The first episode of FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN part game show, part reality TV, and part spoof debuts online at www.pbskidsgo.org/fetch May 22, 2006. The series, targeting kids 6-10, mixes unscripted live-action with animation with an educational and comical take on one of America's most popular television genres.
The show features real kids, real challenges, real science, and an unreal animated host, a dog named Ruff Ruffman. Online, FETCH!s website offers FETCH! viewers the opportunity to play along with the show, even after the TV is turned off.
Beginning May 22, for one week only, the first episode of FETCH! is available as a download, a full week before the FETCH! television premiere. The episode will remain on the site in streaming, chapterized segments for an additional four weeks.
The star and producer of FETCH! is Ruff, a slightly neurotic yet lovable animated canine, who runs the show from his state-of-the-art headquarters, his doghouse. Interacting with the animated Ruff, is a live-action cast of six "tweenage" contestants Julia, Khalil, Anna, Brian, Noah and Taylor. Each episode follows one or more of the kids as they embark on mystery assignments, concocted by Ruff, to test their determination, their daring and their intellect.
FETCH! is produced by WGBH Boston and will premiere 20 half-hour episodes on PBS KIDS GO!, beginning with a mini-marathon of four "back-to-back" shows on Memorial Day. May 29, 2006 (check local listings).
FETCH! WITH RUFF RUFFMAN is produced by WGBH Boston with animation by Global Mechanic. The exec producer for the series is Kate Taylor and the senior producer is Kathy Shugrue.
The FETCH! website lets kids follow the show, play games and learn cool science. They may also register with the site to save their scores, win downloadable prizes and travel as a member between one PBS KIDS GO! site and another.
The games cover science concepts, such as biological, earth, physical and engineering sciences, plus encourage kids to assume the role of scientist using science process skills, logical thought, memory, hypothesis testing and keen attention to details. Additional games will be added mid-June.
Link-o-Vision challenges players to link different animals together according to their shared attributes with regard to their diet, behaviors, physical traits and environments.
Dog Ears requires players to decode audio clues to decipher the five passwords for Ruff's safe using the code invented by Ruff (which he's forgotten). Each letter on the keyboard represents a different sound. Game play encourages listening, paying close attention and note taking.
Dog Pound is a fast-paced, whack-a-mole style science quiz. And if kids don't know a particular answer first time around, repeat-play helps them learn.
The MY SHOW section invites visitors to Meet the Contestants, track the TV Challenges and current scores, look at candid shots of Ruff and the contestants, get the behind-the-scenes Scoop from Ruff, take a virtual tour Inside Studio G and test their knowledge of fascinating facts about the contestants in Fetcher 101.
FETCH! is the first PBS KIDS GO! website to employ a new personalization feature. At G Team Central (the alias for Studio G) kids can sign up as members to earn points, win prizes, receive messages from Ruff and customize their Web experience across all participating PBS KIDS GO! sites.
FETCH! on the Web includes a reference section for teachers, parents and caregivers to access and download a range of background information and suggestions for activities with children, recommended books and links. In addition, the series will also have an extensive outreach initiative designed to expand on the show's three science themes: animals, air and space, and invention.
Major funding for FETCH! is provided by the National Science Foundation and public television viewers. Additional funding is provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. Corporate funding is provided by Arbys and Greendog.
WGBH Boston (www.wgbh.org) is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer, the source of nearly one third of PBS's primetime lineup as well as the award-winning children's series ARTHUR, BETWEEN THE LIONS, PEEP AND THE BIG WIDE WORLD and ZOOM. Under the leadership of vp Brigid Sullivan, the WGBH children's lineup leads the field in educational multimedia (including the Web, broadband and interactive television) and in technologies and services that make media accessible for people with disabilities. WGBH's current children's series have been recognized with some of the world's most prestigious awards.
PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! are committed to providing the highest quality commercial-free content and learning environment for children across the country. Providing age-appropriate, diverse programming for kids, PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! programs consistently earn more prestigious awards than any other broadcast or cable network. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 348 public television stations, serving nearly 90 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.