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ACS BLOG
on the record

7.28.2023

Arkansas PBS announces new educational kids’ series ‘Mystery League’ to premiere this fall

by
Kody Ford

Arkansas PBS has announced “Mystery League” – a new 20-episode, live-action series to teach kids in kindergarten through second grades about friendship and community – will premiere this fall on the statewide public media network.

“We are thrilled to produce a television series for Arkansas children that is filmed in Arkansas by Arkansans,” Arkansas PBS CEO and Executive Director Courtney Pledger said. “Our Arkansas kids will see themselves in these stories and characters and recognize their home state.

“‘Mystery League’ showcases the remarkable production skills of our Arkansas PBS team and draws on our many relationships with the talented, larger Arkansas creative community.”

“Mystery League” follows three fifth-grade “detectives” – Millie, Mike and Marta – as they solve the never-ending mysteries of the fictional small Arkansas town of Mulberry Springs. Along the way, the heroes will discover the meaning of friendship and the power of community.

Each episode of “Mystery League” features relevant storylines that encourage Arkansas kids to problem solve and build relationships. Free resources will be offered to families and classrooms to support learning targets that align with Arkansas educational standards.

“We are proud to offer parents locally produced programming that is positive, relatable and relevant, while spotlighting the communities and landscape of Arkansas,” Arkansas PBS Education Director and “Mystery League” producer Sajni Kumpuris said. “To help achieve that end, more than 500 crew, cast, and supply and service vendors were hired in Arkansas to execute the series, boosting the state’s economy with over $1.5 million in revenue from a federal grant.”

Arkansans will see many familiar faces and familiar places in the series, including:

  • Lawson Elementary School in Little Rock.
  • The Old State House Museum.
  • Parkview High School in Little Rock.
  • The Saline County Courthouse.
  • The Burger Shack in Benton.
  • Ouachita River in the cities of Malvern and Rockport.
  • Remmel Dam at Jones Mills, powered by Entergy.
  • The Bauxite Animal Shelter.
  • MacArthur Park in Little Rock.
  • A family farm in Scott.
  • Value Foods in Little Rock.
  • Haskell Hardware in Haskell.
  • Benton School District.

“‘Mystery League is filmed entirely in Arkansas, and we were very deliberate in featuring the qualities and experiences found in our small towns,” Kumpuris said.

The series will be delivered digitally to school districts across the state beginning in fall 2023. The statewide broadcast premiere of “Mystery League” on Arkansas PBS is slated for October 2023, with episodes also livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch. The series will also be available on demand in the PBS App and at youtube.com/arkansaspbs, as well as via YouTube TV. In conjunction with the broadcast and digital distribution of the series, Arkansas PBS will offer activities and lesson plans that align with and extend learning in the classroom and at home.

“Mystery League” is written and produced by the award-winning, cross-sectional Arkansas PBS team of producers and licensed K-12 educators who helped create “Arkansas AMI,” “Blueberry’s Clubhouse,” “Rise and Shine” and ArkansasIDEAS.

About Arkansas PBS

For more than 50 years, Arkansas PBS has served as Arkansas’s statewide public media network. An inventive and award-winning multiplatform producer of local and national public media content, Arkansas PBS empowers learners of all ages and drives conversations, inspiring people and communities to reach their full potential. Arkansas PBS home to the most utilized teacher professional development resources in the state with more than 4 million credit hours awarded. Arkansas PBS creates and celebrates Arkansas stories, informs through in-depth public affairs content and shares valued PBS programs as an essential service to all Arkansans, deepening connections to communities and the larger world, and changing lives for the better. More information about Arkansas PBS’s broadcast, online, educational and on-demand services and resources is available at myarkansaspbs.org.

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At  ACS, we believe that if we provide filmmakers an arena to exhibit their talents, and film enthusiasts a healthy diet of quality programming, we can inspire more Arkansans to make and watch more films. By supporting filmmakers, festivals, theaters and young people interested in filmmaking throughout the state, we hope to create statewide network, pool Arkansas’s resources and be an umbrella organization that feeds all things film. We believe a rising tide lifts all boats.

watch,
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make.
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connect to create.

To be a filmmaker, we have to connect to create. A painter needs a brush, paint and a canvas. A director needs a writer, a cinematographer, a sound mixer, production designer, editor, actors, distributors, and an audience. We cannot do it alone. This art form forces one to collaborate and thus, creates jobs. Filmmaking is unique in the arts in this way. It takes an army.