The Puzzle Place
Created byCecily Truett
Suzanne Singer
Rob Stork
Ellis Weiner
David Yazbek
StarringAlice Dinnean
Carmen Osbahr
Jim Martin
Noel MacNeal
Eric Jacobson
Peter Linz
Matt Vogel
Drew Massey
Alison Mork
Stephanie D'Abruzzo
Terri Hardin
Allan Trautman
Theme music composerSteve Horelick
Janet Weir
ComposersSteve Horelick
Janet Weir
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes75
Production
Executive producersCecily Truett
Larry Lancit
Stephen Kulczycki (seasons 1–2)
Patricia Kunkel (season 3)
Camera setupVideotape; Multi-camera
Running time30 minutes
Production companiesKCET
Lancit Media
Release
Original networkPBS Kids
Picture formatNTSC
Original releaseJanuary 16, 1995 (1995-01-16) –
December 4, 1998 (1998-12-04)

The Puzzle Place is an American children's television series produced by KCET in Los Angeles and Lancit Media in New York City. Although production was dated and premiered on two Los Angeles PBS stations, KCET and KLCS, on September 15, 1994, it did not officially premiere on all PBS stations nationwide until January 16, 1995, with its final episode airing on December 4, 1998, and reruns airing until March 31, 2000. It became one of PBS Kids' most popular series on the line-up since Sesame Street.

On April 3, 2000, Between the Lions replaced it on the schedule of many PBS stations.

Premise

The series follows a multi-ethnic group of children (puppets) from different parts of the United States who work and socialize at the Puzzle Place, which is an industrial plant for manufacturing jigsaw puzzles and child hangout. In each episode, the characters are confronted with an everyday conflict usually encountered in childhood years, such as making moral decisions, sharing, racism and sexism.

Characters

Episodes

Pilot episodes

In early 1994, two pilot episodes were produced for the series known as The Puzzle Works. Eventually, the show was renamed The Puzzle Place shortly before its premiere months later.

Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
140January 16, 1995 (1995-01-16)[1]March 10, 1995 (1995-03-10)
225January 15, 1996 (1996-01-15)February 16, 1996 (1996-02-16)
310October 19, 1998 (1998-10-19)December 4, 1998 (1998-12-04)

Season 1 (1995)

1. Tippy Woo (January 16, 1995):

2. Train Driving Kids (January 17, 1995):

3. Rip Van Wrinkle (January 18, 1995):

4. Accentuate the Positive (January 19, 1995):

5. Gotta Dance (January 20, 1995):

6. Rudy One (January 23, 1995):

7. Butterfingers (January 24, 1995):

8. Rock Dreams (January 25, 1995):

9. Roamantics (January 26, 1995):

10. Spud Buds (January 27, 1995):

11. Different Drummer (January 30, 1995):

12. I Love Kiki (January 31, 1995):

13. True Colors (February 1, 1995):

14. Cute is as Cute Does (February 2, 1995):

15. Leon’s Pizza (February 3, 1995):

16. Real Heroes (February 6, 1995):

17. Going by the Book (February 7, 1995):

18. Mad Music Magic (February 8, 1995):

19. Party of One (February 9, 1995):

20. Dancing Dragon (February 10, 1995):

21. Picture Perfect (February 13, 1995):

22. Maiden Voyages (February 14, 1995):

23. Donuts and Dithering (February 15, 1995):

24. Bully for Jody (February 16, 1995):

25. Ben’s Bad Hair Day (February 17, 1995):

26. All Weather Friends (February 20, 1995):

27. Bread and Matzoh (February 21, 1995):

28. Owning It (February 22, 1995):

29. Baffled Ben (February 23, 1995):

30. Practice Makes Perfect (February 24, 1995):

31. Finders Keepers (February 27, 1995):

32. You Say Potato (February 28, 1995):

33. At the End of Our Rope (March 1, 1995):

34. Just Kidding (March 2, 1995):

35. Everything in its Place (March 3, 1995):

36. Big Boys Don't Cry (March 6, 1995):

37. Here's to the Winners (March 7, 1995):

38. A World of Difference (March 8, 1995):

39. Willing and Able (March 9, 1995):

40. It's Magic (March 10, 1995):

Season 2 (1996)

1. Deck the Halls (January 15, 1996)

2. Dressing Up Is Hard to Do (January 16, 1996)

3. One Way (January 17, 1996)

4. Oldies But Goodies (January 18, 1996)

5. Helping Hands (January 19, 1996)

6. Yellow Belt (January 22, 1996)

7. The Mystery of the Fabulous Hat (January 23, 1996)

8. How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? (January 24, 1996)

9. The New Adventures of Julie Woo (January 25, 1996)

10. We Three Kings (January 26, 1996)

11. Hello, Maggie (January 29, 1996)

12. Off the Track (January 30, 1996)

13. Beautiful Doll (January 31, 1996)

14. Tattle Tales (February 1, 1996)

15. Those Ears, Those Eyes (February 2, 1996)

16. That’s Weird (February 5, 1996)

17. The Ballad of Davy Cricket (February 6, 1996)

18. Little Leon, Big Ben (February 7, 1996)

19. I Scream, You Scream (February 8, 1996)

20. Skye’s Coat (February 9, 1996)

21. It’s Mine (February 12, 1996)

22. One Big, Happy Family (February 13, 1996)

23. Leon Grows Up (February 14, 1996)

24. Cowpokes (February 15, 1996)

25. Hurricane Julie (February 16, 1996)

Season 3 (1998)

1. Family Feud (October 19, 1998)

2. Anything She Can't Do (October 20, 1998)

3. You Don't Match (October 21, 1998)

4. To Have and Have Not (October 26, 1998)

5. Fiesta Follies (October 27, 1998)

6. Between You and Me (October 28, 1998)

7. A Star is Burned (October 29, 1998)

8. Spooky (October 30, 1998)

9. Up! (December 3, 1998)

10. I'm Talking to You (December 4, 1998)

Broadcast

Besides the PBS stations in the United States, the series also aired on TV Cultura in Brazil, Discovery Kids in Latin America, Playhouse Disney in France, Gerje TV in Hungary, RTP in Portugal, ERTU Channel 2 in Egypt, Nickelodeon Greece in Greece, TV Tokyo in Japan, GMTV in the UK, and ABC Kids in Australia.

Home media

During its launch, Sony Wonder (and later KidVision) released The Puzzle Place on VHS. There are currently no plans to release it on DVD.

Reception

In the weeks after its debut, The Puzzle Place won a great deal of acclaim and "enjoyed an average audience-per-viewing second only to Barney and Friends among shows in the popular PBS daily children's block."[2] It received a citation of excellence from UNIMA-USA for its use of puppetry.[3] In 1997, ten more episodes of the show were "in the works".[4] Toys "R" Us, Sears, and Payless ShoeSource all announced that they would carry merchandising from the series and showcase that merchandise in its own separate "boutique" rather than integrating it with the other products.[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Acclaimed Hollywood screenwriter Wesley Strick to adapt Lancit's Maniac Magee for Disney Feature Film; Writer of Cape Fear and Wolf tackles Newbery Medal-Winning book as "A Gift for my Kids". Business Wire. December 21, 1994. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved August 13, 2021 – via The Free Dictionary.
  2. ^ "Lancit Media sees domestic "Puzzle Place" licensing guarantees approaching $12 million; CEO reports "highly promising" early ratings for Lancit/KCET Series at Alex. Brown Media/Communications seminar in NYC". BNET. CNET Networks, Inc. Business Wire. April 4, 1995. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  3. ^ "Citations of Excellence Recipients (1996) RECORDED MEDIA CATEGORY". UNIMA-USA. Archived from the original on May 15, 2008. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
  4. ^ Michaelson, Judith (September 5, 1997). "KCET Chief Leads Station Into Expansion Era". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2009.
  5. ^ "PBS' The Puzzle Place has apparel solved". Discount Store News. 34 (16). August 21, 1995. ISSN 0012-3587. ProQuest 228443836.