Adding politics to the perennial PBS favorite show Arthur may have contributed to its end as the show’s executive producer confirmed the show will end with the 25th seasson.
“In the winter of 2022, the 25th and final season of Arthur will debut,” EP Carol Greenwald tells IGN via email. “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.”
Arthur centers on bespectacled aardvark Arthur Read and his family and friends in the fictional town of Elwood City. The series has won four Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program along with a Peabody Award.
In 2019, Arthur the normalization of gay marriage in an episode, titled “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone,” which shows Arthur attending his teacher’s wedding, along with friends and other teachers, where they anticipate Mr. Ratburn’s marriage to Patty, a female rat.
At first they are surprise when Patty is revealed to be his sister, before their teacher walks down the aisle with his groom.
Arthur exclaims, “Mr. Ratburn is married. I still can’t believe it.”
Francine responds, “Yep. It’s a brand new world.”
Following that, Mr. Ratburn and his new husband are shown doing campy dance moves on the floor, with Fran adding that that’s something teachers “should never do.”
In a statement to PEOPLE magazine at the time, the network said: “PBS KIDS programs are designed to reflect the diversity of communities across the nation. We believe it is important to represent the wide array of adults in the lives of children who look to PBS KIDS every day.”
In 2005, the show retracted an episode involving lesbian mothers following a backlash.