After 25 years on the air, beloved children’s series Arthur is coming to an end, and if we weren’t so bummed about it, we’d definitely insert that clenched first meme here. The news comes not only as a shock for fans, but for D.W. voice actor Jason Szwimmer as well, who was told about the show’s cancelation when he invited series developer Kathy Waugh on his Arthur-themed podcast, Finding DW. Waugh chose the podcast to make the big announcement, revealing to Szwimmer that “Arthur is no longer in production” and the cast had their wrap party two years ago. However, Waugh went on to reassure fans (and Szwimmer) that the show still has a final season coming and you’ll be able to catch Arthur and friends in various PBS public service announcements in the meantime.
Following Waugh’s appearance, Arthur executive producer Carol Greenwald confirmed the show will be leaving PBS following its winter 2022 season. She then further elaborated on the future of the Arthur, stating the show “will continue to be available on PBS Kids for years to come” and “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.”
Arthur’s end marks the end of one of the longest-running children’s series in television history. The four-time Emmy award-winning cartoon first debuted on tv back in 1996, and since then has released 240 episodes. However — despite as prolific and long-running as that may seem — Waugh believes even 25 years was far too short a journey for the lovable aardvark.
“I think they made a mistake, PBS, and I think Arthur should come back and I know I’m not alone in thinking they made a mistake. I don’t know if it was a ratings issue or if it felt like it needed to be retired. To me, it felt evergreen, like it was never going to end. But it did end. We finished the last episode [of] Season 25 two years ago.”
In a time where fans have brought back plenty of shows before, our fingers are still crossed Arthur might find a home elsewhere. However, if nothing else, the final season of Arthur will air in the winter of 2022.