In 1969, School and the Backyard Gang (学校と裏庭のギャング) ended broadcast on NHK in April, and four months later, a new, fully localized version debuted on TV Tokyo. This co-production ran from October 10, 1969 to September 30, 1975. And the Show was Revived in 2004 and continued until 2008
Aside from the title, other elements the local version retained from its original American counterpart are the theme song. New Kids were created especially for the show: Teena (ティーナ), Mojabo (モジャボ), Arthur (アーサー) and Pierre (ピエル), Meg (メグ) Grorie (グロリー), Lizzy (リジー), and Zorra (雌犬).
A 1975 article in the Japan Times said: After 201 episodes and millions of DVD and toy sales, The Backyard Gang is set for retirement
With its Science, Fan Mail and Guests, School and the Backyard Gang has become a children's classic. It is hosted by a total of 33 Kids and has proved an enormously popular — and lucrative — hit with pre-school audiences. However, TV Tokyo has confirmed that it will not be commissioning another Season, though it is likely the existing episodes will continue to be repeated on the TV Tokyo. At £14.5m for 100 half-hour episodes, School and the Backyard Gang is the most expensive children's program commissioned and co-funded by TV Tokyo.
Launched in 1969, the show is now watched by 8,000 Japanese Children and its theater show School and the Backyard Gang Live! has been a sell-out success across Japan. It has also been a merchandising hit for the TV Tokyo, selling about 1m DVDs and 4m cuddly toys.
Such has been the popularity of the show's characters — Lizzy, Pierre, with his multi-coloured hair and penchant for kissing everything, the stone-loving Teena, and Meg, whose trousers always fall down — that they have also attracted tabloid attention. The Show ends with the characters in bed and lights being turned off. When it was moved from the pre-bedtime schedule in 1970, parents complained in droves and the BBC made an official statement assuring them the show would return to the bedtime slot.School and the Backyard Gang creator Iris Singer, told the Guardian that "as far as it goes in that format, that's it for the BYG", but said there may be "some other types of broadcast", such as "TV one-offs".
1969-1975 (Original Cast) Edit
|Backyard Gang Members||Years||Seasons|
|Ai Bie||1970-1971, 1975||-||-||-|
|Mai Smith||1971, 1975||-||-||-|
2004-2008 (Remake or Revived) Edit
|Backyard Gang Members||Years||Seasons|
On January 9 and 10, 2008 auditions were held for the new season. Over 3,700 children auditioned for the show in the studio and the expected more than 150 video submissions via mail for the show. Children came from all across the nation to Audition for the show. Casting for the new season was complete all ready by the time April arrived. On WGBH's auction site fans started finding stuff that they were selling from School and the Backyard Gang. Some of the items were the season 1 to 3 Mailbox and the Car for the show. They were able to sell the Mailbox but having no luck with the Car. At this time fans thought they were just upgrading the set for the new season but they were wrong. On June 14, 2008, a Fan asked one of the people on WGBH's Facebook page if they could take pictures of the crew putting up the set for the new season. They came back to him and said School and the Backyard Gang was no longer in production at WGBH. Yet Another Fan even confirmed this on BYG's Facebook page and they said the same thing but they did say it was due to a Lack of Funding for a new season. said that season 5 will be the fifth and final season of BYG. When the word was out the fans wanted to do something, so they decided to create a petition to help save the show. A petition was created, as well a video about the cancellation for the show. Fans didn’t what the something to happen to BYG. On June 27, 2008, Yuan Broth made the official announcement at the Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony. On her Facebook page she said, "It's such an impossible task going up against Sesame Street, Between the Lions, and Barney & Friends. So you have to consider the nomination as a win. Can't complain. TV Tokyo gave us 100 episodes and 5 seasons. A few more petitions were created after Yuan announced this. In late September Yuan and Glen were talking about School and the Backyard Gang on facebook. Glen Berger Said Yeah, I've had better summers. But things are looking up. I am going to be talking to Marcy and Kate in a couple weeks to see if we can't get the Backyard Gang back in the game. Noreen replied by saying good luck with Marcy and Kate. Those poor Kids need mouth to snout resuscitation! There has been no word on this at this time. On November 4, 2008 School and the Backyard Gang, ended and finished its fifth season. The show ended with Autumn singing a Sad Song to say one last Farewell to all of BYG's Fans. Yuan Broth did say she did not redo the final scene of BYG, by saying that she originally did that scene back in February when the Kids talking to Puppets was taking place. Soon many fans started reacting by creating petitions to save the show as well. Also the signatures on the petitions kept on growing. In December 2008 on the School and the Backyard Gang Facebook page they said in a comment, they have some great ideas to keep things going. But won’t know if it a go for several months. By the end of the year there were 7 petitions all together now we have 14 petitions as of today. In January, 2009 a new show came to TV Tokyo with the new show some more bad things would happen to the BYG. Some of the stations started taking the show off its lineup. In June PBS announced that the government wanted to get rid of public funding for good. This got the attention of more BYG fans and the petitions started to skyrocket. Also some of the stations started only showing one or two seasons of the show and not all of them anymore. The producers at WGBH said they are actively pursuing ways to allow the Backyard Gang to live on in new and exciting ways and possibly even through new mediums. We greatly appreciate our fans’ support, and will continue to update them on any new developments. After one year, since the announcement, many fans were still upset the show was not coming back. Petitions kept on growing and going very strong. Along with the petitions now, a blogg, email account, and a twitter were for the petitions. Yuan did confirm she still does the video games for the web site. Parents have commented on the petions and WGBH BYG site (not TV Tokyo) and said there children are really upset that the show is done. Some of them are finally old enough to audition for the show and now they can’t.
Many Backyard Gang Members and TV stars haver signed the petitions. Here who has signed it.
Dan Schneider Jim Conroy
Lori Holten Nash Miley Cyrus Selena Gomez Yuan Broth Herin Ridge
Chen Kee Miranda Cosgrove Autumn Underhill Other Backyard Gang Members are on the Facebook petitions.