Arthur shall return
Cinar Corporation and WGBH Boston have announced that Emmy award-winning ARTHUR, PBS' top-rated children's series, will return with 10 new programs and 65 encore broadcasts in its fourth season, premiering October 1999. This daily animated series is based on the award-winning children's books by author Marc Brown, who is also ARTHUR's creative producer. ARTHUR's fourth season begins with, not one, but two musical guest stars: classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman who "appear" as themselves in the season's opener MY MUSIC RULES. Through a series of mix-ups, Arthur and D.W. invite both Ma and Redman to perform at the Elwood City Library's music series. If that weren't enough, both musicians agree to play, which causes a huge argument between the kids over which music is better, classical or jazz. Arriving at the concert, Ma and Redman must settle the score. The finale - a spirited cello and sax rendition of that ARTHUR "favorite," CRAZY BUS - shows kids that it's ok to like more than one kind of music. Committed to educational programs that bring young audiences into contact with music, Yo-Yo Ma said, "My hope is that by appearing and performing on ARTHUR, young children will want to make music and creativity a vital part of their lives." This episode marks Ma's third appearance on a PBS children's series, having already appeared on past episodes of MR. ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD and SESAME STREET. For Joshua Redman, appearing in the episode clicked with what he aimed to do on his 1998 hit album, TIMELESS TALES (FOR CHANGING TIMES). "That album is about collapsing what I think are artificial barriers between different types of music," Redman says, "which is exactly what this ARTHUR episode does." This summer, ARTHUR will guest star on another of PBS' popular children's series, MR. ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD. Arthur, Marc Brown, and Michael Yarmush -- the teen-age actor who does the voice of Arthur -- will appear in an upcoming episode scheduled to air Wednesday, July 28, 1999 during the show's "Go-Stop-Go" theme week. In the episode, Marc Brown shares with Mr. Rogers his secrets to drawing Arthur and what it takes to animate a daily series; Michael Yarmush reveals what it's like to be the voice of the world's most famous aardvark, and Arthur pays a special visit to the Neighborhood of Make Believe. "This appearance marks the continuing of a great 'partnership' that began during ARTHUR's second season, when Fred Rogers starred as himself in ARTHUR MEETS MR. ROGERS," WGBH Executive Producer Carol Greenwald says. "The response by kids to that episode was great, so you can imagine how happy we are to return the honors by appearing on such a beloved show as MR. ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD." ARTHUR follows the adventures and misadventures of eight-year-old Arthur Read, his little sister, D.W., and his friends and family. Each of the seventy-five ARTHUR episodes consists of two independent stories that focus on themes and events central to children's lives. The animated stories are linked by a live-action segment featuring school children who create their own Arthur-related activities. Executive Producer for WGBH is Carol Greenwald. Executive Producer for CINAR is Micheline Charest.