Kids will Meet Heroic and Inspirational Historical Figures In Multiplatform Show Grounded in a Social-Emotional Curriculum
Arlington, VA, October 1, 2018 – Today, PBS KIDS announced the new animated series XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM, based on the children’s book series Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos. This new multiplatform series, produced by 9 Story Media Group’s award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, will debut nationwide in fall 2019 on PBS stations, the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms. XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM will introduce kids ages 4-7 to inspiring historical figures – from Rosa Parks to Leonardo da Vinci – who will help them learn important social-emotional concepts.
“At PBS KIDS, our approach is deeply rooted in the belief that every child has unlimited potential,” said Linda Simensky, Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS. “We’re thrilled to extend this mission with the debut of XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM. With Brad Meltzer’s vision, the series will reinforce the idea that anyone can accomplish amazing things. Introducing our young viewers to iconic figures that have done just that will help them realize that they too can change the world.”
The series follows the adventures of Xavier Riddle, his sister Yadina and their friend Brad. In each episode, they face a problem and turn to the Secret Museum, a hidden room under an ordinary museum, to help them solve it. The museum allows Xavier, Yadina and Brad to travel back in time to meet real-life historical figures when they were kids. They witness pivotal moments that shaped each of these iconic people and learn social-emotional lessons – such as being resilient in the face of adversity and making and accomplishing goals. Each episode is designed to help viewers make the connection between the attributes that made each historical figure a hero, and those same attributes within themselves, while approaching history in an engaging, age-appropriate manner.
“For me, XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM isn’t just a show – it’s my dream for my daughter and my sons,” said author Brad Meltzer. “My dream is for all of us to witness how the most ordinary person can become truly extraordinary through their actions. I want to show kids that there is potential in each of us. Every hero in the show was once a kid – smart, curious and full of adventure – just like them. They too can be heroes.”
Along with the television series, XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM will offer digital content for kids, parents and teachers, debuting in fall 2019. XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM games will be available at pbskids.org and on the free PBS KIDS Games App, along with clips and full episodes streaming across PBS KIDS’ video platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video App. A XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM app will also launch after the series’ debut. Parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities to extend the learning at home, will be available on the PBS KIDS for Parents site, and PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials for teachers, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.
“XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM is a truly special show that will inspire kids to believe they can change the world. I can’t think of a better way to empower the next generation,” said Vince Commisso, President & CEO of 9 Story. “Brad and Christopher’s bestselling book series Ordinary People Change the World inspires kids and parents alike, and we’re thrilled to bring their Xavier concept to new audiences on PBS KIDS and around the world via an animated series.”
Each episode of XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM will include two animated 11-minute stories with accompanying interstitial content. The series is currently in production of 37 half-hour episodes and a one-hour special.
Produced at Brown Bag Films’ Toronto studio, executive producers on the series are Vince Commisso, Brad Meltzer, Christopher Eliopoulos, Fonda Snyder and Rob Weisbach. The series is directed by Cory Bobiak (Peg + Cat), with Meghan Read (Dot,Dino Dan) in the role of executive story editor. The look of the show is based on Christopher Eliopoulos’ illustrations featured in the Ordinary People Change the World series.
9 Story Distribution International has worldwide distribution rights outside Canada while 9 Story Brands is managing global licensing and merchandising rights.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers children ages 2-8 the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital media and community-based programs. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn, including their teachers, parents and community. Provided by stations, the free PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream is available to more than 95% of U.S. TV households. Kidscreen- and Webby Award-winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning, including the PBS KIDS Video app, which is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Chromecast. PBS KIDS also offers parent and teacher resources to support children’s learning anytime and anywhere. For more information on PBS KIDS content and initiatives supporting school readiness and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About 9 Story Media Group
9 Story Media Group is a leading creator, producer and distributor of kids and family focused intellectual property. Its award-winning animation studio, Brown Bag Films, is recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Octonauts, Wild Kratts, Peter Rabbit and The Magic School Bus: Rides Again. The company’s international distribution arm, 9 Story Distribution International based in Dublin, represents 3,500 half-hours of animated and live-action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms. Its in-house consumer products division, 9 Story Brands, builds international entertainment brands for kids, with expertise across creative, brand marketing, and licensing. With facilities in Toronto, Dublin, Manchester and New York, 9 Story Media Group employs nearly 700 creative and corporate staff. www.9story.com
About Brown Bag Films
Brown Bag Films are one of the world’s most exciting, original and successful creative-led animation studios. With studio locations in Dublin, Toronto and Manchester, Brown Bag Films create cutting-edge animation for the international market. Brown Bag Films’ much-loved TV shows are viewed by millions of children worldwide and include Doc McStuffins, Top Wing, Vampirina, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peter Rabbit, The Magic School Bus: Rides Again, Wild Kratts and Octonauts. Brown Bag Films are committed to producing the highest-quality, cross-platform animation with strong stories and engaging characters. Founded in 1994 by Cathal Gaffney and Darragh O'Connell, Brown Bag Films have worked with some of the world’s biggest entertainment names, including Disney, Nickelodeon, BBC, Amazon Studios, Netflix and more. www.brownbagfilms.com
About the Ordinary People Change the World Series
Inspired by his love of history, #1 bestselling author Brad Meltzer was determined to give his kids better heroes to emulate. Teaming up with award-winning artist Christopher Eliopoulos, they created the Ordinary People Change the World nonfiction picture book series that focuses on the traits kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. With over 2.5 million books in print, including titles like I am Amelia Earhart, I am Abraham Lincoln, I am Rosa Parks, I am Jane Goodall, and their newest, I am Neil Armstrong, their series from Dial Books for Young Readers sits on the shelves of children nationwide.
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