Reading Rainbow isn’t the only 90s PBS show making an online comeback. The Magic School Bus, which taught science to kids in a fun, animated setting, will come to Netflix as a rebooted series called Magic School Bus 360°.
The Magic School Bus first ran between 1994-7, when it cemented itself as one of the greatest education children’s programs of its generation. Since then, the scientific adventures of Ms. Frizzle and her class of colorful students have maintained a high shelf life, and the old episodes still draw plenty of viewers. “Magic School Bus, the old version, is remarkably popular on Netflix,” said Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos. “It teaches science in a way that transcends generations.”
Magic School Bus 360° will run for 26 episodes in 2016. It will feature CGI-animated characters who will learn about modern scientific topics such as robots. There’s no word yet on whether the original show’s theme song will also receive a reboot, though I certainly hope not.
Netflix has made a sizable investment in children’s programming, with characters from DreamWorks Animation at the center of the platform’s kid-friendly plans. For Magic School Bus 360°, it is teaming with Scholastic Media, which Sarandos called a “powerhouse creator and producer of top-quality programming for kids and families” in a press release.
Between Magic School Bus 360°, the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter campaign, and Bill Nye’s various forays onto YouTube, the majority of PBS’ mid-90s after-school lineup has now found its way to the Internet. As someone who grew up watching those shows, I’m still wait for a Wishbone reboot to make it 4 for 4, but it is exciting enough to know that the bus will once again be able to do its stuff.
Photo credit: Scholastic Media