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PBS Kids Go!
PBS Kids
LaunchedOctober 11, 2004; 19 years ago (2004-10-11)
ClosedOctober 7, 2013; 10 years ago (2013-10-07)
Country of originUnited States
HeadquartersArlington, Virginia, U.S.
FormatAfternoon programming block
Running time2-3 hours
Original language(s)English

PBS Kids Go! was an educational television brand used by PBS for programs aimed at early elementary-age children, in contrast to the younger, preschool target demographic of PBS Kids.[1] Most PBS member stations aired the PBS Kids Go! block on weekdays during after-school hours, generally 3-6 pm depending on local station scheduling.[2] In addition to the block, there was a PBS Kids Go! section on the PBS Kids website which featured games, videos, and other activities that were geared toward older kids.[3] The brand was used on air and online for nearly nine years from 2004 to 2013.


Development and launch

Upon recognizing that educational programming for elementary-age children was lacking, PBS adjusted its mission to include a greater focus on this older subset of viewers.[2] The PBS Kids Go! programming block was launched on October 11, 2004, alongside the premiere of brand new programs Maya & Miguel and Postcards from Buster. Also part of the block were existing PBS Kids series, Arthur and Cyberchase, both of which were already targeting a slightly older audience.

Cancelled 24-hour channel

In 2005, PBS joined with Comcast and other production companies to form the cable channel PBS Kids Sprout,[4] effectively replacing PBS' original 24-hour PBS Kids Channel. This left many local PBS stations with a vacancy on their multicast digital channel offerings, during a time when digital and high-definition broadcasts were increasing reach and gaining popularity. In April 2006, PBS announced plans for a replacement 24-hour digital multicast network called the PBS Kids Go! Channel. This would expand upon the afternoon PBS Kids Go! block on PBS, with additional new content and reruns of returning programs, such as HIT Entertainment's Wishbone and Kratts' Creatures. Other exclusive content for this channel would include a one-hour Spanish-language block called "PBS Kids Vayan!" (Spanish for "Go!", which would air select shows in Spanish with English subtitles), an evening "Go! Family" block, and an educational "Go! Figure" school block.[5][6]

The PBS Kids Go! Channel was originally set to launch in October 2006. However, stations found that the sliding scale licensing fees were too high for what little exclusive programming they would have received, especially after spending additional funds for the PBS HD feed. With only one-third of PBS stations initially committing to carry the new network, the plans for the channel were ultimately withdrawn.[7]

PBS would later revive the 24/7 PBS Kids Channel on January 16, 2017 (a little over three years after the discontinuation of PBS Kids Go!), this time being structured as a multi-platform service with an online livestream of the channel on the PBS Kids website and video app, in addition to utilizing largely the same distribution methods that had been used for the original channel.[8]

Later years

Despite the failure to launch the 24-hour PBS Kids Go! Channel, the PBS Kids Go! afternoon block continued to air on local PBS stations over the next several years and continued to expand its lineup with new series, such as Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman,[9] WordGirl,[10] The Electric Company,[11] and Wild Kratts.[12] Many stations also carried other series under the PBS Kids Go! brand, such as Design Squad and reruns of Wishbone,[13] which typically aired over the weekend.

As online streaming began to increase in popularity, PBS developed the PBS Kids Go! video player on its website in 2008. This federally-funded, innovative video streaming platform featured video clips from a number of PBS Kids Go! shows which rotated on a weekly basis and linked to interactive online games.[14] The video player would later evolve into the PBS Kids Video app, which is now the primary source for free streaming of on-demand video clips and full episodes of PBS Kids programming.


On May 15, 2013, PBS announced at their annual conference that the PBS Kids Go! brand would be discontinued in the fall, with all Go! programming rebranded with an updated, universal branding design across all of PBS's children's programming.[15] PBS considered the nine year long effort to age up its overall audience to be successful, but studies showed that brand recognition was not strongly differentiated from that of PBS Kids, and many shows ended up being successful with broad audiences in both younger and older age groups.[16] The new PBS Kids redesign was introduced on October 7, 2013, with the premiere of Peg + Cat, at which point PBS Kids Go! was officially discontinued. After the shutdown, all shows that premiered before the launch of the PBS Kids Go! block returned to the main PBS Kids block after nearly a decade, and all shows that premiered during the PBS Kids Go! block were permanently moved to the main PBS Kids block.


Former programming

Original programming

Title Premiere date End date
Arthur1 3 October 11, 2004 October 7, 2013
Cyberchase1 3
DragonflyTV1 May 30, 2010
Postcards from Buster February 24, 2012
Maya & Miguel October 10, 2007
Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman May 29, 2006 November 4, 2010
Design Squad February 21, 2007 December 9, 2009
Wishbone1 2 June 2, 2007 October 7, 2013
WordGirl3 September 3, 2007
Animalia January 5, 2008 September 6, 2009
The Electric Company January 19, 2009 August 27, 2012
SciGirls3 February 11, 2010 October 7, 2013
Wild Kratts3 January 3, 2011

Shorts and web series

PBS Kids Go! aired shorts and other interstitial content related to its main programming, usually in between episodes or right before the end credits. Short-form programming included The Amazing Colossal Adventures of WordGirl (debuted on November 10, 2006, and later became a full series[17]) and Oh Noah! (debuted as Noah Comprende on April 11, 2011[18]), both of which were featured on air and online. As with many other PBS Kids shows, there was miscellaneous live-action interstitial content featuring kids talking about things they do; about their families' heritage; or other topics specific to the associated program, typically used as a time-filler. In addition, there were web-exclusive short series on the PBS Kids Go! website, including Fizzy's Lunch Lab,[19] Jim Henson's Wilson & Ditch: Digging America,[20] and Chuck Vanderchuck's 'Something Something' Explosion.[18] The PBS Kids Go! website was also home for new companion websites of then out-of-production series Kratts' Creatures and Zoom, and other educational websites, like "KidsWorld Sports" and "It's My Life".

Writing and illustrating contest

Main article: PBS Kids Writers Contest

In 2009, PBS launched the first contest called PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest to continue the annual writing and illustrating competition for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade, which started in 1995 as the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest. In 2014, it was renamed to PBS Kids Writers Contest.


  1. ^ "Early Elementary School Kids Turning To PBS KIDS GO! For A Place Of Their Own". About PBS - Main. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "In 2004, PBS Focuses on New Platforms While Delivering on Public Service Mission". About PBS - Main. Retrieved July 11, 2022.
  3. ^ "PBS KIDS GO!". February 5, 2005. Archived from the original on February 5, 2005. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  4. ^ "Comcast, HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop Announce Plans to Launch Ground-Breaking 24-hour Preschool Children's Television Channel". About PBS - Main. October 20, 2004. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  5. ^ "PBS KIDS GO! Channel To Launch October 2006". About PBS - Main. April 4, 2006. Retrieved August 5, 2022.
  6. ^ Egner, Jeremy (April 3, 2006). "World and Go! streams flow into PBS plans". Current. Archived from the original on April 25, 2016. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Everhart, Karen (July 17, 2006). "PBS Kids Go! channel: plan is no-go for now". Current. Current Publishing Committee. Archived from the original on May 9, 2016. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  8. ^ Evans, Greg (February 23, 2016). "PBS To Launch PBS Kids – A 24/7 Children's Channel And Live Stream". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  9. ^ "FETCH!™ with Ruff Ruffman Unleashed on the Web on PBS KIDS GO!". PRWeb. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  10. ^ "LITERACY TAKES THE LEAD ON PBS KIDS AND PBS KIDS GO!". About PBS - Main. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  11. ^ Weisman, Jon (July 13, 2009). "PBS offers surge of 'Electric Company'". Variety. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  12. ^ bbAdmin (July 28, 2010). "Kratt Brothers Team up with 9 Story for New Animal Adventure Comedy Series - "Wild Kratts" on PBS Kids GO!® Premieres January 2010". 9 Story Media Group. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  13. ^ "PBS Pressroom - WISHBONE". February 3, 2008. Archived from the original on February 3, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  14. ^ "PBS KIDS GO! Debuts Full-Screen Online Video Player". Animation World Network. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  15. ^ @yvonneinla (May 15, 2013). "Register" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  16. ^ "PBS Kids Go! goes bye-bye as colorful branding revamp rolls out to stations |". August 10, 2013. Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  17. ^ "LITERACY TAKES THE LEAD ON PBS KIDS AND PBS KIDS GO!". About PBS - Main. Retrieved July 15, 2022.
  18. ^ a b "PBS Launches New Spanish Language and Music Web Series on PBSKIDSGO.ORG". About PBS - Main. Retrieved July 15, 2022.