'Clifford the Big Red Dog' is returning to TV and our inner 5-year-old is beaming with excitement

PHOTO: "Clifford The Big Red Dog" the animated childrens series based on the books by Norman Bridwell, is returning to television in Fall 2019.PlayScholastic Entertainment
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Clifford and his BFF Emily Elizabeth are returning to the small screen.

The multiple Emmy-winning series that we all love and know as "Clifford the Big Red Dog" is set to return with an all-new animated series in the fall of 2019.

The show is being produced by Scholastic Entertainment and will run on Amazon Prime Video and PBS KIDS. Clifford will focus on social-emotional themes, emphasizing empathy, and will include a "solid curriculum" to increase early literacy and encourage imaginative play, according to Scholastic Entertainment.

The fresh reboot will feature 39 episodes of colorful new locations, new designs for Clifford and his owner, Emily Elizabeth, plus new character introductions.

“There is something enduring in Clifford’s gentle, loyal spirit that touches fans even after they become adults,” said Iole Lucchese, Scholastic’s chief strategy officer and executive producer of the new series.

“Clifford has always helped children understand their world and face challenges with kindness and understanding, life lessons he’ll continue to share in the new series.”

Series producer Caitlin Friedman, vice president and general manager of Scholastic Entertainment, said: “Not only will the new ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’ series feature an expanded world and bigger adventures, it will also introduce all new designs for Clifford and Emily Elizabeth, original songs and new friends. Scholastic Entertainment is developing a global publishing, broadcast, merchandise and licensing program to help further extend the positive messages of the brand to children and families around the globe.”

"Clifford the Big Red Dog" is inspired by the best-selling Scholastic books of the same name written and illustrated by Norman Bridwell. Scholastic published the first “Clifford the Big Red Dog” title in 1963.

While developing his characters, Bridwell said he wanted to call the dog "Tiny," but his wife, Norma, said "that was boring and suggested 'Clifford' after an imaginary friend from her childhood," according to Scholastic's biography on Bridwell, who died in 2014.

Bridwell named Clifford's owner Emily Elizabeth, after his young daughter.

PHOTO: Cartoon personality Clifford the Big Red Dog poses for photos before at the Scholastic Parent & Childs Family of the Year event at Scholastic Flagship Store, May 25, 2010, in New York.Jemal Countess/Getty Images, FILE
Cartoon personality Clifford the Big Red Dog poses for photos before at the Scholastic Parent & Child's "Family of the Year" event at Scholastic Flagship Store, May 25, 2010, in New York.

The first television series ran on PBS Kids in 2000 with the late actor John Ritter voicing Clifford. Ritter died in 2003, but was posthumously nominated a year later for a Daytime Emmy for outstanding performer in an animated program.

There is no news yet on who will voice Clifford on the reboot, a rep for Scholastic Entertainment said.

The program has aired in 110 countries around the globe and inspired a spinoff, the Emmy-winning "Clifford’s Puppy Days." With more than 133 million books in print in 16 different languages, it's fair to say that loyal and lovable Clifford continues to touch the hearts of many for 55 years and counting.

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