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Home » PBS Introduces First Autistic Lead Character in Kid’s Show, ‘Carl the Collector’

PBS Introduces First Autistic Lead Character in Kid’s Show, ‘Carl the Collector’

PBS Introduces First Autistic Lead Character in Kid’s Show, ‘Carl the Collector’
A new animated kid’s show on PBS features the first autistic lead character!

Only days ago, PBS announced a new kid’s animated series was in production. Carl the Collector features a lead character who is on the autism spectrum. The new series was created by author Zachariah Ohora, a New York Times best-selling author and illustrator.

Carl the Collector features animated stories that will celebrate the diverse way kids act, think, and express themselves while also assisting in building a strong sense of community and self. It’s scheduled to premiere in the fall of 2024 on PBS Kids.

Carl the CollectorCarl the Collector values inclusion and empathy, while modeling relationship-building and social skill development, wrapped up in humor, heart, and incredible visual design,” said Sara DeWitt, the Senior Vice President, and General Manager of PBS KIDS. “We are excited for children to get to know Carl and his group of friends, who believe that the best experiences occur when we honor the things that make each of us unique.

My hope for Carl and his diverse group of Fuzzytown friends is that they will inspire neurodiverse and neurotypical kids alike to foster a world in which neurodiversity is not only recognized as a benefit to society, but is celebrated as exemplifying the full spectrum of what it means to be human,” said creator and co-producer Ohora.

Carl the Collector will follow the daily adventures of Carl, a young, warm-hearted, autistic raccoon who just loves to collect things. His talents include being laser-focused on achieving his goals, a unique way of looking at the world, and attention to detail. Thanks to his talents, Carl has amassed an extensive collection of things perfect for every occasion.

While solving problems around the local neighborhood with his friends, Carl also deals with his own challenges, such as anxiety, meeting new people, and understanding how to handle situations when they don’t go his way. Like his other friends, Carl is learning that there’s no wrong or right way to be himself.

The show’s cast includes both neurodiverse and neurotypical characters, all with different behaviors, traits, and challenges.

In today’s world, inclusivity and representation in programming is more important than ever, especially for the youngest of viewers,” said Caroline Bandolik, Supervising Producer and Vice President of Production for Spiffy Pictures. “We instantly fell in love with this beautiful Fuzzytown world Zachariah created, filled with engaging and relatable characters and funny, heartfelt stories.

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