Netflix orders new series based on The Magic School Bus


Netflix is acquiring for worldwide streaming 26 half-hour episodes of the new program, “The Magic School Bus 360°,” which will use computer-generated animation. The show will start appearing in 2016, the companies plans to announce on Wednesday.

The new version will include a modernized teacher, Ms. Frizzle (voiced by Lily Tomlin in the original), who will take her class on flying trips on an updated bus. The young scientists will use newer scientific tools, such as robots or a smart suit worn by the character Carlos that determines his body’s vital signs instantly.

The companies declined to discuss terms of the deal, which follows Netflix’s acquisition in the last year of rights to a number of Scholastic series, including the original “Magic School Bus,” “Clifford the Big Red Dog” and “Goosebumps.”

“ 'Magic School Bus,’ the old version, is remarkably popular on Netflix,” said Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, calling it the streaming service’s top educational show. “It teaches science in a way that transcends generations.”

First broadcast on PBS in 1994, and most recently seen in reruns as part of the children’s programming on Qubo, “The Magic School Bus” was the longest-running children’s science program, Scholastic said, and was shown in approximately 39 countries. While the television show left Qubo in 2012, the company continues to publish books under the brand.

“Parents trust it and kids love it,” Mr. Sarandos said, adding that the new version will be “even more relevant and entertaining for today’s kids.”

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