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PBS to air series with autistic characters

Nov 9, 2023, Kids Screen: PBS KIDS greenlights its first series built around autistic characters

A group of 2D-animated animals—some on and some off the spectrum—will headline this new series created by New York Times bestselling children's author Zachariah OHora.

PBS KIDS has commissioned Fuzzytown Productions and Spiffy Pictures to produce Carl the Collector, its first series featuring a cast of characters who are on the autism spectrum.

Set for a fall 2024 premiere, this 2D-animated concept for four- to eight-year-olds was created by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Zachariah OHora (My Cousin Momo).

Carl the Collector centers around an autistic raccoon who is smart and energetic, but who struggles with anxiety in new situations and when things don’t go according to plan. He has a huge collection of things (from the perfect fake mustache for a disguise, to a soft plushie when a friend is in need) to help him solve whatever problems his friends, who are both on and off the spectrum, are facing.

The PBS greenlight is for 40 x 22-minute episodes (each one tells two 11-minute stories). Canadian studio Yowza! Animation (Green Eggs and Ham) will handle the animation, Spiffy Pictures co-founder Adam Rudman (Donkey Hodie) is working on scripts as head writer, and OHora will executive produce.

Advisors on board include Dr. Geraldine Oades-Sese, a licensed child psychologist and kids book author; and Stephen Shore, an autistic professor of special education at New York’s Adelphi University. “Carl the Collector will become a great tool for both autistic and non-autistic people to gain insight on autism,” says Shore.


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