Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show

Wishbone is not just a talking dog; he is a sensitive, thinking man's terrier who yearns in his heart of hearts to experience the poetry of Shakespeare and the drama of Dickens and Cervantes. And every day, for half an hour, he gets his wish.

The live-action educational program Wishbone illustrated the imaginative life of a cute, smart Jack Russell terrier as he reenacted the adventures of classical literature. The show was designed to expose children aged six to eleven to the plays of Shakespeare, the novels of Dickens and Twain, and other classics of literature, making reading fun.

Wishbone's "voice" was heard by the audience, who witnessed his wit, charm, intelligence, and sense of humor. Every episode sent Wishbone into a fantasy of a famous novel or play. For example, in the "Twisted Tail" episode (which presented Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist), Wishbone imagined himself as the lead character in this l9th century work, acting out key scenes from the story with the Artful Dodger, Fagin, and other characters (all except Wishbone himself played by humans).

The clever terrier's owner was a friendly and considerate 12-year-old named Joe. David Barnes was Joe's best friend and a quick-witted kid who knew his technology. Their neighbor Samantha Kepler was a smart and head-strong friend. And the human cast was rounded out by Ellen Talbot, Joe's mom, a full-time librarian and aspiring writer.

Wishbone's dramatizations of timeless and classic literature, much of which was obscure to elementary age children, was a great boon to educational television. The show arrived during a fertile time in "edutainment," a period that also saw the creation of Scholastic's The Magic School Bus and Arthur. These shows have all become long-running PBS hits, proving that "educational" doesn't have to be a synonym for "boring."

Release History

10/95 - 1998 PBS

TV Sub Categories


TV Studio

Big Feats! Entertainment

Television Cast

Wishbone(voice-over) Larry Brantley)
Joe Talbot Jordan Wall
David Barnes  Adam Springfield
Samantha Kepler Christie Abbott
Ellen Talbot Mary Chris Wall
Wanda Gilmore Angee Hughes

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