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New Season of Curious George Teaches Preschoolers About Health and Fitness

Press Release from WGBH Boston and Universal Studios

Boston, MA and Universal City, CA, July 28, 2009 -- America's favorite little monkey swings back into the PBS KIDS lineup this fall with an all-new set of health and fitness themed (mis)-adventures. Premiering Tuesday, September 8 (check local listings), the fourth season of CURIOUS GEORGE introduces preschoolers to the concepts of nutrition, physical fitness, why pesky germs can cause the sniffles -- and the smartest way to fight them off!

"Teaching young children the principles and benefits of a healthy lifestyle is of global importance today," said Senior Producer for WGBH Dorothea Gillim. "The health and fitness theme of our fourth season teaches preschoolers how exercise and healthy eating habits not only help them lead better lives, but that a healthy lifestyle can also be a lot of fun and taste delicious!"

Lessons about health and fitness are seamlessly embedded into episodes that find George playing personal trainer to Professor Wiseman, turning fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market into delicious juice, and fighting off Toots the Germ. In the season's premiere episode, actor and environmental activist Ed Begley, Jr. makes a special guest appearance as Dr. Greenbeen -- a horticulturist who teaches George why pruning trees is essential to their growth. In future episodes George, The Man with the Yellow Hat, and their friends dig a canal in hopes of rescuing a fish who finds himself far from home, learn why Gnocchi the cat has allergies, and help their canine friend Charkie to focus so she can finish the course required for her obedience school exam.

The series welcomes a new character in its fourth season -- 5 3/4 year-old Allie Whoops -- as George's newest partner in curiosity and (mis)-adventure. The glass is always half-full for Allie. She is a fearless tomboy, a fantastic storyteller, and an exuberant motor mouth with breathless and sometimes impractical, but always inspired, plans of action. When Allie makes her debut in the third new episode of the season, airing on October 12, 2009 (check local listings), she's brimming with questions about what it's like to be a monkey and finds out when she gets herself stuck in a tree! With help from her new friend George, Allie channels her inner monkey to make it back down to earth.

Brought to public television by Imagine Entertainment, WGBH Boston, and Universal Studios Family Productions, with the support of Curious George publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the series was recently nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards in the categories of "Outstanding Children's Animated Program" and "Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program." The all-new fourth season is narrated by Rino Romano (The Batman), and features nine half-hour episodes.

"We are thrilled to bring CURIOUS GEORGE back to PBS KIDS this fall, and are eager to see the positive impact our health and fitness season will have on young viewers," said Senior Vice President of Animation Production for Universal Studios Productions Ellen Cockrill. "As in previous seasons, we worked closely with our team of educational advisors to determine the theme and learning objectives that would be most timely and truly resonate with preschoolers and their parents. Key health and fitness learning objectives are woven into the narrative of each new episode, enabling preschoolers to become absorbed in the story and come away having engaged meaningfully with the educational content, all the while having fun!"

The popular CURIOUS GEORGE companion Web site at pbskids.org/curiousgeorge will launch five new games and several new videos throughout the new season.

Funding is provided by public television viewers. National corporate sponsorship of CURIOUS GEORGE is provided by Chuck E. Cheese's, Sun-Maid Growers, and Rainforest Cafe.

CURIOUS GEORGE is a production of Imagine Entertainment, WGBH Boston, and Universal Studios Family Productions. Executive producers are Ron Howard (Imagine), Brian Grazer (Imagine), Carol Greenwald (WGBH), and Ellen Cockrill (Universal). Senior producer for WGBH is Dorothea Gillim. Curious George and related characters, created by Margret and H.A. Rey are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and used under license.

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