LOS ANGELES (BP)–The highly acclaimed children’s weekly animated television series “Adventures from The Book of Virtues” will premiere all-new episodes on PBS beginning Feb. 9.
Airing is scheduled for the 6-7 p.m. time period (check local listings).
Based on William J. Bennett’s best-selling “The Book of Virtues,” the series was created and produced by Bruce Johnson, a leading filmmaker and active layman in the Christian community. He also produced the “Greatest Adventures from the Bible” series. More than 8 million copies have been sold in video.
Ken Wales, executive producer of the “Christy” TV series for CBS and the video series for Broadman & Holman Publishers of the Baptist Sunday School Board, said, “This exceptional quality program imparts values and life lessons we aspire to teach our children. Practically everyone will enjoy viewing these very special episodes depicting truth, faith and other spiritual values. PBS has given the Christian community an incredible opportunity by presenting this top-quality series.”
Wales said the new episodes include many time-honored stories that illustrate powerful themes such as friendship, respect, humility, generosity and perseverance.
“These are stories that will inspire and spark the imagination of children everywhere,” he said. “And it’s important that all Christians support programs of this nature because a window has been opened for us and we don’t want to lose it. This is an opportunity to commend the good and to put our energies into promoting the positives in television.”
The series is produced by PorchLight Entertainment in association with KCET/Los Angeles and is made possible by a grant from CIGNA and the Arthur Vinings Davis Foundations, with additional funding from the John M. Olin Foundation and PBS.
The first episodes of “Adventures from The Book of Virtues,” aired last September, garnered positive reviews.
Johnson, president and CEO of PorchLight Entertainment, said feedback received in hundreds of letters and email messages from parents across the country following the airing of the first episodes has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Many parents commented on how much they enjoyed watching the series with their young children,” he said. “By moving the series to a more family friendly 6 p.m. time period, we believe ‘Adventures from The Book of Virtues” will now be more accessible to a larger portion of the audience for which it is intended.”
Jill Newhouse Calcaterra, vice president of marketing for PorchLight Entertainment, said the series maintains the integrity and lessons of the classic stories in Bennett’s book.
“We’ve done this by introducing a unique cast,” she said. “There’s Aurora, a red-tailed hawk; Socrates, a wily, contentious bobcat; Aristotle (Ari), a feisty but loyal prairie dog; and Plato, a wise and friendly buffalo who has traveled the world collecting unique stories from a wide variety of cultures.
“It is through these great stories that our kid characters, Zach (an 11-year-old) and Annie (a 10-year-old) shed light on their own lives and gain an understanding of things happening around them.”
Lending their voices to the heroes, villains and other characters in the stories are such top Hollywood stars as Mark Harmon, Kathy Bates, Peter Strauss, Malcom McDowell, Brock Peters, Joan Van Ark, Malcom-Jamal Warner, Shelly Duvall, Arte Johnson and Henry Gibson.
For further information, a site on the Internet’s World Wide Web can be accessed at http://www.pbs.org/adventures