Arthur is a Canadian/American animated educational television series for children, created by Cookie Jar Group and WGBH for the Public Broadcasting Service. The show is set in the fictional American city of Elwood City, and revolves around the lives of 8-year-old Arthur Read, an anthropomorphic aardvark, his friends and family, and their daily interactions with each other. There is a strong emphasis on the educational value of books and libraries as well as relationships with friends and family members. The series is often noted for dealing with social and health-related issues that affect young children, such as the death of a pet, dyslexia, and more recently cancer, Asperger syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. The television series is based on the Arthur book series, which are written and illustrated by Marc Brown. WGBH Boston along with Cinar began production of the animated series in 1994, and aired its first episode on September 2, 1996. Since its debut, the show has broadcast 190 30-minute long episodes, and its 16th season premiered on October 15, 2012. With 195 episodes, Arthur is one of the longest-running TV shows on PBS Kids, behind only Sesame Street.