Martha Speaks (TV series)

Martha Speaks (TV series)
Martha Speaks
The show's logo
Format Children's television series Animated television series Comedy
Created by Based on the series of children's books by Susan Meddaugh
Starring Tabitha St. Germain
Composer(s) Daniel Ingram
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3 [1]
No. of episodes 76 (6 unaired) [2][3] (List of episodes)
Running time 28 minutes (approximately 13 minutes per episode)
Production company(s) DHX Media Vancouver
Original channel PBS
Original run September 1, 2008 – present

Martha Speaks is an animated children's television sitcom based on the 1992 children's book of the same name by Susan Meddaugh about a talking dog named Martha (voiced by Tabitha St. Germain), who is owned by ten-year-old Helen Lorraine (known in the books as Helen Finney). When Helen feeds Martha some alphabet soup, the soup travels to her brain instead of her stomach, resulting in her ability to speak. The show focuses on synonyms and vocabulary, with each episode featuring an underlying theme illustrated with key words. The show takes place in the fictional town of Wagstaff City, a parody of Flagstaff, Arizona.

The show is produced by WGBH in Boston, along with Vancouver based animation studio DHX Media Vancouver (formerly Studio B Productions), and debuted on September 1, 2008 on PBS Kids and PBS Kids Go! stations across the United States. Some episodes of this TV series were available for limited theatrical release on January 3, 2009.[4]

The third season of Martha Speaks premiered on PBS Kids on October 11, 2010.[5]



The episodes are produced by Carol Greenwald, and was developed for television by Emmy Award-winning writer Ken Scarborough, the show's head writer and creative producer. Mr. Scarborough is also head writer for the show. Other writers include Joe Fallon, Peter Hirsch, Raye Lankford, Pippin Parker, Ron Holsey, and Dietrich Smith. Music for the series and the theme song is by Canadian composer Daniel Ingram. Lyrics for the theme song are by head writer, Ken Scarborough.[6] The show is animated in Vancouver by Studio B Productions using Flash.[7] Meddaugh, author of the book. is involved in the show and oversees the production.[8] Despite some concerns over the word definitions presented on the show, she said she is now satisfied that they do not interrupt the story.[9] Producer Carol Greenwald first contacted Meddaugh when she was involved in the TV series Arthur;[10] the author has also been approached by HBO and Disney.[9]


Language system

Martha can understand most animal languages except for a few exotic animals such as monkeys and giraffes. These languages are simple, as slight elongation or slightly higher pitch will mean something entirely different. In the episode "Itchy Martha", Martha teaches T.D.'s father to speak a word in dog, coaching him to say it exactly right. Almost all animals are able to understand some sort of human language but are unable to speak it. In a newer episode, it is revealed that Martha understands a wide range of animal languages, possibly because they have the same grammar system.


Season one of the series ended with a total of forty episodes; it premiered in September 2008, 30 episodes were produced for Season 2 and then split in half to be aired over two broadcast seasons, with 15 episodes each.[11]

When aired, the show was followed by Music Time With Steve Songs and later by Dot's Story Factory. Season two episodes have been followed by a segment called Who's That Dog!, in which a clip of a kid and their dog is shown.

Season Episodes First airdate Last airdate
1 40 September 1, 2008 July 24, 2009
2 15 September 14, 2009 May 14, 2010
3 21 October 11, 2010 TBA 2011


PBS KIDS! reported that episodes of the series would be available as downloads in fall 2008.[12] Episodes are available for purchase via downloading.[8]

In the Fall of 2009, Martha Speaks launched its first list of official tie-in books, which include 24-page readers, chapter books, and a picture book.[10]

On March 9, 2010, a DVD set of the series was released.[13] It features eight episodes from Season One: "Martha Says It with Flowers," "Raiders of the Lost Art," "Martha Gets Spooked," "Martha Changes Her Luck," "Martha Sings," "TD Makes the Band," "There Goes the Neighborhood," and "Ice Scream."


See also


  1. ^ Weiss, Joanna (August 17, 2008). "PBS set to unleash a new tutor". The Boston Globe. 
  2. ^ Weiss, Joanna (August 17, 2008). "PBS set to unleash a new tutor". The Boston Globe. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Kidtoon Films
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  7. ^ "2008: The year that was". Top Draw Animation. Retrieved 2009-07-26. 
  8. ^ a b "Martha Speaks . FAQ". PBS KIDS!. WGBH. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  9. ^ a b Nesi, Ted (2009-05-12). "Good dog". Wheaton Quarterly. Wheaton College. Retrieved 2009-07-31. [dead link]
  10. ^ a b ‘Martha Speaks’ to Launch on PBS - 8/21/2008 - Publishers Weekly
  11. ^
  12. ^ Martha Speaks . FAQ | PBS KIDS!
  13. ^

External links

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