CPB Ombudsman Joel Kaplan received a complaint letter from a 9-year-old in North Carolina who is unhappy with the end of production for FETCH! With Ruff Ruffman last year. “There has been a huge uproar about FETCH! going away,” says Kate Taylor, executive producer at WGBH. “PBS decided that 100 shows were enough and they needed to save their money for new shows.”
“It is true that we are not commissioning additional episodes,” responds Linda Simensky, PBS v.p. for children’s content, “but we have produced 100 episodes of the series, which is a substantial number. We are continuing to feed the program to our stations and they are continuing to air it.”
CPB did not fund FETCH!, according to Michael Fragale, its v.p. for educational programming and services. He adds that CPB generally divides its support between legacy series and new shows, although at this time the corporation is leaning toward funding new content.