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PBS KIDS Sprout Celebrates First Birthday With Month-Long Bash

PBS KIDS Sprout, the first and only 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for kids ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers, is celebrating its first birthday this September with a month-long birthday bash filled with surprises, three new programs and two world television premieres.

In less than one year, Sprout has expanded its distribution to almost 20 million households, and has been recognized for excellence in programming and marketing with five Telly Awards, seven Promax/BDA Awards and two Mark Awards. Additionally, Sprout's most recent Q Score (measuring familiarity and appeal) outranked all other kids' networks and topped both Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny among moms of kids 2-5. Sprout is the #1 Kids On Demand service with more than 100 million VOD orders since Sprout On Demand launched in April 2005.

All month long, beloved Sprout friends like Bob The Builder, Barney, Big Bird, Noddy, Caillou and Angelina Ballerina will deliver special on-air birthday greetings throughout the day. From Thursday, Sept. 21, through Tuesday, Sept. 26, Birthday Host Kevin will present a daily three-hour block from 3:00-6:00 pm ET that features Sprout's own Mr. Mailman delivering presents to children who unwrap them to reveal the next birthday-themed show. The biggest presents will be the world television premieres of ANGELINA'S PRINCESS DANCE on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 5:00 pm ET and Bob the Builder's first musical special, BOB THE BUILDER: BUILT TO BE WILD on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 5:00 pm ET.

Although Sprout's actual birthday is on Tuesday, Sept. 26, the on-air party begins much earlier. The Birthday Show premieres on Monday, Sept. 11. Hosted by Sprout's own Kevin, this new and expanded Sprout favorite will be enhanced with fun-filled birthday party ideas for kids and parents, including games, crafts, and party planning tips in addition to expanded daily readings of homemade birthday cards submitted by viewers and the Sprout birthday song. Replacing Sprout's original daily "birthday segments," The Birthday Show will continue beyond the month of September airing throughout the day as part of Sprout's regular programming.

Kicking off Sprout's new fall schedule on Sunday, Sept. 10 is the debut of the six-time Emmy Award-winning JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS. The new animated series launches with a special three-hour Grand "Tails" Day block hosted by Grandpa Piggley Winks in honor of National Grandparents Day. Featuring six back-to-back episodes of JAKERS!, this special block will begin at 12:00 noon ET and repeat again at 3:00 pm ET. Moving forward, JAKERS! will air every day on Sprout at 4:00 pm ET.

Beginning the following evening at 6:00 pm ET, Noel MacNeal, an Emmy-nominated, 20-year veteran of children's television, will join THE GOOD NIGHT SHOW as Leo, the series' special guest host. Helping parents wind down their kids after a busy day, Leo will play games, sing songs and create bedtime stories with Star, the lovable and lively star-shaped puppet. New to THE GOOD NIGHT SHOW will be Lucy, an enchanting puppet firefly, who will help introduce episodes of Sprout favorites such as DRAGON TALES, ANGELINA BALLERINA and BOB THE BUILDER. Best known for his role as Bear in BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE and BREAKFAST WITH BEAR, and as a long-time performer on SESAME STREET, as well as BLUE'S ROOM and OOBI, MacNeal will act as special guest host Leo while Sprout continues its multi-city search for the new host of THE GOOD NIGHT SHOW, which will tape its third season later this fall.

The following week, opening its doors on Monday, Sept. 18, will be SPROUT DINER, a new Sprout original short-form program designed to encourage preschool children to eat healthy foods and to inspire parents and caregivers with healthy eating ideas. Each animated episode features its own nutritious and fun recipe inspired by popular preschool characters like Barney, Elmo, the Teletubbies, Noddy, Sagwa, Caillou and the Berenstain Bears. Sprout Diner owner Brussel Sprout, his daughter Bean and her daughter Alfalfa create healthy, nutritious dishes for each character that calls in to order after a hard day's play.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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