The popular PBS children’s TV show The Magic School Bus is getting a CG-animated reboot that will debut exclusively on Netflix in 2016. Produced by Scholastic Media, the new show, called The Magic School Bus 360°, will include a “modernized” Ms. Frizzle (actress Lily Tomlin voiced Ms. Frizzle in the original series) who will take her students on flying field trips in an updated version of the fancy bus. Netflix has ordered 26 half-hour episodes of the updated show.
The Magic School Bus, which first aired in 1994, was the PBS’ longest-running children’s science TV program. Although it stopped airing on broadcast television in 2012 (reruns last played on the Qubo cable channel), the show continues to live on in books, DVDs, and on Netflix. According to Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, “Magic School Bus, the old version, is remarkably popular on Netflix. It teaches science in a way that transcends generations. Parents trust it and kids love it,” Mr. Sarandos added that the new version will be “even more relevant and entertaining for today’s kids.”
Deborah Forte, president of Scholastic Media, said that “the need for science education for elementary school students has increased since the original series came out,” and the adventures taken by the Magic School Bus children recreate “the process of learning science through collaboration and experimentation and discovery, [and] through active learning.”
Netflix and Scholastic Media are also exploring other joint projects, according to Mr. Sarandos. In addition to episodes of the original The Magic School Bus series, Netflix also shows episodes of Scholastic Media’s Clifford the Big Red Dog and Goosebumps.
Source: New York Times