Overnight, the world was fully tuned in to the news that the beloved animated educational series—which more recently had also become the source of monumental memes—would end with its upcoming 25th season. That’s the word straight from Kathy Waugh, who developed the series for PBS from Marc Brown’s Arthur Adventure books.
“Arthur is no longer in production,” Waugh said, noting that the team had their wrap party two years ago. Waugh went on to say that, in her opinion, PBS “made a mistake” and should be brought back.
“I don’t know if it was a ratings issue or if it felt like it needed to be retired,” Waugh said. “To me, it felt evergreen, like it was never going to end. But it did end. We finished the last episode, season 25, two years ago.”
Since its debut in 1996, Arthur has bagged a number of Emmy awards, a well as a Peabody. The final season of the children’s classic is set to debut late next year.
When reached for comment by Complex on Wednesday morning, Arthur executive producer Carol Greenwald offered the following:
“Arthur is the longest-running kids animated series in history and is known for teaching kindness, empathy and inclusion through many groundbreaking moments to generations of viewers. 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 2016, addressing the milestone of the show’s 20th anniversary, Brown reflected on how he never imagined how successful his stories would become on TV.
“I could never have dreamed, 20 years ago, the wonderful adventure I was about to have with Arthur,” Brown said in promo materials at the time. “It’s been so much fun working with the many talented, smart people who make Arthur happen. I think what’s most rewarding for all of us is using the medium of television to try and make children successful.”