On-Air Highlights

PBS Kids debuts new episodes and online content from 'Arthur' and 'Martha Speaks'

Written by witf | Oct 28, 2013 11:45 AM

This fall, PBS KIDS will premiere new episodes of ARTHUR and MARTHA SPEAKS, as well as a new collection of free digital storybooks. Starting Monday, November 11, 2013, ARTHUR and MARTHA SPEAKS premiere new episodes featuring guest voice actors Alan Cumming and Kenan Thompson. The adventures continue online with a new series of MARTHA SPEAKS interactive nonfiction books that help build vocabulary. Produced by WGBH, both series help kids build pro-social and literacy skills. MARTHA SPEAKS airs at 3:30 p.m. and ARTHUR airs at 4:30 p.m. on witf-TV.

“PBS KIDS is committed to using the power of media across platforms to educate and inspire young children,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Programming, PBS. “With new episodes and digital content from two of our most popular characters – Arthur and Martha – our goal is to get kids excited about reading, learning new words and exploring the world around them.”

ARTHUR – New Episodes
PBS KIDS kicks off ARTHUR’s 17th season with a week of new episodes, in which award-winning actor Alan Cumming (MASTERPIECE MYSTERY!; The Good Wife) makes a special appearance. In “Show Off,” it’s the Elwood City dog show and Killer is facing off against Sebastian Winkleplotz (voiced by Alan Cumming), the snooty, championship-winning poodle. At stake: the Read family honor. Can Killer’s coach, Pal, transform her from combative canine to sophisticated show dog?

MARTHA SPEAKS – New Episodes
PBS KIDS premieres new episodes of MARTHA SPEAKS, featuring special guest star Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), starting Monday, November 11, 2013. In “Stanley Saves the Day,” Thompson stars as Truman’s cousin Stanley, whose obsession with watching movies tends to get on his cousin’s nerves. When the gang spots two crooks at the Wagstaff City Hotel, Stanley’s knowledge of heist movies may be the best tool they’ve got to prevent a robbery.

MARTHA SPEAKS – New Interactive Storybooks
PBS KIDS also launched a new collection of online activities from MARTHA SPEAKS, available at pbskids.org/martha/stories/truestories. “Martha’s True Stories” introduces children to the world of nonfiction through interactive books. The collection includes a series of free storybooks with interactive features, such as parent tips and scroll-over definitions. Designed for kids ages 4 to 7, “Martha’s True Stories” supports vocabulary development with the following features:

• Eight nonfiction interactive storybooks, divided into four STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) categories. Within each category, families can find two nonfiction stories about the topic and an additional nonfiction text (such as instructions or a recipe).
• Four related MARTHA SPEAKS videos (one for each STEM topic)
• A “Word Bones” interactive glossary to reinforce the vocabulary featured in the stories
• A “Quizmo” – or vocabulary quiz – for each story or text, supporting the new vocabulary and concepts that the stories teach
• A companion Parent Guide (in English and Spanish) and a Teacher Guide

This collection of PBS KIDS MARTHA SPEAKS games was developed in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and was funded by the U.S. Department of Education through the Ready To Learn Initiative, a program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted at preschool and early elementary school children and their families.

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