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The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked 

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Updated February 20, 2020 109.4k votes 9.5k voters 348.6k views 87 items

List Rules Vote up the best TV shows that have aired on PBS Kids.

If you were a kid in the 90s or 2000s, you probably have seen several of the best PBS kids TV shows. Many of those PBS kids shows are actually still around and more popular than ever. But out of all those programs, which was the most popular show to ever air on PBS? Was it Sesame Street or Berenstain Bears? Fellow fans rank their favorite PBS kids TV shows below. Don't agree with the rankings below? Feel free to vote shows up or down. Better yet, you can rerank the list yourself.

This list of the top current and canceled PBS Kids TV series includes the date when each show first aired, as well as which actors starred in the show. The best PBS Kids TV programs of all time include the most viewed shows on PBS Kids, as this list covers the entire history of the network. Old PBS Kids shows were truly the best, as '90s PBS shows brought tons of color and adventure to old little kids shows. PBS Kids shows from the '90s especially stood out on TV to many generation Y and Z kids. But you'll be glad to know that PBS Kids is still home to some of the best childrens' television shows today, with series such as Molly of Denali, Esme & Roy, and Let's Go Luna!

Although the network is primarily dominated with cartoons, you can find a couple of live action shows mixed in there as well. Classic cartoons, like Arthur and Curious George, are featured on PBS Kids, and more recent shows, like Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood have a place there as well. Live action shows like Zoom and Zoboomafoo are also available.

Television fans in different locations may have grown up with PBS Kids shows on different channels, but the top TV shows on PBS Kids should be pretty familiar to everyone. The list of top PBS Kids television shows below includes cast, creator, and premiere date when available. This list contains only TV series on the PBS Kids network, even cancelled PBS Kids shows. Vote up the best shows on PBS Kids below.

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list ordered by
1
Arthur is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
J.T. Turner, Melissa Altro, Daniel Brochu

Premiered: 1996

Number of Seasons: 16

Number of Episodes: 195

Genres (Tv): Animation, Humour, Sitcom, Children's television series, Comedy, + more

Arthur is a Canadian/American animated educational television series for children, created by Cookie Jar Group and WGBH for the Public Broadcasting Service. The show is set in the fictional ...more

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Shockingly Dark 'Arthur' Fan Theories #100 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Madelisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

2
Dragon Tales is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Andrea Libman, Danny McKinnon, Ty Olsson

Number of Seasons: 3

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Fantasy television, Fantasy

Dragon Tales is an American animated pre-school children's television series created by Jim Coane and Ron Rodecker and developed by Coane, Wesley Eure, Jeffrey Scott, Cliff Ruby and Elana ...more

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#147 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Time #90 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

3
The Berenstain Bears is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Michael Cera, Brian Cummings, Mark Rendall

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 40

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series

The Berenstain Bears is an Gemini Award-nominated animated television series based on the children's book series of the same name by Stan and Jan Berenstain. The series follows the lives of a ...more

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#200 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #204 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Time #76 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

4
The Magic School Bus is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Lily Tomlin, Daniel DeSanto, Erica Luttrell

Premiered: 1994

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 52

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Educational television

The Magic School Bus is a Canadian–American Saturday morning animated children's television series, based on the book series of the same name by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. It is notable for ...more

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21 Things About the Magic School Bus You Never Realized Are Super Messed Up #55 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #44 of 387 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time

5
Zoboomafoo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Chris Kratt, Martin Kratt, Gord Robertson

Premiered: 1999

Genres (Tv): Nature, Children's television series, Comedy

Zoboomafoo is an American / Canadian children's television series that aired from January 25, 1999 to November 21, 2001 and is still currently shown in syndication and it is regularly shown on ...more

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#72 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows #12 of 51 The Best Educational Television Shows #37 of 88 The Best Nature TV Shows

6
Curious George is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Jeff Bennett, Frank Welker, Rino Romano

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 90

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series

Curious George is an animated television series based on the Curious George children's book series, which features Jeff Bennett as the voice of The Man with the Yellow Hat. Frank Welker, who ...more

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#171 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #103 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

7
Mister Rogers' Neighborh... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
wiabux added Keith David, Fred Rogers, Don Francks

Premiered: 1968

Number of Episodes: 895

Genres (Tv): Children's television series, Educational television

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood is an American half-hour children's television series that was created and hosted by namesake Fred Rogers. The series originated in 1963 as Mister Rogers on CBC ...more

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Heartwarming Behind-The-Scenes Stories About Mister Rogers #6 of 31 Every Time A Children's TV Show Or Movie Dealt With Death #139 of 145 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time

8
Cyberchase is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Novie Edwards, Annick Obonsawin, Jacqueline Pillon

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 94

Genres (Tv): Education, Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Mystery, + more

Cyberchase is an American animated television series that premiered on January 21, 2002, on PBS Kids. The series focuses around three earth kids, Jackie, Matt, and Inez, who are brought into ...more

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#101 of 145 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time #63 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows

9
Clifford the Big Red Dog... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
CosmicCastaway added John Ritter, Grey DeLisle, Cree Summer

Premiered: 2000

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 65

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Educational television, Animated series

Clifford the Big Red Dog is an American-British animated children's television series, based upon Norman Bridwell's famous children's book series of the same name. Produced by Scholastic ...more

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#135 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #133 of 145 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time

10
Sesame Street is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
wiabux added Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney

Premiered: 1969

Number of Seasons: 42

Number of Episodes: 4327

Genres (Tv): Sketch comedy, Education, Animation, Children's television series, Live action, + more

Sesame Street is a long-running American children's television series created by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. The program is known for its educational content, and images communicated ...more

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Dark 'Sesame Street' Fan Theories #218 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciatelisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

11
Clifford's Puppy Days is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Clifford's Puppy Days Lara Jill Miller, Henry Winkler, Masiela Lusha

Premiered: 2003

Number of Episodes: 39

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Animated series

Clifford's Puppy Days is a short-lived animated children's television series that originally aired on Both PBS and PBS Kids from 15 September 2003 to 13 October 2004. A prequel to the original ...more

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#238 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Time #135 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time #22 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows

12
Bill Nye the Science Guy... is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
wiabux added Ed Begley Jr., Rachelle Carson, Bill Nye

Premiered: 1993

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Genres (Tv): Education, Children's television series, Educational television, Comedy

Bill Nye the Science Guy is a live action educational television program that originally aired from September 10, 1993 to June 20, 1998 and was hosted by Bill Nye. The show aired on PBS Kids and ...more

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#142 of 145 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time #25 of 83 The Best After School Shows from the '90s #82 of 1,328 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows

13
Reading Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
wiabux added LeVar Burton, Jennifer Betit Yen, Arnold Stang

Premiered: 1983

Number of Seasons: 21

Number of Episodes: 155

Genres (Tv): Children's television series

Reading Rainbow is an American children's television series that aired on PBS Kids and PBS Kids Go! from June 6, 1983, until November 10, 2006, that encouraged children to read. In 2012 an iPad ...more

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#104 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #108 of 510 The Best '80s TV Shows

14
Between the Lions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
CosmicCastaway added Ruth Westheimer, Fred Newman, Kathryn Mullen

Premiered: 2000

Genres (Tv): Children's television series, Comedy, Puppet

Between the Lions was a PBS Kids puppet television series designed to promote reading. The show was a co-production between WGBH in Boston and Sirius Thinking, Ltd., in New York City, in ...more

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#104 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows #15 of 77 The Best Puppet TV Shows #20 of 51 The Best Educational Television Shows

15
Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Jim Conroy

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Game show, Reality television

Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, sometimes shortened as Fetch!, is a children's television series on PBS during the PBS Kids Go! block of educational programming. It is a reality-game show that is ...more

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#71 of 76 The Greatest Game Shows of All Time #66 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows

16
Martha Speaks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Tabitha St. Germain, Kathleen Barr, Brian Drummond

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 40

Genres (Tv): Children's television series, Comedy, Animated series

Martha Speaks is a American-Canadian animated children's television series based on the 1992 children's book of the same name by Susan Meddaugh, about a talking dog named Martha, who is owned by ...more

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#186 of 387 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #35 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows

17
WordGirl is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Zinnate added Dannah Feinglass Phirman, Ryan Raddatz, Maria Bamford

Premiered: 2007

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 48

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Educational television, Animated series

WordGirl is an American children’s animated television series produced by the Soup2Nuts animation unit of Scholastic Entertainment for PBS Kids. The show began as a series of shorts entitled The ...more

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#433 of 482 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time #16 of 51 The Best Educational Television Shows

18
Sagwa The Chinese Siames... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Sagwa The Chinese Siamese Cat Khaira Ledeyo, Holly G. Frankel, Carrie Finlay

Premiered: 2001

Number of Episodes: 40

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series

Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat was a PBS animated program aired in 2001, adapted from Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat books by Amy Tan.

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#293 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Made #203 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time

19
Wild Kratts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
hydu7 added Chris Kratt, Martin Kratt, Athena Karkanis

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 66

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Adventure film, Comedy

Wild Kratts is an American/Canadian educational children's animated series created by Chris and Martin Kratt. The Kratt Brothers Company and 9 Story Media Group produce the show, which is ...more

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#188 of 387 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #195 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time #90 of 145 The Most Annoying Kids Shows of All Time

20
Wishbone is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
CosmicCastaway added Wishbone Amy Acker, Melissa Archer, Shelley Duvall

Premiered: 1995

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 48

Genres (Tv): Children's television series

Wishbone is a half-hour children's television show that aired from 1995 to 1998 in the United States on PBS. The show's title character is a Jack Russell Terrier. Wishbone lives with his owner ...more

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#317 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #40 of 83 The Best After School Shows from the '90s

21
Thomas the Tank Engine &... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Alec Baldwin, Ringo Starr, George Carlin

Premiered: 1984

Number of Seasons: 16

Number of Episodes: 401

Genres (Tv): Animation, Children's television series, Stop motion, Short Film, Family Film, + more

Thomas & Friends is a British-American children's television series, which had its first broadcast on the ITV network in 1984 and airs on PBS Kids in the US. It is based on The Railway ...more

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The History Behind 'Thomas The Tank Engine' Is Actually Really Dark #191 of 387 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #309 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

22
Dinosaur Train is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Dinosaur Train Tabitha St. Germain, Kathleen Barr, Ian James Corlett

Premiered: 2009

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 40

Genres (Tv): Computer Animation, Animation, Children's television series

Dinosaur Train is an American/Canadian/Singaporean animated series created by Craig Bartlett. The series features a curious young Tyrannosaurus Rex named Buddy who, together with his adopted ...more

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#198 of 387 The Best Kids Cartoons of All Time #32 of 48 The Best Computer Animation TV Shows

23
Barney & Friends is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
VincentOsekwe added Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Tory Green

Premiered: 1992

Number of Seasons: 14

Number of Episodes: 268

Genres (Tv): Children's television series, Adventure film, Comedy, Family Film

Barney & Friends is an American children's television series aimed at children from ages 1 to 8. The series, which first aired on April 6, 1992, features the title character Barney, a purple ...more

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#1,134 of 1,328 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #43 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows

24
Zoom is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
Zoom Jared Nathan

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 201

Genres (Tv): Children's television series

Zoom is an American television program for ages eight and up, created almost entirely by children. It originally aired on PBS from January 4, 1999 to June 24, 2005. It was a remake of a 1972 TV ...more

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#21 of 51 The Best Educational Television Shows #52 of 56 The Best Kids Live Action TV Shows Ever Made

25
Liberty's Kids is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best PBS Kids TV Shows Ever, Ranked
CosmicCastaway added Liberty's Kids Whoopi Goldberg, Liam Neeson, Billy Crystal

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 40

Genres (Tv): Animation, Historical fiction, Children's television series, Educational television

Liberty's Kids is an animated educational historical fiction television series produced by DIC Entertainment, originally broadcast on PBS Kids from September 2, 2002 to April 4, 2003, although ...more

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#120 of 236 The Greatest Cartoon Theme Songs of All Time #116 of 375 The Best Children's TV Shows