Between the Lions was a 30 minute kids TV show on PBS. It was designed to be a program that taught young children the basics of reading. The instruction was done by lions who worked in a library and read to lion cubs (and the kids at home of course). Subjects including sentence structure, vocabulary and sounding out words were covered using jokes, stories with cliffhangers and other methods designed to make reading fun. The series targeted four to seven-year-olds however younger and older children also enjoyed watching.
Between the Lions Characters
Peter Linz .... Theodore "Theo" Lion
Jennifer Barnhardt .... Cleopatra "Cleo" Lion
Kathryn Mullen .... Leona Lion
Anthony Asbury .... Lionel Lion
Tim Lagasse .... Barnaby "Buster" Busterfield III
Heather Asch .... Click the Mouse / Clay Pigeon
Tyler Bunch .... Walter Pigeon (2000)
James J. Kroupa .... Walter Pigeon (2001)
Chris Phillips .... Cliff Hanger
Michael K. Frith .... Various Animated Characters
Matt Vogel .... Various Animated Characters
Between the Lions Trivia
Between the Lions won 7 Daytime Emmys from 2001 through 2007 and was nominated for 24 more! It also won 2 Television Critics Association Awards and was nominated for a third!
Many of the writers on Between the Lions had experience writing on "Arthur" and "Sesame Street" among other popular children's programs.
There were many segments of Between the Lions that children looked forward to each episode. Some of them were titled, "Fun with Chicken Jane", "Moby Duck", "The Monkey Pop-Up Theatre", "Silent E", "The Un-People vs The Re-People", "Vowel Boot Camp", "The Vowelles" and "The Word Doctor with Dr. Ruth Wordheimer".
The lions' home was called the Barnaby B. Busterfield III Memorial Public library.
Obviously, Between the Lions is a parody on the common phrase "[reading] between the lines" but the series title also refers to the fact that many libraries have two big lions at their entrance so patrons must pass "between the lions" in order to enter.
Several delightful episodes during the second season had Sesame Street characters appear as guest stars.
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