For years children's entertainment has attempted to add more diversity to their mainstream lineup. There were very successful children's shows that featured Black families like "Gullah Gullah Island" and "Little Bill" but those, over time, became fond memories for the children who grew up watching them. Now, their children have shows like Tabitha Brown's award nominated show "Tab Time", "Gracie's Corner" and Snoop Dogg's "Doggyland". With all of these great shows one would think that all of the bases were covered. . . BUT, PBS Kids saw an opportunity and it was veteran meteorologist Al Roker's time to predict something more than the weather!
PBS KIDS announced the production of WEATHER HUNTERS, a new animated science series for kids ages 5-8 from Al Roker Entertainment (ARE), the production company led by beloved Emmy-winning TODAY weatherman and host, Al Roker. The series is designed to support kids’ understanding of weather through adventure and comedy. The main character is 8-year-old Lily Hunter, a weather detective who shares her investigations with her family, including dad Al Hunter, voiced by Roker. The series will help further young viewers’ interest and knowledge of Earth science and meteorology, both key building blocks of climate education.
“We’re so excited to be working with Al Roker and his team to bring important weather and Earth science lessons to kids through WEATHER HUNTERS,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “We know that parents and kids are looking for content about weather and climate; this show is fresh, funny and forward-thinking, and will help kids understand how weather affects their lives every day.”
"Weather Hunters has been a labor of love and a passion project for more than a decade and I cannot think of a better partner than PBS KIDS to make this dream come true," said Al Roker. “When it comes to WEATHER HUNTERS, I predict increasing animation with downpours of family friendly storytelling and a rising understanding of weather and climate on your local PBS station, pbskids.org, and the PBS KIDS Video and Games apps."
Each 22-minute episode of WEATHER HUNTERS will explore kid-relatable STEM-based activities and themes, highlighting the wonder of weather within the broad field of science in terms that all learners can understand. Topics include observing and tracking weather patterns, exploring why weather changes can be different around the country and the world, and the connection between humans and the environment. The series will reinforce key weather, climate, and environmental concepts to provide building blocks for further learning. Digital content for kids, parents and teachers will launch along with the series to reinforce the show’s key messages and encourage further engagement.
With stories that feature warm family interactions and stunning natural weather phenomena, the series will have a unique contemporary and original look. Created by Al Roker, WEATHER HUNTERS is being produced by New York-based Al Roker Entertainment. Tracie Brennan and Lisa Tucker (ARE) serve as Executive Producers, along with four-time Emmy Award-winning animation industry veteran, Bill Schultz (Simpsons, Garfield, Clifford the Big Red Dog). The original series brings together an amazing team of artists and writers for the new 40 half hour series, including notable animation director Tyree Dilihay (Bob’s Burgers), animation producer/director Jerry Brice, head writer John Semper (Static Shock, Fraggle Rock) and three-time Emmy Award winner and writer, Carin Greenberg (Tumbleleaf).
At this moment there is no set date for the premiere of "Weather Hunters" but, we'll keep you posted! Congratulations to Al Roker and PBS Kids!