Fans of the PBS classic Arthur were devastated to find out that the long-running cartoon had been canceled. On Tuesday, the network confirmed the end is nigh for the beloved children's show, which is based on the character created by Marc Brown for the 1976 book Arthur's Nose. Set to conclude in winter 2022, Arthur will leave the airwaves as the longest-running children's animated series in the history of American television, lasting 25 seasons and nearly 250 episodes to date. However, a new tweet from the show's official Twitter account has given followers a reason to hope that the end might not be as final as initially thought.
The official "Arthur Read" Twitter account shared photos of the main characters all staring intently at computer screens alongside a cryptic message. "The Internet realizing ARTHUR has been on [PBS Kids] for 25 years… and will be there for many more years!" they tweeted alongside the hashtag "stay tuned." While this could simply mean that the show will be available on streaming or in cable reruns for years to come, could a revival be on the horizon already? Fans will just have to listen to the hashtag and stay tuned.
The Internet realizing ARTHUR has been on @PBSKIDS for 25 years…July 28, 2021
The news of the show's end hit the internet like a brick wall of nostalgia and drew strong reactions online. Based on the Arthur Adventure book series written and illustrated by Brown, Arthur premiered in October of 1996. The animated series centers on Arthur, a young aardvark, and the lessons he learns alongside his family and friends Buster, Francine, Muffy, Binky, and Brain. The series has also examined numerous social issues, such as a 2019 episode in which third-grade teacher Mr. Ratburn married his partner Patrick. Throughout its more than 20-year run, Arthur has won four Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Children's Animated Program along with a Peabody Award.
The cancellation news came just hours after Kathy Waugh, who originally developed the show from the books by Marc Brown, said that the series was "no longer in production." In an interview on the Finding DW podcast with Jason Szwimer, Waugh said the crew "had our wrap party two years ago." Waugh said she believed PBS "made a mistake" in ending the iconic series and believes "Arthur should come back and I know I'm not alone in thinking they made a mistake. I don't know if it was a ratings issue or if it felt like it needed to be retired. 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."