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Carl the Collector, the first animated series centering on autistic characters, to debut on PBS Kids in Fall 2024.

fe0325fe6a Carl 0002 with logo

PBS KIDS announced today the upcoming release of CARL THE COLLECTOR, an animated series for children ages 4-8. This show will be the first to feature a lead character on the autism spectrum. The series was created by Zachariah OHora, a best-selling illustrator and author known for “My Cousin Momo!”, and it is produced by Fuzzytown Productions and Spiffy Pictures. Through its stories, the series aims to celebrate the various ways children think and express themselves while also helping them develop a strong sense of self and community. CARL THE COLLECTOR is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2024 on PBS KIDS.

“CARL THE COLLECTOR values inclusion and empathy while modeling relationship-building and social skill development, wrapped up in humor, heart, and incredible visual design,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “We are excited for children to get to know Carl and his group of friends, who believe that the best experiences occur when we honor the things that make each of us unique.”

“My hope for Carl and his diverse group of Fuzzytown friends is that they will inspire neurodiverse and neurotypical kids alike to foster a world in which neurodiversity is not only recognized as a benefit to society, but is celebrated as exemplifying the full spectrum of what it means to be human,” said Creator and Executive Producer, Zachariah OHora.

CARL THE COLLECTOR is about the everyday adventures of Carl, an autistic raccoon who loves collecting things. Carl has a laser-focus pursuit of his goals, pays attention to detail, and has a unique way of looking at and experiencing the world. These qualities have helped him build a collection for various occasions, such as having the perfect fake mustache or a soft plushie for a friend in need. Carl’s talents also come in handy when he solves problems with his friends in the neighborhood. While Carl is energetic, logical, and precise, he often struggles with anxiety in new situations and when things don’t go as planned. Like his friends, he is learning that there is no right or wrong way to be himself.

Carl has a diverse group of friends in Fuzzytown. They have different traits, behaviors, learning preferences, and challenges. Sheldon, Carl’s best friend, is a beaver who is good at connecting people and looking out for the underdog. Lotta is a quiet and self-assured fox who is also autistic. She is sensitive to loud sounds, strong smells, and certain food textures. Nico and Arugula are twin bunny sisters who may look alike but have distinct personalities. Forrest, a hyperactive squirrel, is always ready for an adventure, despite having a tree nut allergy.

“In today’s world, inclusivity and representation in programming is more important than ever, especially for the youngest of viewers,” said Caroline Bandolik, Supervising Producer and Vice President of Production for Spiffy Pictures. “We instantly fell in love with this beautiful Fuzzytown world Zachariah created, filled with engaging and relatable characters and funny, heartfelt stories.”

CARL THE COLLECTOR was created by Zachariah OHora and is produced by Fuzzytown Productions and Spiffy Pictures (DONKEY HODIE, NATURE CAT). The series is animated by Emmy®- and Annie Award-nominated Yowza! Animation (WELCOME TO THE WAYNE, GREEN EGGS AND HAM). Caroline Bandolik (NATURE CAT, DONKEY HODIE) is Supervising Producer. Jesse McMahon (NATURE CAT, CYBERCHASE, MAGIC SCHOOL BUS RIDES AGAIN) is Content Producer. Adam Rudman (NATURE CAT, DONKEY HODIE, SESAME STREET), Emmy®-winning writer and co-founder of Spiffy Pictures, is Head Writer. The team of contributing writers include the Emmy®-nominated television and picture book writer Samantha Berger, advocate and actress Ava X. Rigelhaupt, the Emmy®-winning writer, director, and puppeteer Joey Mazzarino, and award-winning children’s book authors Kelly DiPucchio, and Bob Shea.

The series combines a diverse production team of neurodiverse and neurotypical writers, advisors, and voice talent. Advisors include Dr. Geraldine Oades-Sese, Ph.D, a licensed psychologist, children’s book author, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Dr. Stephen Shore, Professor at Adelphi University and adjunct professor at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development; and Deborah Farmer Kris, M.A., educator, author, parenting columnist, and consultant for PBS KIDS for Parents.

“As an autistic person, I continue to be amazed at the level of detail and effort the team expends to assure that Carl and Lotta are authentic to the autistic experience,” said Dr. Stephen Shore. “In addition to being an interesting series, CARL THE COLLECTOR will become a great tool for both autistic and non-autistic people to gain insight on autism. Although designed for young kids, I plan on using relevant excerpts to supplement my university teaching and presentations worldwide.”

“It is about time for a children’s show like CARL THE COLLECTOR, which embraces the diversity of children’s experiences and showcases an inclusive and relatable world,” said Dr. Geraldine Oades-Sese, Ph.D. “The show doesn’t shy away from having its main characters experience common mental health challenges such as anxiety, fear, sadness, and the need for acceptance and belonging. Carl and his Fuzzytown friends take viewers on fun and humorous adventures that will help them understand and empathize with the characters, and ultimately, extend that understanding and compassion for others.”

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