‘Arthur’ Is Officially Old: Here’s Why (and How) the PBS Icon Is Finally Growing Up

An "Arthur" flash-forward will reveal grown-up versions of the aardvark and his friends.
ARTHUR, Arthur Timothy Read, 'The Election', (Season 5, aired Oct. 9, 2000), 1996-. © PBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection
©PBS/Courtesy Everett Collection

The rhythm of the street is certainly in for a big change: After 25 years, “Arthur” will be an adult.

Yes, you read that right. Our favorite childhood aardvark icon is leaving third grade now that the beloved PBS animated series is coming to a close. The final season will conclude with a four-episode flash-forward to reveal the grown-up versions of Arthur and his friend group.

Arthur, potentially married, dealing with taxes, and tired from a real-life job?! We can’t wrap our brains around it, either.

Thankfully, audiences will have the chance to relive Arthur’s adolescence as part of a special 25th-anniversary marathon featuring over 250 episodes and movie specials. The marathon will air on PBS Kids and live-stream on the PBS Kids YouTube channel from Feb. 16 to 21, culminating in the “Arthur” extended universe flash-forward sequence.

“For more than 25 years, Arthur and his friends have kept viewers learning and growing through their true-to-life experiences,” Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager of PBS Kids, said in a statement. “We can’t wait to debut these episodes and introduce new ‘Arthur’ content that will give fans more ways to engage with their favorite aardvark.”

According to PBS press materials, new “Arthur” content will continue to premiere in 2022 “and beyond,” including a podcast and video shorts that “tackle timely and compelling topics,” plus digital games.

So, will there be an “Arthur” family man animated sitcom in the works?

“We’re excited about Arthur’s next chapter — sharing the stories and experiences of Arthur and his Elwood City community to the media platforms where the next generation of kids and families will connect with them for years to come,” DeWitt continued.

“Arthur” is the longest-running kids’ animated series on television. Marc Brown, the author of the “Arthur Adventure” book series, is also releasing a new book on Jan. 25, titled “Believe in Yourself: What We Learned From Arthur.”

Well, we certainly learned believing in yourself is always the place to start — and to never judge a book by its cover.

“It’s amazing that what began as a simple bedtime story for my son eventually evolved into over a hundred books and a collaboration with GBH and PBS Kids that would last 25 years,” Brown said. “Now more than ever the last line of my first book Arthur’s Nose rings true: ‘There is a lot more to Arthur than his nose.'”

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