PBS Kids (originally an unnamed children's block in 1993 and PTV from 1994 to 1999) is a children's programming block on several Public Broadcasting Service stations and a defunct separate TV channel.
In June 2003, PBS was chosen to be the American broadcaster for Boohbah, being the first out of many American licensees for the show, such as Hasbro, Paramount Home Media Distribution, Scholastic, and Brighter Child Interactive; coincidentally, Hasbro, PBS, Scholastic, and Paramount all did stuff for Boohbah's sister show, Teletubbies.
The show debuted on PBS and on the PBS Kids Channel on January 19th, 2004. Because of the country's 65-episode syndication limit, only the episodes from Skipping Rope to Little Rocky Boat were aired, while the episodes from season 2 were not seen at all in America. More about this can be seen below.
In 2005, PBS debuted PBS Kids Sprout, a 24-hour pre-school channel that supported the audience's local PBS stations, with Boohbah and Teletubbies being two of the first shows to air on it.
Not unlike Teletubbies, Boohbah obtained a near-universal hatedom in North America. Although this hatedom already existed in the show's home country in Europe, it was expanded to insane heights in America, and limited the number of fans down to the target audience and very little teens and adults who found it tolerable.
This, in short, is most likely also the reason why the show ended airing new episodes after 2006, leaving the 2004 episodes unaired outside of Europe and Asia. Because only 65 episodes aired in America and 22 episodes were released to DVD there, the most episodes were released on home media there, while the bulk of the rest of the series remains unreleased outside of the Pikotoons app.
Most likely due to the hatedom, many PBS stations began phasing Boohbah out as early as late 2004 to as late as August 2008.
Differences between the US and UK versions of Boohbah Edit
As the programming lengths of American programming were longer than British programming (like that of Teletubbies and Boohbah), "many" changes had to be made to adapt it to a 30-minute timeslot. These were:
- In the British version, the Boohball goes to two different countries. The American version has the Boohball going to an additional third country, expanding its flight.
- In the British version, the Boohbahs getting into their pods and the Boohball flying out of its "spot" leads to the end of the program. In the American version, the same sequence leads to a segment named Look What I Can Do!, where children practice their own movements on a rainbow-colored dot in a field of grass.
- In the American version, snippets of the end dances from the last and next episodes are shown before the show comes to an end, and clips of the Boohbahs suspending in the Boohball are shown in between and after these clips. There is no such sequence in the British version.
- A number of episodes were also renamed to prevent alienating British viewers; Yellow Woolly Jumper, for example, is Yellow Woolly Sweater in America, and Settee & Cushions was renamed Couch and Cushions; Cakes and String has an extra 's' added at the end of "string", and all episodes with Commonwealth English language spelling in them (-our and -ise, for example) were renamed with American English spelling (-or, -ize, etc.).
The Boohbah part of PBS Kids' website was launched in December 2003. Like the Teletubbies website after its redesign, it is almost very similar to said website in shape, form, and design.
The Boohbah website has the following sections:
- Boohbah Dance
The player can make the Boohbahs dance around and stop them if necessary.
This game is a rehash of the dancing Boohbah game on the United Kingdom Boohbah website (boohbah.tv). Unlike the one on the latter website, which uses 2-D style animation to represent live-action, this one is traditional 2-D, and the way the game is played is also drastically different than the UK version -- with buttons on the bottom of the screen and music volume sliders above them (as opposed to bubbles), the player can make the Boohbahs' dance routine different from another. Three elements from the original game remain untouched; the Boohbahs, when clicked on, retract their heads, stand spread-eagled, and say their names, they can all do the same dance at once at points, and the music can be controlled.
- Bubbles Bursting
This game is based on the Storyworld and Storypeople segment from the episode Bubbles. The gameplay is very similar to the episode's main activity: When the bubble pump on the side of the screen blows a bubble the same color of each Boohbah out, the player must control the popper, a telescopic hand, and try popping it.
- Grandpappa and the Hammock
This game is, again, based on a Storyworld segment, this time from the episode Hammock. The player must find an object to help Grandpappa get to the hammock.
This game is similar to a real kaleidoscope. By controlling the pink, purple, and orange levers on the sides of the kaleidoscope, the player can make different Boohbah patterns; the pink lever controls the Boohbahs' spinning, the purple lever shrinks or enlarges the Boohbahs, and the orange lever separates and connects the Boohbahs from each other.
- Boohbah Naming Game
This game's purpose is to memorize the names of each Boohbah; by moving the mouse around the screen, the Boohbahs' eyes will move, and if clicked, each Boohbah will say its name, move up, and light its eyebrows up.
- Squeaky Socks
This game is, yet again, based on a Storyworld segment, this one being based on Squeaky Socks. The first part of the game is centered on coloring the sock, and if the Storyperson inside it is clicked, the sock will hop around.
By opening each window, a different Storyperson will be revealed. This game is based on the Storyworld segment from Windows.
This game is a "create-your-own-environment" game featuring the Storypeople.
- Look What I Can Do!
This game is based on the US-only segment of the same name. Similar to Boohbah Dance, the player can program the dances they want their person to do, and if they click the "play" button, their person will do the dance that they made.
- Boohbah Patterns
This game allows the player to make their own pattern(s). Using the Boohball, and their mouse, they can change the color of the Boohbah(s) in their pattern, change it, or do both.
- Pearly Shells
This game is based on the episode of the same name. The player must find the pearl inside each shell, and if they do, Brother and Sister will do their "victory dance".
- Jumping Boohbahs
In this game, the player must control the Boohbahs' jumping as they walk along the screen, and if they collect a Boohball the color of the jumping Boohbah, that Boohbah will say its name.
- Storypeople Matching Game
On the screen, a shadow of a Storyperson will pop up, encouraging the player to match the Storyperson to its shadow and say its name.
Non-flash games Edit
If an user does not have Adobe Flash, they can access a non-Flash version of the website. This version excludes every game that requires Flash to be feasible, and leaves these slightly-altered games and activities alone:
- Boohbah Patterns
- Storypeople Matching Game
- Boohbah Coloring and Print and Color
This is a activity where the user can color and then print out their Boohbah. There is also another activity which, in the style of a coloring book, the user can color in the Boohbah after they print it out.
- Storyworld Coloring and Print and Color
Same as Boohbah Coloring/Print and Color, but with the Storypeople.
- Boohbah Pattern and Print
Using the arrows on the Boohbah's belly, the player can make multiple patterns and then print them out.
Parents and Teachers Edit
Separate from the actual website, this section of the website informs adults about Boohbah, what the website has in store, and what activities they can do with their children/students.
This page tells the person searching the website more about the show the website is based on and how it is educational.
This page features information about the making of selected Storyworld segments, pictures of the particular segments, and the crew's experience shooting each segment.
This page tells the person roaming the website about 65 of the 104 episodes of Boohbah and also includes links to the activities related to the episode.
This section includes "frequently asked" questions about Boohbah, the answers to each of them, and information about the show.
- TV Schedule
This was a link to the main PBS Kids TV schedule, telling people where they can watch Boohbah on their local PBS station(s).
See the introduction to the Parents and Teachers area
This interview (and audio piece), taken from the interview bonus feature on each Boohbah DVD, tells people about how the show is educational, and on the website, is tuned to a video illustrating what Anne Wood is meaning.
Located on the main PBS Parents website, this section features questions from people visiting the Parents website and answers from Anne Wood.
Too located on the Parents website, this section features stuff about making a Boohbah-themed birthday party, including the food, printables, and activities.
The website was closed down in January 2013. It can, however, still be reached with the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, where both the Flash and non-Flash versions of the website are working. However, some features, such as the links to different parts of the PBS website outside of both the regular and parents Boohbah websites, cannot be reached, because they have been purged from the "Archive" with a so-called standard called robots.txt, or robots exclusion standard.