All good things must come to an end. Beloved PBS Kids show Arthur will wrap up after its 25th season, which debuts in 2022. Arthur, which first aired in 1996, follows the titular character (an aardvark) and his other animal friends as they navigate school, friendships and family. The show, based on the books by Marc Brown, is the longest-running children’s animated series to ever run.
Show developer Kathy Waugh shared the news on a July 13 episode of the Finding D.W. podcast.
“Arthur is no longer in production. We had our wrap party two years ago,” Waugh said on the show. “I think [PBS] made a mistake, and I think Arthur should come back, and I’m know I’m not alone in thinking they made a mistake.”
Waugh added: “I don’t know if it was a ratings issue or if it felt like it needed to be retired. To me, it just felt evergreen, like it was never going to end. But it did end. We finished the last episode, season 25. Two years ago, there was a wrap party, all of that.”
PBS Kids didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But Carol Greenwald, the show’s executive producer, told NPR in a statement, “Arthur is the longest-running kids animated series in history and is known for teaching kindness, empathy and inclusion through many groundbreaking moments to generations of viewers.” Greenwald said the show will still be available on PBS Kids in the coming years.
She also reportedly added that “producer GBH and PBS KIDS are continuing to work together on additional Arthur content, sharing the lessons of Arthur and his friends in new ways.”
There are, in fact, signs that we’ll be seeing more from the legendary aardvark and his friends. The official Arthur Twitter account posted a tweet on Wednesday afternoon that reads, “The Internet realizing Arthur has been on PBS Kids for 25 years…and will be there for many more years! #staytuned.”
The show has inspired countless memes, including these iconic ones from the start of the pandemic:
Then there’s the meme that made us think twice about how exactly the aardvarks in the show listen to music:
And of course, the legendary Arthur’s fist meme, which perfectly depicts how we feel about this news.