PBS KIDS Announces New Animated Series, LYLA IN THE LOOP, Premiering Early 2024
New Show from Mighty Picnic and Pipeline Studios to Boost Problem-Solving Skills and Showcase Benefits of Working Collaboratively for Young Viewers
January 16, 2023
PASADENA, CA (January 16, 2023) – Today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, PBS KIDS announced the production of LYLA IN THE LOOP, a funny and engaging animated series for kids ages 4-8 from Mighty Picnic and Pipeline Studios. The show stars Lyla, a dynamic 7-year-old Black girl, her close-knit family, fantastical blue sidekick Stu, and a host of relatable and quirky characters living in her community, who together spotlight creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills while working collaboratively with others.
"LYLA IN THE LOOP focuses on the important skills of creative thinking and problem solving through a thoughtful and adventurous approach that meets children in a funny and relatable way,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Vice President and General Manager, PBS KIDS. “We’re so excited to be partnering with Mighty Picnic and Pipeline Studios to bring this inventive new series to families across the country."
LYLA IN THE LOOP is created by Emmy®-winning producer Dave Peth (Odd Squad, Peg + Cat, Scribbles and Ink, Design Squad), founder of media production and consulting company Mighty Picnic. Pipeline Studios, the Emmy-winning children’s content studio (Elinor Wonders Why, Alma’s Way, Bubble Guppies) is animating the series.
“The message of LYLA IN THE LOOP is that everyone has what it takes to be a creative problem-solver,” says Series Creator and Showrunner Dave Peth. “If you keep asking questions, trying new things, and working together, you’ll find more solutions than you could have imagined – and have a lot of fun along the way.”
Series Executive Producer and Head Writer Fracaswell Hyman adds: “In a world where representation matters, LYLA IN THE LOOP features a Black girl who feels there is no problem too big or too small to solve. Lyla leans in when problems occur or obstacles appear. She is curious, imaginative and although she sometimes dives in head first without looking, her tenacity and creativity when it comes to problem-solving makes it clear that she will eventually resurface triumphant. Lyla’s loving family, friends and fantastical companion, Stu, create a warm environment that will attract viewers and invite them to emulate Lyla when challenges come their way.”
LYLA IN THE LOOP centers on Lyla’s family and diverse community. In addition to Lyla, the show features her mom, dad, 5-year-old brother Luke, 12-year-old twin sisters Liana and Louisa, and best friend Everett Phan, who all live in an apartment building and neighborhood bustling with activity. Stu, a fuzzy blue creature with a big smile helps Lyla tackle all kinds of challenges – like building the best-ever train set for her brother Luke, creating an extra-special sandwich for her family’s restaurant, Loops Lunch, and searching for a missing package sent by an Auntie in Jamaica (with delicious spice buns and other traditional treats inside!). In every adventure, Lyla and Stu introduce and explore foundational computational thinking concepts, leading to some comedic disasters and creative solutions, all while helping others in their community. The series will support a wide range of learners, modeling flexible approaches to finding and designing solutions, and creative self-expression.
“Lyla is a character I would’ve loved to see on television when I was 7,” says series Story Editor Monique D. Hall. “She’s a little Black girl who isn’t afraid to be her full, smart, and silly self. She and Stu get into all kinds of fun messes, but they always manage to find clever ways out of them–even if it takes a few tries. You’ll definitely want to be in the loop for whatever adventure Lyla, Stu, and the rest of the Loops Crew get into next!”
Funding for LYLA IN THE LOOP was provided by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and a grant from the U.S. Department of Education as part of the Ready to Learn Initiative, a federal program that supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families.
“This animated series introduces our youngest learners to creative problem solving and uses humor to show how these skills apply to everyday life, laying the groundwork for more structured learning experiences at school,” said Debra Tica Sanchez, Senior Vice President, Educational Media and Learning Experiences, Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “CPB is proud to support this series as part of the Ready To Learn Initiative, which aims to ensure that every child develops the basic skills needed to succeed in school.”
"Featuring diverse and lovable characters who are inspired by creativity and the critical thinking skills needed to find solutions, LYLA IN THE LOOP will bring truly charming stories that will keep young minds engaged and entertained,” said Luis Lopez, CEO of Pipeline Studios. “Our world-class artists and technical talent are excited to work with such incredible partners at Mighty Picnic, PBS KIDS, and CPB, to bring Lyla to life."
Digital content for kids, families, and teachers will launch along with the series and reinforce the show’s core messages, support play and experimentation with central computational thinking skills, and encourage creative expression.
Series advisors for LYLA IN THE LOOP include Dr. Amon Millner, Assistant Professor of Computing and Innovation at the Olin College of Engineering directing the Extending Access to STEM Empowerment (EASE) Lab, series Curriculum Director; Nermeen Dashoush, PhD and Clinical Assistant Professor, Early Childhood Education, Boston University, Lead Advisor; Yenda Prado, PhD, Education Researcher at University of California, Irvine, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) advisor; V. Scott Solberg, Professor, Department of Counseling and Applied Human Development, Boston University, Career Pathways and World of Work Advisor; Cosette Strong, Strong Consulting Group, DEIA Advisor.
About PBS KIDS
PBS KIDS believes the world is full of possibilities, and so is every child. As the number one educational media brand for kids, PBS KIDS helps children ages 2-8 learn lessons that last a lifetime. Through media and community-based programs, PBS KIDS wants children to see themselves uniquely reflected and celebrated in lovable, diverse characters who serve as positive role models, and to explore their feelings and discover new adventures along the way. Families can stream PBS KIDS for free anytime, no subscription required. A large collection of mobile apps and pbskids.org provide accessible content that spark kids’ curiosity. PBS KIDS and local stations across the country support the entire ecosystem in which children learn and grow – including their teachers and caregivers, parents, and community – providing resources accessible anytime and anywhere. For more information, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Mighty Picnic
Mighty Picnic is a media production and consulting company based in South Philly, PA and was founded by Emmy®-winning producer Dave Peth. LYLA IN THE LOOP is the company's first original series for PBS KIDS. Before jumping into television production, Mighty Picnic helped create digital suites for projects like Odd Squad, Peg+Cat, and Scribbles and Ink. And in all that we do, we believe this is true – every picnic is mightier when it’s open to all.
About Pipeline Studios
Pipeline Studios is a leading global entertainment company that focuses on developing, producing, and distributing award-winning animated content for audiences worldwide. Pipeline continues to expand with top international talent and robust animation technology across its offices worldwide. As an industry leader in animated content, Pipeline Studios’ extensive credit list includes Alma’s Way and Elinor Wonders Why (PBS KIDS), Sunny Day and Bubble Guppies (Nickelodeon), Star vs. the Forces of Evil (Disney Channel) and more. Active production partners include PBS Kids, Netflix, Nick Jr., NBC Universal, Disney Junior, Discovery, CBC Kids, and more. Find more information at pipelinestudios.com, and follow Pipeline Studios on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation authorized by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for other updates.
About The Ready To Learn Initiative
The Ready To Learn Initiative is a cooperative agreement funded and managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE). It supports the development of innovative educational television and digital media targeted to preschool and early elementary school children and their families. Its general goal is to promote early learning and school readiness, with a particular interest in reaching children living in low-income households. In addition to creating television and other media products, the program supports activities intended to promote national distribution of the programming, effective educational uses of the programming, community-based outreach, and research on educational effectiveness.
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The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/Award No. S295A200004, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.