Kids will Learn Alongside Young Jackie Robinson, Amelia Earhart and Others
Pasadena, Calif., February 1, 2019 – Today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS KIDS announced that the new animated series XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM will premiere on Monday, November 11, 2019. Based on the children’s book series Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos, the series will introduce kids to inspiring historical figures and the character virtues that helped them succeed. The series is produced by 9 Story Media Group’s award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, and will debut nationwide on PBS stations, the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and PBS KIDS digital platforms.
“At PBS KIDS, we always want children to see themselves in our characters,” said Linda Simensky, Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS. “XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM aligns with this commitment, showing kids that they can be change-makers through the relatable stories of history’s most iconic figures. Author Brad Meltzer is a visionary storyteller, and we’re thrilled to partner with him and 9 Story Media Group to bring this series to life. We hope that it will help kids across America discover that anyone can change the world.”
The series follows the adventures of Xavier Riddle, his sister Yadina and their friend Brad. In each episode, the three face a problem and must turn to the Secret Museum to help them solve it. The Secret Museum allows the three friends to travel back in time to meet real-life historical figures when they were kids.
XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM takes a fresh and accessible approach to teaching kids ages 4-7 about important historical figures and the experiences that shaped their lives, while exploring social emotional concepts and character traits such as courage, resilience, and setting and accomplishing goals. Each episode is designed to help young viewers make the connection between the attributes that made each historical figure a hero and those same qualities within themselves, helping them to recognize their unlimited potential. From an inspirational encounter with a young Marie Curie, who follows her dreams no matter what, to learning from a school-aged Harriet Tubman, who models courage and bravely moves forward even when she is scared, the series will help kids relate to seemingly larger-than-life individuals. Other historical figures to be featured include Alexander Hamilton, Susan B. Anthony, Maya Angelou and more.
“XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM isn’t just an entertaining educational series, but something much more personal to me. I was determined to give my kids better heroes to emulate,” said author Brad Meltzer. “When my own kids watch this series, I get to see them realize that there’s extraordinary within the ordinary. This was my hope in creating the book series for my kids — and my hope for children around the world. Through this show and the heroes we feature, I hope all children find their own heroic abilities and feel empowered to change the world.”
In addition to the XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM series premiere, kids, parents and teachers will be able to stream clips and full episodes across PBS KIDS’ video platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video App. XAVIER-themed games will be available on pbskids.org and the free PBS KIDS Games App. To extend the learning at home, parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities, will be available on the PBS KIDS for Parents site. For educators, PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.
”We are so excited to share XAVIER RIDDLE AND THE SECRET MUSEUM with the PBS KIDS audience,” said Angela Santomero, Chief Creative Officer for 9 Story. “This series has it all – endearing characters, action-packed adventures, a healthy dose of humor and an important message for kids. We love that it celebrates the idea that kids have the curiosity and adventurous spirit to change the world. This series does just that and inspires us all.”
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 over 4,000 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 over 800 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 the recent, I am Neil Armstrong, their series from Dial Books for Young Readers sits on the shelves of children nationwide.
Lubna Abuulbah, PBS KIDS; 703-739-8463; firstname.lastname@example.org