Today, PBS Kids announced the new animated series Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum, based on the children’s book series Ordinary People Change the World by New York Times best-selling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos. This new multiplatform series, produced by 9 Story Media Group’s award-winning animation studio Brown Bag Films, will debut nationwide in fall 2019 on PBS stations, the PBS Kids 24/7 channel and PBS Kids digital platforms. Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum will introduce kids ages 4-7 to inspiring historical figures – from Rosa Parks to Leonardo da Vinci – who will help them learn important social-emotional concepts.
The series follows the adventures of Xavier Riddle, his sister Yadina and their friend Brad. In each episode, they face a problem and turn to the Secret Museum, a hidden room under an ordinary museum, to help them solve it. The museum allows Xavier, Yadina and Brad to travel back in time to meet real-life historical figures when they were kids. They witness pivotal moments that shaped each of these iconic people and learn social-emotional lessons – such as being resilient in the face of adversity and making and accomplishing goals. Each episode is designed to help viewers make the connection between the attributes that made each historical figure a hero, and those same attributes within themselves, while approaching history in an engaging, age-appropriate manner.
“For me, Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum isn’t just a show – it’s my dream for my daughter and my sons,” said author Brad Meltzer. “My dream is for all of us to witness how the most ordinary person can become truly extraordinary through their actions. I want to show kids that there is potential in each of us. Every hero in the show was once a kid – smart, curious and full of adventure – just like them. They too can be heroes.”
Along with the television series, Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum will offer digital content for kids, parents and teachers, debuting in fall 2019. Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum games will be available at pbskids.org and on the free PBS Kids Games App, along with clips and full episodes streaming across PBS Kids’ video platforms, including the free PBS Kids Video App. A Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum app will also launch after the series’ debut. Parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities to extend the learning at home, will be available on the PBS Kids for Parents site, and PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials for teachers, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.
Each episode of Xavier Riddle and The Secret Museum will include two animated 11-minute stories with accompanying interstitial content. The series is currently in production of 37 half-hour episodes and a one-hour special.
Produced at Brown Bag Films’ Toronto studio, executive producers on the series are Vince Commisso, Brad Meltzer, Christopher Eliopoulos, Fonda Snyder and Rob Weisbach. The series is directed by Cory Bobiak (Peg + Cat), with Meghan Read (Dot,Dino Dan) in the role of executive story editor. The look of the show is based on Christopher Eliopoulos’ illustrations featured in the Ordinary People Change the World series.
9 Story Distribution International has worldwide distribution rights outside Canada while 9 Story Brands is managing global licensing and merchandising rights.