Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat all shrink...

Sally, Nick, and the Cat in the Hat all shrink down to explore a tide pool in "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That," premiering Sept. 6, 2010 on PBS. Credit: PBS Kids

For PBS, the new weekday series "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That" (premiering at 9 a.m. on WNET/13 and 11 a.m. on WLIW/21) represents the latest piece of a rebuilt PBS Kids schedule that emphasizes curriculum for younger children.

"We all know that there are millions of children who will never see the inside of a pre-K classroom, but those kids have access to PBS, whether it's on air, online or on a mobile device," PBS president Paula Kerger told TV critics at their summer press tour in Beverly Hills. "We want to help them build the skills that they'll need to succeed in school and in life." At the same time, the shows have to keep children entertained.

For "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That," the goal is to teach preschoolers about science. Actor Martin Short gives voice to the Cat - in rhyme, of course - as he guides Sally and Nick (now neighbors, not siblings) on adventures where they learn about science, including how bees make honey and why owls sleep during the day. Other Dr. Seuss characters, including the Fish and Thing 1 and Thing 2, also appear.

"We've aligned ourselves with a lot of established literary properties like 'Cat in the Hat' and 'Curious George,' very strong character-driven projects, and we've looked to slowly move our schedule around so that the emphasis is really on these projects that have that curriculum basis to them," Kerger said.

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