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
Original release
NetworkPBS Kids
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 gather and socialize at a special workshop known as the Puzzle Place. 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)

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleOriginal air date
11"Tippy Woo"January 16, 1995 (1995-01-16)

Julie obtains a teddy bear, and names it after herself "Tippy Wu". She also remarks on some unflattering nicknames other kids have given her, per her last name "Wu".

Featured song: “It’s My Name,” performed by Julie and the kids
22"Train Driving Kids"January 17, 1995 (1995-01-17)

The boys have a model train but refuse to share with the girls, insisting it’s a boys’ activity. Gradually everyone takes to other suggested activities, leaving only Leon and Kiki still wanting to play with the model train. Nuzzle struggles to play a toy xylophone.

Featured song: “I Can Do Anything,” performed by the kids
33"Rip Van Wrinkle"January 18, 1995 (1995-01-18)

Leon, Kiki, Julie and Skye host a slumber party, but have to work together to help each other's bedtime routines/needs be met, or else the “slumber” part will be difficult. Sizzle and Nuzzle try to be nocturnal, but it’s harder than it seems. Ben and Jody only make cameo appearances.

Featured song: “Kumbaya,” performed by Vaneese Thomas
44"Accentuate the Positive"January 19, 1995 (1995-01-19)

Kiki dresses as a space alien, distressed that other kids at school laughed at her Hispanic accent.

Featured song: “Small World,” performed by Kiki and the kids
55"Gotta Dance"January 20, 1995 (1995-01-20)

The kids obtain a sheet of dance steps and learn of various cultural dances while trying to decipher it. Sizzle recalls the time Nuzzle criticized her for carrying her tail wrong and refuses to dance with him again.
Guest stars: Nia Peeples and Fred Kelly as themselves

Featured song: “Cha-Cha,” performed by the kids
66"Rudy One"January 23, 1995 (1995-01-23)

A robot shows up at the Puzzle Place and befriends Leon, while insulting everyone else, in an attempt to sabotage everyone’s friendship. Sizzle turns to Nuzzle for advice after a new cat calls her a “snooty patootie.”

Featured song: “You Can’t Say That,” performed by the kids and Rudy One
77"Butterfingers"January 24, 1995 (1995-01-24)

The kids hold a relay race, but Ben drops his baton, prompting the nickname “Butterfingers” from everyone else. Nuzzle tries to show off his bravado by wanting to be called “Professor Muscles.”
Featured song: “I Believe in Me,” performed by Ben

Guest star: Mark Nizer as Ben's cousin Mark
88"Rock Dreams"January 25, 1995 (1995-01-25)

Skye aspires to perform music, but is discouraged by the fact that he doesn't know very many Native American performers. Eventually he makes contact with Native American Robby Romero and his band, Red Thunder, who reassure him. Nuzzle gets so tired of watching Sizzle listen to Swiss yodeling music that he tries to make her yodel herself.
Featured songs: “Born to Strum,” “Stevie Wonder,” and “Julio Iglesias,” performed by Skye; “The Prayer Song,” performed by Red Thunder

Guest stars: Red Thunder as themselves
99"Roamantics"January 26, 1995 (1995-01-26)

Ben brings in an ant farm to show everyone, but Leon unwittingly wreaks havoc in an attempt to give the ants fresh air, and has to make some sacrafices to restore order to The Puzzle Place. Nuzzle gets carried away with a roll of paper towel.

Featured song: “Anticipate,” performed by Leon
1010"Spud Buds"January 27, 1995 (1995-01-27)

Skye finds a party box in the kitchen, but everyone else is too distracted watching TV to take interest. Nuzzle wishes he hadn’t let Sizzle use a flying machine all she wants.
Featured song: “Changing Channels,” performed by Skye and the kids

Notes: Several of the puppet performers appear on-screen in live action clips the kids watch on TV: Jim Martin and Alison Mork as paleontologists who meet a dinosaur; Peter Linz and Alice Dinnean as the stars of a cheap children’s show; and Carmen Osbahr as a soap star.
1111"Different Drummer"January 30, 1995 (1995-01-30)

Julie plays referee to Skye and Leon’s dispute over whose cultural drum is more significant. The two eventually agree that both drugs are significant in their own way, and neither's is necessarily better. Sizzle takes up skateboarding.

Featured song: “All the Different Drummers,” performed by Skye and Leon
1212"I Love Kiki"January 31, 1995 (1995-01-31)

Kiki is at a loss as to what to do when she unwittingly “breaks” Julie’s toy horse, and can't bring herself to tell her. Sizzle looks after the sneaker that Nuzzle likes to chew on, but when the Piece Police throw it out as she naps, she panics. Ben does not appear in this episode.

Featured song: “I Think I’ll Do It,” performed by Kiki
1313"True Colors"February 1, 1995 (1995-02-01)

The kids all partner up to paint one another, but initially can’t find a suitable paint color for everyone. Their second attempt, using chalk of different colors, is much more successful. Sizzle wants to paint a self-portrait, but it’s too hard for her.
Featured song: “Colors,” performed by an uncredited session singer

Guest star: Anna Mason as herself
1414"Cute Is as Cute Does"February 2, 1995 (1995-02-02)

Julie wants to emulate her favorite singer, Penny Candy, but sees her true colors when a crisis in the greenhouse hits. Nuzzle bores Sizzle to sleep when he tries to show her a photo album of when he was a puppy. Leon and Ben only make cameo appearances.
Featured song: “C.U.T.E. Cute,”[a] performed by Penny Candy

Guest star: Amy Hill as Penny Candy
1515"Leon’s Pizza"February 3, 1995 (1995-02-03)

Leon wants to make a pizza for everyone, but he needs a creative solution to satisfy everyone’s different topping preferences. Sizzle and Nuzzle fight over which toy is better.

Featured song: “Pizza,” performed by the kids
1616"Real Heroes"February 6, 1995 (1995-02-06)

The kids compare their favorite superheroes but need to band together when the pets get caught in a dangerous situation.
Featured song: “My Hero,” performed by the kids

Guest star: Robert Townsend
1717"Going by the Book"February 7, 1995 (1995-02-07)

The kids want to play Sleeping Beauty, but as four of them don’t fit the description of the protagonists, they research other princes and princesses that reflect their individual heritages.

Featured song: “No One Can Be It Like You,” performed by the kids
1818"Mad Music Magic"February 8, 1995 (1995-02-08)

Kiki leads the kids in a makeshift band, but her authority seems to do more harm than good when she won’t allow them to play their preferred instruments. Sizzle attends her cousin’s birthday party, so Nuzzle tries to be the dog and the cat at the same time.

Featured song: “I Can Sing,” performed by Kiki
1919"Party of One"February 9, 1995 (1995-02-09)

Leon learns a hard lesson in racism when he’s barred from attending a friend’s birthday party simply because he’s African-American. Nuzzle refuses to fetch a stick for Kiki because she didn’t say “the magic word” (which Sizzle tries in vain to guess).

Featured song: “A Lot Like Me,” performed by Leon and the kids
2020"Dancing Dragon"February 10, 1995 (1995-02-10)

Skye and Kiki unwittingly invade Julie’s privacy by opening a package meant for her. Nuzzle and Sizzle cause some mischief with it.

Featured song: “Dancing Dragon,” performed by the kids
2121"Picture Perfect"February 13, 1995 (1995-02-13)

Ben is unwilling to wear his glasses for a group picture because of some teasing, but unwittingly wreaks havoc when he spends a day without them. Nuzzle goes for a “hip cat” approach, which fails to impress Sizzle.

Featured song: “My Glasses,” performed by an uncredited session singer
2222"Maiden Voyages"February 14, 1995 (1995-02-14)

While the others turn the basement into a moonwalk with many balloons, Kiki and Julie enjoy moon cakes, but a humorous misunderstanding may mean Julie will marry Leon.

Featured song: "You for Me, Me for You," performed by an uncredited session singer
2323"Donuts and Dithering"February 15, 1995 (1995-02-15)

The kids receive six assorted donuts, and Jody gets first dibs, but she struggles to decide which one she wants. Leon attempts to manipulate her choice to keep her from picking the one he wants, but it backfires. Sizzle and Nuzzle so badly want to take a donut themselves.

Featured song: “It’s Up to You,” performed by the kids
2424"Bully for Jody"February 16, 1995 (1995-02-16)

Jody is a victim of bullying when a bigger student keeps stealing her lunch. Sizzle also tries to keep away a bigger cat.
Featured song: “Friends,” performed by the kids

Guest stars: Sinbad as himself, Ben Ryan Ganger as the bully
2525"Ben’s Bad Hair Day"February 17, 1995 (1995-02-17)

Ben attempts to change his “boring” hairstyle with disastrous results, before learning that his hair was fine the way it was.

Featured song: “Hair,” performed by Ben and the kids.
2626"All Weather Friends"February 20, 1995 (1995-02-20)

When a storm hits the Puzzle Place, Leon is embarrassed to admit he is afraid of thunder and lightning.

Featured song: “Children of the Earth,” performed by Skye
2727"Bread and Matzoh"February 21, 1995 (1995-02-21)

Skye brings some special bread from his tribe to share with the kids but is troubled when Jody refuses to try any for eight days. It turns out the reason is because of one of her own Jewish customs. Sizzle and Nuzzle get very hungry because the kids forget to feed them.

Featured song: “Bread,” performed by the kids
2828"Owning It"February 22, 1995 (1995-02-22)

Leon obtains a new watch but drives everyone else crazy with it, causing them to snap back at him. Kiki is preparing chili in the kitchen, and Sizzle and Nuzzle want to taste it so badly.

Guest star: Paula Poundstone
2929"Baffled Ben"February 23, 1995 (1995-02-23)

Ben is struggling to put together a puzzle but angrily snaps and puts down anyone who tries to help him. He also insults Sky's special plant, which grows when complimented, but shrinks when put down.

Featured song: "Saying Something Nice," performed by Ben and the kids
3030"Practice Makes Perfect"February 24, 1995 (1995-02-24)

While nearly all the kids are sick with chickenpox, Skye finds a guitar and wants to play it, but he is slow to understand that he has to put time and effort into becoming good at it. Sizzle tries playing billiards. Ben and Julie only make cameo appearances.
Featured song: “Keep on Trying,” performed by an uncredited session singer

Guest stars: Los Camperos de Nati Cano as themselves
3131"Finders Keepers"February 27, 1995 (1995-02-27)

Julie finds Skye’s misplaced Apache pollen pouch and is so enamored with it that she doesn’t return it right away, damaging her friendship with Skye when she finally does. Jody does not appear in this episode. However, she does send the other kids an automatic popcorn snack, which, when heating up, makes Sizzle and Nuzzle curious.
Featured song: “The Sacred Ways of My People,” performed by Skye.

Note: Part of this episode appeared on the video Kids for Character to illustrate trustworthiness.
3232"You Say Potato"February 28, 1995 (1995-02-28)

The kids bring in items for a picnic but can’t seem to agree on where to have it. While Leon and Jody are content to go anywhere, Skye and Julie prefer the mountains and Ben and Kiki prefer the park. Even the two duos can’t agree on the specifics. Sizzle and Nuzzle are excited to go on the picnic themselves, especially for bird-watching.

Featured song: “Picnic,” performed by the kids
3333"At the End of Our Rope"March 1, 1995 (1995-03-01)
The boys challenge the girls to a game of tug of war but are unexpectedly defeated and can’t figure out why.
3434"Just Kidding"March 2, 1995 (1995-03-02)

The others tease Skye when he forgets to bring a bat to a baseball game, prompting Skye to get upset and leave. Ben feels badly their teasing, even though they were just joking. Sizzle and Nuzzle climb up a tree in the greenhouse but are too scared to come down. Leon and Kiki only make cameo appearances

Featured song: “I’m Glad I’m with You,” performed by Sizzle and Nuzzle
3535"Everything in Its Place"March 3, 1995 (1995-03-03)
Kiki makes plans to clean the place, but it doesn’t go as planned.
3636"Big Boys Don’t Cry"March 6, 1995 (1995-03-06)

Leon cries when the others exclude him from his own pancake making recipe and is labelled a “crybaby” by Ben and Skye. Julie convinces the two that they've had reason to cry in the past. Sizzle and Nuzzle filch all the pancakes made, and get sick from doing so.

Featured song: “Let Them Show,” performed by an uncredited session singer
3737"Here’s to the Winners"March 7, 1995 (1995-03-07)

Ben becomes discouraged when everyone but him has won a trophy for something, even though he does have an impressive skill that’s worthy of a prize in and of itself. Sizzle and Nuzzle do not appear in this episode, and Skye and Julie only make cameo appearances.
Featured song: “Ben the Winner,” performed by the kids

Guest star: Justin Lord
3838"A World of Difference"March 8, 1995 (1995-03-08)

Everyone except Skye disguise themselves as identical superheroes, but Skye can use each one's individual quirks to tell who is who.

Featured song: “One of a Kind,” performed by Skye, Nuzzle, and the kids
3939"Willing and Able"March 9, 1995 (1995-03-09)

Ben takes pity on Skye’s friend Kyle, who’s in a wheelchair. Sizzle and Nuzzle find out the hard way that she can’t bury a bone and he can’t climb a tree. Leon and Kiki only make a cameo appearance in this episode.
Featured song: “We’re All the Same,” performed by the kids and Kyle

Guest performer: Drew Massey as Kyle
4040"It's Magic"March 10, 1995 (1995-03-10)

Kiki becomes scared when her friends disappear after a failed magic act. Nuzzle becomes inspired by a heroic dog on TV.

Featured song: “On My Own,” performed by Kiki
  1. ^ Referred to in the episode as “And I’m Cute to Boot,” but listed in the credits as “C.U.T.E. Cute.”

Season 2 (1996)

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleOriginal air date
411"Deck the Halls"January 15, 1996 (1996-01-15)

The kids prepare for Christmas but are shocked that Jody does not celebrate with them.
Featured songs: “Holiday Lights,” performed by the kids; “Jingle Bells,” performed by Patti LaBelle

Guest star: Patti LaBelle as herself
422"Dressing Up Is Hard to Do"January 16, 1996 (1996-01-16)

Julie criticizes what Jody wants to wear to the “grown-up” theme party at Puzzle Place. But when the others kids like Jody’s outfit better than hers, Julie learns that the only reason you need for wearing something is because you like it.

Featured song: “It’s You,” performed by the kids
433"One Way"January 17, 1996 (1996-01-17)

Skye and Leon find out that there are many ways to make kites and that just because one way works doesn’t mean another way won’t work just as well. Sizzle attempts playing basketball. Julie and Ben do not appear in this episode.

Featured song: “Each in Our Own Way,” performed by Kiki, Leon, Skye, and Jody
444"Oldies But Goodies"January 18, 1996 (1996-01-18)
Julie is torn between spending the day with her grandmother or singing in the talent show. Skye and Jody do not appear in this episode.
455"Helping Hands"January 19, 1996 (1996-01-19)

Kiki decides to prune a big tree by herself and becomes exasperated when she discovers that the job is too much for her to do alone. She learns that it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Nuzzle obtains a motorcycle and Sizzle so badly wants to try it herself. Julie, Ben, and Leon do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “Just Call My Name,” performed by Jody, Kiki, Kyle, Sizzle and Nuzzle

Guest performers: Allan Trautman (puppeteer) and Terri Hardin (voice) as Kyle
466"Yellow Belt"January 22, 1996 (1996-01-22)
When Ben teases Jody that girls can’t learn martial arts, she quickly teaches him a lesson.
477"The Mystery of the Fabulous Hat"January 23, 1996 (1996-01-23)

Leon learns that playing Sherlock Holmes isn’t enough to solve a mystery. He needs Dr. Watson, his teammate Ben. Everyone learns that being part of a team means respecting your teammates and appreciating their unique contributions. Sizzle and Nuzzle steal the fabulous hat in question and destroy it. Julie and Skye do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “Two Heads Are Better Than One,” performed by Leon and Ben

Guest star: Lynne Thigpen as The Chief
488"How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?"January 24, 1996 (1996-01-24)

Kiki tries to prove to her mother that she’s ready to take care of a pet by taking care of Nuzzle. She soon realizes that she’s not ready for the responsibility. Sizzle so badly wants to climb a curtain in the basement but keeps falling down.

Featured song: “Doggone Shame” performed by Nuzzle
499"The New Adventures of Julie Woo"January 25, 1996 (1996-01-25)

Julie tries out a new and different game and realizes how much fun it can be. Nuzzle takes up the Scottish bagpipes and tries to get Sizzle to play too, all the while annoying her by calling her “lassie.” Kiki and Leon do not appear in this episode.

Featured song: “Into the New,” performed by Julie
5010"We Three Kings"January 26, 1996 (1996-01-26)

When Leon’s uncle tells him he’s the “king of kids,” Leon suddenly gets an ego boost and acts royally around The Puzzle Place, making Skye and Ben his subjects. Eventually, pro-basketball player Cedric Ceballos tells them that there is a difference between being bossy and being a leader. Sizzle suddenly decides to be “queen of cats” and makes Nuzzle do everything for her.
Featured song: “If I Were King,” performed by Leon and the kids

Guest stars: James Black as Leon’s Uncle Ray, Cedric Ceballos as himself
5111"Hello, Maggie"January 29, 1996 (1996-01-29)

Kiki’s cousin Maggie visits from Mexico. Even though she only speaks Spanish, the other kids learn that friendship and communication can develop through gestures and a few simple words. Nuzzle gets trapped in a dollhouse. Leon and Jody do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “Friendship Is a Garden,” performed by Skye and Maggie

Note: Carmen Osbahr performs Maggie.
5212"Off the Track"January 30, 1996 (1996-01-30)

Ben and Leon fight over who gets to lay the last piece of train track. They get so angry that they hit each other and their fight ruins the game for everyone, including themselves. Once they realize that fighting is a bad idea, they learn what else they can do when they feel so angry that they want to hit someone. A replay of their fight shows them points where they could have stopped to talk things out.

Guest star: Ernie Hudson
5313"Beautiful Doll"January 31, 1996 (1996-01-31)

Unbeknownst to Julie, Nuzzle has taken her favorite doll. Julie is understandably upset, so Leon decides to conduct an all-out search. Ben and Skye do not appear in this episode.

Featured song: “You’re My Doll,” performed by Julie, Kiki, Leon, and Jody
5414"Tattle Tales"February 1, 1996 (1996-02-01)
Leon sees his brother accidentally break his father’s favorite lamp. Leon doesn’t want to be a tattletale, but he doesn’t want to lie either. When he learns that telling the truth is not the same as tattling, he knows just what to do.
5515"Those Ears, Those Eyes"February 2, 1996 (1996-02-02)
Julie is upset because a classmate calls her eyes “funny.” Her friends help her see that everyone’s eyes are different and beautiful, and that they are all just right for them. Nuzzle imagines what it would be like to have different kinds of ears.
5616"That’s Weird"February 5, 1996 (1996-02-05)

The children think Ben’s Norwegian dancing and traditional costumes are weird. They soon learn that things that are new to them just might be interesting, not weird. Sizzle, likewise, finds Nuzzle chewing on a toy car weird. Skye and Jody do not appear in this episode.

Note: This episode does not feature an original song.
5717"The Ballad of Davy Cricket"February 6, 1996 (1996-02-06)

When Jody’s pet cricket dies, the friends share how different cultures deal with death. Children learn what to do with all the strong feelings that come up when someone (or something) they love dies. They find answers in the traditional practices of their culture, their families and their friends. Nuzzle is so excited to see his favorite dog groomer that Sizzle couldn’t care less. Ben and Skye do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “When I Think of You,” performed by Jody

Guest star: Martin Grey as Jody’s dad
5818"Little Leon, Big Ben"February 7, 1996 (1996-02-07)

The children decide to host a circus. But Leon is too small to fit into a costume. With his friends’ help, he discovers that size shouldn’t matter.

Featured song: “I’m Me” performed by Ben and Leon
5919"I Scream, You Scream"February 8, 1996 (1996-02-08)

Jody and the kids learn that dealing with a difficult situation is easier when you’re able to talk about your feelings, especially with issues like divorce and remarriage. Sizzle and Nuzzle think of ways to organize the basement. Julie and Ben do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “Can We Talk,” performed by Jody
Guest stars: Susan Angelo as Debbie, Martin Grey as Jody’s dad, Lyndon Mosse as a waiter

Note: Noel MacNeal appears on screen as a French waiter.
6020"Skye’s Coat"February 9, 1996 (1996-02-09)

Everyone has a new raincoat except Skye. The kids convince him that he can make his raincoat special by decorating it in his own way.

Featured song: “In the Rain,” performed by Skye
6121"It’s Mine"February 12, 1996 (1996-02-12)

Julie and Kiki want to play with the same thing at the same time. With the help of Skye’s Uncle Victorio, a member of the Tribunal Council, they learn that the best way to solve a conflict is to make a rule that everyone agrees to follow. The kids brainstorm lots of ideas before they finally find a rule that everyone thinks will work. Sizzle and Nuzzle fight over napping spots. Ben and Jody do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “Find Another Way,” performed by Julie, Kiki, Leon, and Skye

Guest star: Miguel Najera as Skye’s Uncle Victorio
6222"One Big, Happy Family"February 13, 1996 (1996-02-13)
Ben, Skye and Julie cheer up Jody after a boy makes fun of her nontraditional family.
6323"Leon Grows Up"February 14, 1996 (1996-02-14)

Leon wants to be a grownup because he thinks grownups can do whatever they want. When he realizes that there are lots of things grownups have to do that kids don’t have to worry about, he decides he can wait. Sizzle wears a new sweater that makes her sneeze, and Nuzzle thinks he can be a doctor to her. Julie and Skye do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “When I’m a Grownup,” performed by Leon and the kids

Guest star: T.C. Carson as himself
6424"Cowpokes"February 15, 1996 (1996-02-15)

Julie and Leon are scared of something they’ve never tried: horseback riding. They find out that when you have the courage to try new things you end up being proud of yourself. Ben and Jody do not appear in this episode.

Featured song: "Cowboy Way," performed by Julie, Kiki, Leon, and Skye
6525"Hurricane Julie"February 16, 1996 (1996-02-16)

When Julie sees that her excitement about playing in the wading pool is actually hurting people (and pets), she understands that it is important to be careful.

Featured song: “Be Cool,” performed by the kids

Season 3 (1998)

No.
overall
No. in
series
TitleOriginal air date
661"Family Fun"October 19, 1998 (1998-10-19)

On family photo day, the gang learns about diverse types of families. Nuzzle and Sizzle see a single-parent family, a grandparent lead family, and an adoptive family.

Guest star: Lauren Tom as Julie's mom
672"Anything She Can Do"October 20, 1998 (1998-10-20)

Julie is upset because her mother gives so much attention to her baby sister, Helen. Nuzzle is suspicious of the newly installed pet door.

Guest star: Lauren Tom as Julie's mom
683"You Don’t Match"October 21, 1998 (1998-10-21)
Ben’s lack of exposure to diversity causes him to assume that Tim can’t be Leon’s cousin because Tim is too fair-skinned. When he learns he is wrong, Ben’s openness in accepting his mistake helps his view of the world grow as he discovers that even people who are the same race have different colors of skin.
694"To Have and Have Not"October 26, 1998 (1998-10-26)
Skye worries that the others won't play with him because his parents refuse to buy an expensive new toy. Nuzzle fakes an injury to get sympathy.
705"Fiesta Follies"October 27, 1998 (1998-10-27)
The gang wants to throw Kiki a birthday party, but they learn that she likes different things than they do. Meanwhile, Sizzle becomes a Mexican heartthrob's biggest fan.
716"Between You and Me"October 28, 1998 (1998-10-28)
Skye refuses to let Leon wear his Apache necklace, and Leon gets upset. When the kids hide Nuzzle and Sizzle’s favorite toys, they search everywhere to find them.
727"A Star Is Burned"October 29, 1998 (1998-10-29)

Skye is directing the kids' production of Rapunzel. Julie gets mad when he praises costar Ben. Kiki and Jody do not appear in this episode.

Featured song: “I’m a Star" performed by Skye, Ben, & Julie
738"Spooky"October 30, 1998 (1998-10-30)

Skye and Ben exclude Kiki and Julie from their Count Spookula club because they don't think girls like spooky stuff, but they learn that some girls do like scary stuff, and some boys don't. Leon and Jody do not appear in this episode.
Featured song: “Scary Stories,” performed by Julie, Kiki, Ben, and Skye

Guest stars: Tommy Koenig as Count Spookula, Cathy Ladman as Doris Spookula
749"Up!"December 3, 1998 (1998-12-03)
Julie and Ben are surprised by Kyle's new activity of rock climbing. They incorrectly assume that people who use wheelchairs can't do something physically challenging, like climbing rocks. They soon become Kyle's biggest supporters, though.
7510"I'm Talking to You"December 4, 1998 (1998-12-04)

Skye is ignored when he asks to use a video game so he assumes the girl is being mean. Then he discovers that she didn't hear him because she is deaf. After he learns some sign language, he realizes he has found a new friend. Nuzzle gets interrupted from his nap by Sizzle trying to catch a butterfly. Julie, Ben, and Jody do not appear in this episode.
Guest star: Marlee Matlin as herself, Marlo Lovitch, Sheena McFeely

Note: This episode does not feature an original song.

Broadcast

Besides the PBS stations in the United States, the series also aired on TV Cultura in Brazil, Discovery Kids in Latin America, RTP in Portugal, Kids Station in Japan, Fox Kids in Denmark and Norway, Israeli Educational Television in Israel, 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.