Franklin is a 6-year-old turtle who battles every day issues such as friends, feelings, and other obstacles we face each day. The show's cast of characters include Franklin's best friend Bear, and his parents Mr and Mrs Turtle.
The show is based on the books written by Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark and many episodes of the program are based directly on original Franklin stories. The series was produced by Canadian art studio, Nelvana.
Franklin began airing on November 3, 1997 replacing the previously established show Muppet Babies. The show was instantly a ratings winner and was highly popular in North America.
The show premiered in the US on Nick Jr on January 11, 1999. On May, 29, 2000 for unknown reasons Franklin was pulled from the Nick Jr lineup, four episodes into the show's fourth season. However, the show was soon picked up by Noggin (An educational child friendly network launched in 1998) Since then the show has continued to air re-runs and new episodes on the channel. Franklin has never stopped airing on Canada's Family Channel since the show's premiere.
The show teaches many virtues such as compassion, honesty, respect, etc. The show is described by Doug Thomas of Amazon.com as "a little more hip than Little Bear and a little less talky than Arthur ," The show's appeal expands out of its target audience of pre-schoolers.
In late 2006 Franklin hit the big screen in Franklin and Granny's Secret. Since the launch of the show many direct to video and DVD releases have been produced such as Franklin and the Green Night, Franklin's Christmas, and Back to School With Franklin. All of these shows air on Noggin during different seasons of the year. Only a portion of Franklin's sixth season have aired on Noggin with more expected to come. In Canada, Franklin has had a first season DVD release with all 13 episodes, 26 stories.
Many episodes are available on DVD and video. Many classic episodes are on DVD. A DVD complication of Franklin entitled Eight Favorite Turtle Tales was released in 2004 with episodes including Franklin’s Birthday Party, Franklin Goes to School, Franklin Rides a Bike, Franklin’s Blanket, Franklin’s Camp Out, Franklin and The Tooth Fairy, Hurry Up Franklin, and Franklin Plays the Game. Canada has had several Franklin DVD releases by Kaboom entertainment.
Franklin is currently airing on Noggin at 11 A.M. and 5P.M. eastern time every day. Noggin airs the episodes in no particular order, so check listings if you want to know what you plan on recording/watching.