certainly gain from seeing the origins of both title characters in classic episodes of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

The original viewers of PBS Kids are now adults, many with children of their own who watch the programming on PBS Kids on a daily basis, whether over the air on the PBS Kids channel, or via the PBS Kids video app. Would it not appeal to these original PBS kids to relive a part of their childhood and introduce their favorite classic programs to a new generation of children?

In the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, certain PBS member stations would rebroadcast classic PBS and American Public Television children’s programs in special programming blocks on weekends and evenings, allowing modern viewers to fall in love with the likes of Wishbone, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and Zoboomafoo. Even outside children’s networks like Qubo and Discovery Kids gained significant viewing figures through reruns of The Magic Schoolbus, Time Warp Trio, and Theodore Tugboat. In short, despite the years and generation gaps, fans of these programs still exist and can even garner new fan followings.

Certainly, trying to recover many classic PBS programs may prove to be easier said than done due to copyright, availability, and quality of surviving tapes and transmissions, but starting with small steps should help lead to desired outcomes. Say, for example, starting out by airing reruns of select classic PBS children’s shows on the PBS Kids 24/7 Channel, then gradually moving forward to throwback programming blocks, until the waters are just right for an entirely dedicated PBS Kids Throwback channel.

Let it be said that getting these classic children’s programs back on the air will not be an easy task, but with enough support from fans and PBS member stations, these classic shows may once more find a home on PBS Kids. Whatever may come, fans old and new will be thankful to be reunited with old friends and make new ones along the way. With this petition, let us see that these classic programs feel the light of day once more.

Thank you.

719 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!