21 PBS Kids Shows From the '90s We Desperately Wish Would Make a Comeback

Samantha Sutton | Oct 15, 2018 TV
21 PBS Kids Shows From the '90s We Desperately Wish Would Make a Comeback
Image: PBS

Ghostwriter TV show

There’s no denying that, right now, we’re in the age of the reboot. So many iconic films and TV shows have been making a comeback, getting reimagined to appeal to today’s "newer" and younger audience. Sabrina the Teenage Witch is now titled The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and it looks pretty dark and scary, too -- receiving the same drama-filled treatment as Riverdale. Mary Poppins, however, is still her friendly self as she sets to return to the big-screen at the end of this year. Heck, even Stranger Things references a bunch of '80s films. And yes, we're admittedly here for it all. 

In fact, we have a few suggestions of our own, and we're more than ready to put in our formal, official request, ASAP.

After all, couldn't the world use a little something like Wishbone or Bill Nye the Science Guy at the moment?

We're, of course, talking about a handful of PBS shows -- which we watched religiously back in the '90s and early '00s. They got us up in the morning. They occupied us on Saturday afternoons. They were what we talked about with friends, and happened to be huge parts of our childhoods. Now, we'd love to share them with our own kids -- and not just with old, grainy clips we pull up on YouTube.

We're taking trip back in time, rounding up a few of those throwback series that we'd love to see back on TV. For a few of them, we got our wish: Some beloved childhood shows are already set -- or at least in talks -- to get a modern-day treatment. But there are a bunch of others that deserve to be revived, too. Don't get us wrong, we're super thankful Arthur is up to 21 seasons -- thanks to its revival in 2012 -- but oh how much we would love for other shows to follow suit.

Seriously, who knew how much PBS Kids impacted our childhood?

  • 'Ghostwriter' (1992-1995)


    Solving crimes with the help of a ghost? Sounds spooky, but we promise it wasn't!

    Ghostwriter was a beloved PBS show that keep us on our toes, make writing in composition notebooks to a thing, and reiterated to us the importance of reaching for the sky. (We'll never forget "You Gotta Believe," Lenni!)

  • 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' (1991-1995)


    This was THE show and it looks like it's coming back!

    Carmen Sandiego is being rebooted (thanks, Netflix) with Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez set to star in the series.

  • 'Reading Rainbow' (1983-2006)


    A show that celebrates and inspires reading -- and teaches us that each book is basically an adventure waiting to happen?

    Consider us big fans who are here for it!

  • 'Wishbone' (1995-1997)


    "What's the story, Wishbone?"

    This TV show taught us so much about history, thanks to an adorable pooch who loved reenacting moments in the most precious way.

  • 'The Magic School Bus' (1994-1997)


    We didn't even realize we were learning about outer space and different systems inside the body while watching this show -- simply because Ms. Frizzle (voiced by Lily Tomlin) was so entertaining.

    Thankfully, The Magic School Bus is back with a Netflix reboot, but we're still holding out for a live-action remake starring Tracee Ellis Ross.

  • 'The Big Comfy Couch' (1992-2006)


    Loonette and Molly, a clown and her dolly! We'd be lying if we said we didn't attempt that clock stretch a few times.

  • 'The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon' (1993-1997)


    We loved how Dudley -- who was a dragon that happened to hibernate for way too long -- learned a variety lessons about the environment and overall health with his pals, Matt and Sally.

  • 'Dragon Tales' (1999-2005)


    Going on quests in a magical land with a dragon friend? What could be better than that?

  • 'Mister Rogers Neighborhood' (1968-2001)


    Yes, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is great and all, but nothing beats the original. We really felt like Mr. Rogers cared about us. Plus, who could forget his sweet singing voice?

    Hopefully Tom Hanks does him justice in the upcoming biographical film.

  • 'The Joy of Painting' (1983-1994)


    Happy little trees! Bob Ross may be gone now (RIP), but he isn't forgotten -- and neither are his greatest quotes and terms. Thankfully, we can still watch full episodes on YouTube if we're feeling nostalgic.

  • 'Lamb Chop's Play-Along' (1992-1995)


    Sorry, we'll be singing the "Song that Never Ends" for the rest of the day. We miss this adorable puppet and Shari Lewis, who was a brilliant ventriloquist.

  • 'Barney & Friends' (1992-2009)


    Barney taught us so many lessons about sharing and caring. The series also happened to star quite a few faces who went on to make it big -- like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.

  • 'Bill Nye the Science Guy' (1993-1998)


    Billy Nye is becoming popular again, because science is cool! We're beyond ready to see him back on TV.

  • 'Wimzie's House' (1995-1996)


    Each episode of Wimzie's House presented a new problem for Wimzie (a monster) and her friends to figure out. The educational tidbits didn't stop there as we were often treated to musical numbers, too.

  • 'The Puzzle Place' (1995-1998)


    This show got pretty deep, considering it revolved around "teen" puppets. Sometimes, the episodes focused on sharing. Other times, it tackled racism and sexism.

  • 'Kratts' Creatures' (1996)


    Animals, animals, and more animals! We learned so much on Kratts' Creatures about all sorts of wildlife that definitely helped in the book report department. While reruns aired until 2000, this show was definitely gone too soon.

  • 'Zoboomafoo' (1999-2001)


    Thankfully, the brothers from Kratts' Creatures came back and brought a friend, a lemur named Zoboomafoo. We looked forward to learning about the "mystery animal" each episode.

  • 'Zoom' (1999-2005)


    Come on and Zoom! This one took us around the country, thanks to a variety of videos from different viewers. It often taught us crafts, or highlighted good deeds that kids were doing -- which was definitely inspiring.

  • 'Corduroy' (2000-2001)


    A classic children's story in action? We were crazy about this little bear and his BFF Lisa!

  • 'The Adventures From the Book of Virtues' (1996-2001)


    We're always down to watch any sort of show with all-knowing animals, and this cartoon was a way to watch mythology and stories from the Bible play out on screen.

  • 'Pappyland' (1993-1996)


    This was like Bob Ross for kids! We would wait until the end for step-by-step instructions on how to draw an elaborate toy chest or lion. And the best part was, they showed the pictures kids sent in alongside the credits.


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