Netflix reached a deal with Scholastic Media to launch an original TV series based on “The Magic School Bus” kids’ science book and television franchise, with 26 episodes set to debut on the streaming service in 2016.
All-new CG-animated series “The Magic School Bus 360 degrees” will be a “dynamic reimagining” of the show that aired in the U.S. starting in 1994. Scholastic Media’s creative team, led by exec producer Deborah Forte, will produce the new series, which is aimed at presenting science topics in a fun and engaging way.
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Netflix bowed all 52 episodes of seasons 1-4 of the original “Magic School Bus” in August 2013 worldwide. In February, the Internet streamer inked a pact with Scholastic for exclusive streaming rights to the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and spinoff “Clifford’s Puppy Days” animated series.
“Scholastic is a powerhouse creator and producer of top-quality programming for kids and families, and its flagship series such as ‘The Magic School Bus,’ ‘Clifford the Big Red Dog’ and ‘Goosebumps’ have been huge hits on Netflix in all our territories,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. “We’re thrilled to expand our relationships and to be the first-run home of ‘The Magic School Bus 360 degrees’ introducing a whole new generation to Ms. Frizzle and her hijinks.”
The new series will feature a modernized version of science teacher Ms. Frizzle, originally voiced by Lily Tomlin, with an inventive high-tech bus. “Magic School Bus 360 degrees” will explore the latest technology innovations such as robotics, wearable computing devices and cameras. The original show is a “compelling addition to the current landscape of children’s programming and on Netflix is bound to reach more families around the world than ever before who will now be able to watch the program anytime, anywhere they want,” Scholastic’s Forte said in a statement.
“Magic School Bus,” touted as the longest-running kids’ science TV series, is based on the bestselling Scholastic books written by Joanna Cole and illustrated by Bruce Degen, with more than 85 million books in print worldwide in nine languages.