Press Release: Pee-wee’s Playhouse Makes TV Return on Adult Swim July 10
Pee-wee’s Playhouse Makes TV Return on Adult Swim July 10
Emmy-Winning Series Returns to Air Monday-Thursday at 11 p.m. (ET, PT) 20 Years after its Debut
Pee-wee’s Playhouse, the winner of an astounding 22 Emmy Awards and a pop culture touchstone nearly 20 years after its debut, returns to TV, joining the Adult Swim lineup beginning Monday, July 10. The acclaimed series, which has been largely absent from the airwaves for nearly 15 years, stars Paul Reubens as his alter-ego Pee-wee Herman, and features a rich cast of characters who drop by “the place where anything can happen.”
Adult Swim, Cartoon Network’s late night sister network featuring animation and other programming aimed at adults 18-34, will air the groundbreaking series Monday-Thursday at 11 p.m. (ET, PT), airing all 45 original half-hour episodes of the series and the rarely-seen Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special. Many of the episodes have not been seen on TV since the original Saturday-morning run of Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
In the series, Pee-wee, dressed in his too-small gray suit and red bowtie, welcomes a cavalcade of characters to his playhouse, including the King of Cartoons, Cowboy Curtis, Miss Yvonne, Pteri the Pterodactyl, Randy (the resident trouble-starter), Captain Carl, Jambi the genie, nosey neighbor Mrs. Rene, and Reba the mail lady. Other inhabitants of Pee-wee’s Playhouse include Pee-wee’s talking chair, Chairry, Globey the Globe, Magic Screen, Conky the Robot, hipster-beatniks Chickie Baby, Cool Cat and Dirty Dog, Cowntess the cow and the family of miniature dinosaurs that live in a mouse hole inside a wall. Each fast-paced episode blends live-action, puppets and all different types of animation including vintage cartoons, stop-motion Penny segments and Spanish superhero El Hombre. Plus there’s always a lesson or two.
Pee-wee’s Playhouse originally aired Saturday mornings on CBS, beginning on Sept. 13, 1986. The cast includes Phil Hartman, Laurence Fishburne, S. Epatha Merkerson and Natasha Lyonne. The series won a remarkable 22 Emmy Awards during its original run. Since then, Pee-wee’s Playhouse has attained iconic status. In 2004, TV Guide named the show one of the top-ten cult classics of all time. A hugely successful 2004 DVD release brought all 45 original Saturday morning episodes, including eight “lost” episodes, plus the classic Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special, to new generations of fans. Gary Panter, famed painter, punk rock illustrator and comic book artist won three Emmys for his work as the show’s production designer. Musicians who scored episodes of Pee-wee’s Playhouse include Mark Mothersbaugh, Dweezil Zappa, George Clinton, Stanley Clark and Danny Elfman.
“I’d say this was a dream come true,” said Paul Reubens in Hollywood, California, “but I never dared to dream The Playhouse would join Adult Swim’s amazing line-up of cool shows! Well, maybe I did dream of it a couple of times. OK, it’s a dream come true!”
“We’re all huge fans of Pee-wee’s Playhouse and we’re really happy that it will be a part of Adult Swim,” said Mike Lazzo, Cartoon Network senior vice president of programming and production, responsible for Adult Swim.
Paul Reubens created the Pee-wee Herman character in 1978 while a member of the famed L.A.-based improv group The Groundlings. It rapidly grew into a cultural phenomenon. In 1981, he sold out five consecutive months of performances of The Pee-we Herman Show at the Roxy Theatre in L.A. HBO taped the show for its On Location series and Pee-wee was introduced to a national audience. His sold-out 22-city national tour in 1984 included Carnegie Hall. The 1985 movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, co-written by Reubens and directed by Tim Burton, was a commercial and critical success, which led to the series Pee-wee’s Playhouse and the 1988 movie Big Top Pee-wee.
Since that time, Reubens has acted in film and television, earning an Emmy nomination for his recurring role on TV’s Murphy Brown and garnering critical acclaim in Ted Demme’s Blow, where he joined a cast including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Franka Potente. He stars with Lukas Haas, James King and Thomas Jane in David Arquette’s directorial-debut slasher film, The Tripper, and next can be seen in the upcoming feature Reno 911! Miami. His voice can be heard in many films, including Dr. Dolittle, Teacher’s Pet- The Movie, Rugrats and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Pee-wee’s Playhouse joins the Adult Swim lineup that already includes top-rated original comedies such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Boondocks, Robot Chicken and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law; acquired series Family Guy, Futurama and American Dad; and action/animé series like InuYasha, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Samurai Champloo. Adult Swim remains the #1 ad-supported basic cable network among young adult viewers, ranking in April 2006 as the top cable network in delivery of its target demos, adults 18-34, adults 18-24, men 18-34 and men 18-24, according to data from Nielsen Media Research.
Adult Swim (AdultSwim.com), launched in 2001, is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s network offering original and acquired animated comedy and action series for young adults. Airing overnights six days a week for a total of 45 hours weekly, Adult Swim shares channel space with Cartoon Network, home to the best in original, classic and acquired programming for children and families, and is seen in 89 million U.S. homes.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of news and entertainment product around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.