Clifford Makes His Big Return to PBS KIDS

Meredith Francis
Clifford the Big Red Dog
The beloved Clifford the Big Red Dog is returning with a new animated series.

Clifford special airs on WTTW on Monday, December 9 at 10:30 a.m. New episodes start airing later this month, and are available to stream at

Everyone’s favorite super-sized, four-legged furry friend is getting a big reboot. Clifford the Big Red Dog is set to pounce back onto the screen on PBS KIDS.

The show is based on the best-selling Scholastic book series by Norman Bridwell. The books follow the adventures of Emily Elizabeth and her larger-than-life red dog, Clifford, and how Clifford’s size sometimes creates some humorous snafus.

The animated series, which originally aired from 2000 to 2003 in 110 countries, will feature new animation design, new locations, new songs, and new friends. The fresh theme song features Clifford bounding through the streets of Birdwell Island, rattling roofs along the way.

“There is something enduring in Clifford’s gentle, loyal spirit that touches fans even after they become adults,” said Scholastic’s chief strategy officer and executive producer Iole Lucchese. “We see it in tributes on social media and in fan art, and of course, in every parent who grew up with Clifford and now shares their love of him with their preschoolers. Clifford has always helped children understand their world and face challenges with kindness and understanding, life lessons he’ll continue to share in the new series.”

The rebooted show will emphasize social-emotional skills, like empathy, and includes a curriculum with the goal of boosting literacy and imaginative play for kids, according to a press release.

Clifford got his start when Bridwell, an illustrator, turned a drawing of a young girl and her horse-sized bloodhound into the big red dog people know today. There have been dozens of Clifford books since 1963 that follow Clifford’s adventures in everything from getting bigger and going to school to celebrating his first holidays and getting a job. Today, there are 133 Clifford books in print in 16 languages.