Al Roker is behind the PBS Kids show Weather Hunters. The animated show, targeting children ages 5-8, helps them understand 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 father Al, 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,” PBS Kids said.
Created by Roker, Weather Hunters is produced by Al Roker Entertainment.
“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 VP 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.”
Each 22-minute episode will explore STEM-based activities and themes, highlighting weather within the broad field of science in terms that kids can understand. "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 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."
Tracie Brennan and Lisa Tucker are executive producers, along with Bill Schultz.
The premiere date has not been shared.
PBS Kids also announced animated series Lyla in the Loop. The show stars Lyla, a 7-year-old Black girl, her close-knit family, blue sidekick creature Stu, and a host of quirky characters living in her community, who spotlight creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills while working collaboratively.
"Lyla in the Loop focuses on the important skills of creative thinking and problem solving through a thoughtful and adventurous approach that meets children in a funny and relatable way,” said DeWitt. “We’re so excited to be partnering with Mighty Picnic and Pipeline Studios to bring this inventive new series to families across the country."
Dave Peth created the show, which is scheduled to premiere early in 2024.
“The message of Lyla in the Loop is that everyone has what it takes to be a creative problem solver,” said Peth. “If you keep asking questions, trying new things, and working together, you’ll find more solutions than you could have imagined – and have a lot of fun along the way.” ■
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.