PBS Cancels Caillou, 2021 Is Already Looking Up

by Valerie Williams

PBS is cancelling “Caillou” and parents are a mix of elated and weirdly bummed out

Parents, we have pretty huge news — the classic PBS Kids show Caillou is going bye-bye. Yep, the scourge of many a household with toddlers or preschoolers is finally taking his last bow. PBS Kids shared the news on social media today and while many moms and dads are hollering for joy, just as many are mourning the loss of a show that was actually… not that bad?

PBS Kids shared the news on Facebook. “We’re saying farewell to Caillou, but remember, when we say goodbye to something, it just means we get to say hello to something new!” they write. The network also provided a link with tips to help little ones cope when their fave show goes away (though in the age of all things digital, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep your kid in Caillou episodes for as long as their interest in the ill-behaved tot holds).

Lots of Caillou-ed out parents were pretty quick to cheer the news of the little guy’s exit.

It is kind of obnoxious TBH.

Some parents even called poor Caillou a bad influence due to his kinda shitty behavior.

Others weren’t so thrilled to hear that Caillou is saying peace out. Actually, it seems there are far more comments from parents sad to see the little dude go.

As far as reasons parents tend to loathe the fictitious 4-year-old? In a piece for the Kansas City Star, Sara Smith sums it up pretty neatly. “Four early episodes of ‘Caillou’ have been permanently banned from PBS Kids because the kid is such a demon seed: lying to his mother, tormenting the family cat, swatting his baby sister with a book. Even in later versions, where his bad behavior was toned down after criticism from parents, he’s thoughtless, selfish and impulsive.”


Regardless of their flaws, the shows a kid latches on to in their toddler and preschool years end up being shows us parents know all too much about. In my household, it was The Backyardigans, Thomas the Train, Sesame Street, and several others. Despite my occasional distaste for the constant kiddie programming playing in our living room, I actually grew to enjoy them all (except Thomas — good lord fuck that weird little train) and now that my kids are older, I can’t hear the theme songs without tearing up (yes, even Thomas). There’s no doubt that parents develop a special affection for the TV shows that occupy their kids through yucky fever viruses, bored moments when we’re too busy to play with them, and those early mornings where all we want is five minutes of peace to sip our coffee.

Caillou, we both love and hate you. It’s with mixed feelings that we bid you goodbye, but we’ll always have DVR and streaming.