Jakers! New PBS Toon Gets Extended Run

The new CG series Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks debuted on Saturday, Sept. 7 on PBS, bringing the charm of Irish storytelling to American youngsters. PBS originally ordered 26 half-hour episodes but has recently bumped the order up to 40 installments. The show, produced by Mike Young Prods. for Entara, stars comedic icon Mel Brooks and joins the PBS KIDS weekend line-up.

The series is targeted to kids 4-7 and, as the title suggests, follows the adventures of Piggley Winks, a spunky eight-year-old pig, and his friends who live on Raloo Farm in Ireland. Brooks lends his unmistakable voice to Wiley the Sheep, an American transplant who tries to motivate his all-too-sheepish flock.

Following each of the animated tales, soccer great Cobi Jones of the 2002 MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy and three-time US World Cup team member, hosts a three-minute live-action epilogue titled "Jakers! Live and Learn."

“We feel that it’s really going to raise the bar for the CG series for kids,” Mike Young Prods. partner Bill Schultz tells Animation Magazine Online. “I think that when it has the success I think it will have, you’ll probably see more [like it].”