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Martha Speaks Premieres Second Season with a Trip to Antiques Roadshow

Press Release from WGBH

(BOSTON, MA, July 29, 2009) The word is in from critics, parents, and educators across the country: they loved every tasty syllable of the first season of MARTHA SPEAKS on PBS KIDS. The vocabulary-rich children's series from WGBH and Studio B Productions Inc., a DHX Media Company (Vancouver), made its highly successful doggie debut last year and has quickly become a household favorite.

Season Two of MARTHA SPEAKS premieres Monday, September 14, 2009 (check local listings) with a week of five all-new episodes that continue the adventures of the dog who found her voice in a bowl of alphabet soup. Along the way, kids at home will be introduced to words from perspective to portrait and from reminiscing to recycled. Ten additional new episodes will air on PBS KIDS! after January 2010, including a two-part Presidents Day episode titled "Martha in the White House," in which Martha nominates her canine pals to become the First Family's top dog.

Martha's antics also will continue online at pbskids.org/martha, a comprehensive website that builds on the series' curriculum to bolster the oral vocabulary of four- to seven-year-olds.

The debut season of MARTHA SPEAKS answered the question "What would happen if your dog suddenly were able to talk?" In Season Two, we'll find out more about our loquacious canine, including how she ended up with her 10-year-old human companion, Helen. According to WGBH Senior Executive Producer Carol Greenwald, the new season will feature issues near and dear to the hearts of dogs and their owners. "We had such a strong viewer response to last season's 'Ain't Nothin' But a Pound Dog' dog adoption episode that we were inspired to create multiple storylines this season about pet ownership and pet care," Greenwald says.

"We are thrilled that children, parents, and educators have responded so enthusiastically to Martha Speaks," notes Chris Bartleman, Studio B Executive Producer and President. "Our partnership with WGBH has been fantastic, and we are excited to be sharing more stories in Season Two."

Antiques Roadshow Helps Put a Value on Decor by Dog in the Season Premiere!

Martha's premiere week starts off Monday, September 14 (check local listings) with a birthday celebration gone awry. In "Martha's Chair," Helen and her family give away Martha's favorite living room chair and replace it with a brand-new dog bed as a special birthday gift. To Martha, however, that smelly, tattered chair is irreplaceable. So after many sleepless nights, Helen and friends track down the favorite old chair at Mrs. Demson's house. Alas, it's too late. After spotting a highly valuable look-alike chair on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, Mrs. Demson hopes to hit the jackpot with her bargain purchase. Will ANTIQUES ROADSHOW confirm that Mrs. Demson could sell the chair for a king's ransom? Or will it have more value at home with Martha? ANTIQUES ROADSHOW's Noel Barrett lends his voice to the season-premiere episode, which features such appraiser-worthy words as antique, donate, and valuable.

It's a Dog's Life: Martha Speaks Up for Her Animal Friends

Along with its focus on vocabulary development, premiere week builds on the themes of dog care and animal advocacy -- themes established in the first season. Episodes include a two-parter titled "Martha Puts Out the Lights," in which Martha looks for a way to protect her sensitive ears (and those of her canine friends) from the noise of fireworks in their neighborhood. The week ends with "Martha in the Hold," a look at what it's really like for animals placed in the cargo hold during airplane travel.

The themes continues in such later episodes as "Paws and Effect," in which Martha gets a piece of glass in her paw, and "The Trouble with Teddy," where Martha and company scour the yard for hazardous materials after a neighborhood dog gets sick. Finally, in "Martha's Steamed," Helen and Martha snap into action when they discover a dog who's been locked in a hot car on a sweltering summer day. The programs will provide meaning and context for such words as discarded, hazardous, and environment.

Two-Part Presidents Day Episode: There's a Martha in the White House, and Her Last Name Isn't Washington!

On Presidents Day, Monday, February 15, 2010, Martha goes to the White House to prove that Portuguese water dogs can't have all the fun. In this two-part episode, the new President is looking for a dog to live in the White House and Martha knows the perfect candidate for the job. What better way to recommend some of her neighborhood pals than to put a few calls in to the White House herself? In part two, the President is calling! One of his aides hears about Martha's speaking ability and asks her to report to the White House immediately. But why does the President want Martha? Is there a top-secret cat conspiracy? As they enjoy the merriment, kids will learn such vocabulary as nation, neighborhood, debating, and volunteer.

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