Wishbone (TV series)

Wishbone (TV series)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Wishbone (TV series)'
Start a new discussion about 'Wishbone (TV series)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Wishbone is a television show which aired from 1995 to 1998 and reruns from 1998 to 2001 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 featuring a Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell terrier is a small terrier that has its origins in fox hunting. It is principally white-bodied smooth, rough or broken-coated which is commonly confused with the Parson Russell terrier and the Russell terrier with the term "Jack Russell" commonly misapplied to other small white...

 of the same name. The main character, the talking dog Wishbone, lives with his owner Joe Talbot in the fictional modern town of Oakdale, Texas
Oakdale, Texas
Oakdale, Texas is a small rural community in Polk County, Texas. The community was first settled in 1854. In 2000 it had a population of 25. It is located about 4 miles northeast of Livingston.Oakdale was also a fictional town on the PBS series Wishbone....

. As he tends to daydream about being the lead character of stories from classic literature, drawing parallels between the stories and events in the lives of Joe and his friends, he was known as "the little dog with a big imagination". The show follows his daydreams, as Wishbone acts out a famous story from literature or folklore. Only the viewers and the characters in his daydreams can hear Wishbone speak (and furthermore, the characters from his daydreams see Wishbone as whatever famous character he is currently portraying and not as a dog). The show has won four Daytime Emmies
Daytime Emmy Award
The Daytime Emmy Awards are awards presented by the New York-based National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in recognition of excellence in American daytime television programming...

, a Peabody Award
Peabody Award
The George Foster Peabody Awards recognize distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals. In 1939, the National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to recognize outstanding achievement in radio broadcasting...

, and honors from the Television Critics Association
Television Critics Association
The Television Critics Association is a group of approximately 200 United States and Canadian journalists and columnists who cover television programming...

. Wishbone's exterior shots were filmed on the backlot of Lyrick Studios
Lyrick Studios
Lyrick Studios, Inc. is an American video production and distribution company founded in 1991 and based in Allen, Texas. The company was best known for its distribution of home videos, audio products and children's books and toys for the children's television series Barney & Friends and...

's teen division Big Feats! Entertainment in Allen, Texas
Allen, Texas
Allen is a city in Collin County, Texas, United States, a northern suburb of Dallas. As of the 2010 census the city had a total population of 84,246.-Geography:According to the City of Allen, the city has a total area of...

, and its interior shots were filmed on a sound stage in a 50,000 square foot (4,600 square metres) warehouse in Plano, Texas
Plano, Texas
Plano is a city in the state of Texas, located mostly within Collin County. The city's population was 259,841 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth-largest city in Texas and the 71st most populous city in the United States. Plano is located within the metropolitan area commonly referred to as...

.

The theme song was written by Tim Cissell and Lynn Adler.

This show garnered particular praise for refusing to sugarcoat many of the sadder or more unpleasant aspects of the source works, which usually enjoyed a fairly faithful retelling in the fantasy sequences.

It also inspired several book series. Altogether, there are more than fifty books featuring Wishbone, which were published even after the TV series ended production, up to 1998. It continues to air reruns by some PBS affiliates.

Episodes


A standard episode of Wishbone consists of an opening scene, introducing Wishbone's and his family's current situation (for example, Arbor Day planting a tree, or Joe catching a lunch lady
Lunch Lady
Lunch lady is an American slang term for a woman who cooks and serves food in a school cafeteria; the equivalent British English term is "dinner lady". In Britain, a dinner lady also patrols the school playgrounds during the lunch breaks to maintain order amongst the children...

 trying to donate food to a homeless shelter). When one of the main characters decides to get involved in the noble act, Wishbone flashes to a famous work of literature it reminds him of, usually with him playing the lead role, in costume. Wishbone may not play the lead role if the character is difficult to relate to (he plays Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza
Sancho Panza is a fictional character in the novel Don Quixote written by Spanish author Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra in 1605. Sancho acts as squire to Don Quixote, and provides comments throughout the novel, known as sanchismos, that are a combination of broad humour, ironic Spanish proverbs,...

 in Don Quixote) or is female (in the show's "Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc
Saint Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" , is a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the...

" episode, he plays Louis de Conte
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
Mark Twain's work on Joan of Arc is titled in full, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by the Sieur Louis de Conte, who is identified further as Joan's page and secretary...

). By the end of both stories, the real-life situation usually follows the work of literature closely (such as the King saving Robin Hood
Robin Hood
Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes....

 at the last minute, and the Principal saving Joe at the last minute). The last 2 minutes of nearly every episode feature Wishbone narrating some background description of how the episode was made, such as showing how stunts were done, how costumes were made, or how the visual effects were created.

One 90-minute movie was released, Wishbone's Dog Days of the West
Wishbone's Dog Days of the West
Wishbone's Dog Days of the West is a feature-length telefilm that aired on PBS in 1998. It was shot in Galisteo and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Apache/Mexican actor Adan Sanchez appeared as Dan Bloodgood. His earlier role on that series was Lee Natonabah in its episode Dances with Dogs, a parody title of...

, based on Heart of the West
Heart of the West
Heart of the West could refer to one of several things:* Heart of the West, a 1936 screenplay by Doris Schroeder.* Heart of the West, by O...

.

The series also featured a clip show
Clip show
A clip show is an episode of a television series that consists primarily of excerpts from previous episodes. Most clip shows feature the format of a frame story in which cast members recall past events from past installments of the show, depicted with a clip of the event presented as a flashback. ...

 episode called Picks of the Litter.

Main characters


  • Wishbone: A well-read dog who sees parallels between classic literature and the dilemmas he and his human friends face every day. Wishbone is a male tri-color Jack Russell Terrier
    Jack Russell Terrier
    The Jack Russell terrier is a small terrier that has its origins in fox hunting. It is principally white-bodied smooth, rough or broken-coated which is commonly confused with the Parson Russell terrier and the Russell terrier with the term "Jack Russell" commonly misapplied to other small white...

     (white with brown and black markings), who lives with the Talbots at their home on Forest Avenue in Oakdale. In his normal contemporary life, none of the humans can hear Wishbone speak, though the audience can. He seems to be under the impression that humans would hear him if they just paid attention and he often bemoans the fact that they do not do so. In the classic literature stories he imagines himself in, humans can hear him and they apparently perceive him as a human. He is portrayed by "Soccer" the dog, his thoughts given voice by Larry Brantley
    Larry Brantley
    Larry Brantley, a former stand-up comedian and radio spokesman, entertained families nationwide as the voice of Wishbone the Jack Russell Terrier. Brantley, who specializes in character voices, has many television and radio commercials to his credit, as well as film and television appearances,...

    .

  • Joe Talbot: Wishbone's teen-aged owner, the only child of Steve and Ellen Talbot. Joe has brown hair and a great interest in sports, particularly basketball
    Basketball
    Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

    . He is a player on the Sequoyah Middle School basketball team. His best friends are Samantha Kepler and David Barnes. His father Steve, a basketball coach
    Coach (sport)
    In sports, a coach is an individual involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople.-Staff:...

    , died from a rare blood disease when Joe was six years old. Portrayed by Jordan Wall.

  • David Barnes: Joe and Sam's best friend and Joe's neighbor. He lives on Forest Avenue with his parents, Nathan and Ruth Barnes, and his younger sister, Emily. David aspires to be a scientist
    Scientist
    A scientist in a broad sense is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word...

    . Portrayed by Adam Springfield
    Adam Springfield
    Adam Luke Springfield is an American actor. Springfield's most high-profile role was David Barnes in the PBS series Wishbone...

    .

  • Samantha "Sam" Kepler: Joe and David's best friend. Her father, Walter Kepler owns and runs the local pizzeria, Pepper Pete's. She has long blonde hair, and is the most outgoing and adventurous of the three friends. She is allergic to coconut. Her parents are divorce
    Divorce
    Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties...

    d. Portrayed by Christie Abbott
    Christie Abbott
    Christie Abbott is an American actress. Christie attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas. Abbott's most high-profile role was Samantha Kepler in the TV series Wishbone.- Career :...

    .

  • Ellen Talbot: Joe's widow
    Widow
    A widow is a woman whose spouse has died, while a widower is a man whose spouse has died. The state of having lost one's spouse to death is termed widowhood or occasionally viduity. The adjective form is widowed...

    ed mother, who, like him, has dark brown hair. She works as the reference librarian
    Librarian
    A librarian is an information professional trained in library and information science, which is the organization and management of information services or materials for those with information needs...

     at Henderson Memorial Library in Oakdale. Portrayed by Mary Chris Wall
    Mary Chris Wall
    Mary Chris Wall is an actress, who is best known for the role of Ellen Talbot, the mother of Joe Talbot, on the 1995-1998 children's television show Wishbone that aired on PBS...

    .

  • Wanda Gilmore: The Talbots' slightly eccentric next-door neighbour. Wanda is the owner of the Oakdale Chronicle newspaper and president of the local Historical Society
    Historical society
    A historical society is an organization that collects, researches, interprets and preserves information or items of historical interest. Generally, a historical society focuses on a specific geographical area, such as a county or town or subject, such as aviation or rail. Many historical...

    . She is a very friendly and cheerful person, but hates it when Wishbone digs up her flower beds. She has a crush
    Limerence
    Limerence is a term coined c. 1977 by the psychologist Dorothy Tennov to describe an involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated...

     on Joe's teacher, Bob Pruitt. Portrayed by Angee Hughes
    Angee Hughes
    Angee Hughes is an American actress who has appeared in film, television and theatre productions. She is best known for her role as Wanda Gilmore on the PBS series Wishbone and the film Wishbone's Dog Days of the West....

    .

Other characters

  • Damont Jones: The local bully, always up to no good, who usually causes trouble with his friend Curtis.

  • Emily Barnes: David's mischievous little sister who is often seen with her friend Tina; a running gag seem to involve an adult telling Emily and Tina to be good, to which they reply in unison "we will", before giggling insincerely and being bad.

  • Amanda Hollins: Samantha's academic rival who always tries to prove she is smarter than Samantha.

  • Mr. Bob Pruitt: Joe's English teacher and later a love interest of Wanda.

  • Walter Kepler: Samantha's dad and a former friend of Joe's dad. He owns and operates Pepper Pete's Pizzeria in the later episodes.

  • Nathaniel Bobelesky: A geeky kid who is terrible at sports and allergic to everything, but is still friends with Joe and Sam.

  • Mr. Natonabah: A Native American
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

     who is a college professor in Dances with Dogs. The actor appeared as Dan Bloodgood the mailman in later episodes.

  • Mr. King: A real-estate developer who is an occasional antagonist of Joe and Sam.

Cast

  • Soccer
    Soccer (dog actor)
    Soccer was a Jack Russell terrier dog actor. A veteran of many television commercials for companies like Nike Athletics and Mighty Dog Dog Food, he became famous portraying the talking dog Wishbone in the PBS TV series of the same name...

    , also Slugger, Shiner, Phoebe, and Bear as Wishbone
  • Larry Brantley
    Larry Brantley
    Larry Brantley, a former stand-up comedian and radio spokesman, entertained families nationwide as the voice of Wishbone the Jack Russell Terrier. Brantley, who specializes in character voices, has many television and radio commercials to his credit, as well as film and television appearances,...

     - Wishbone's voice
  • Jordan Wall - Joe Talbot
  • Adam Springfield
    Adam Springfield
    Adam Luke Springfield is an American actor. Springfield's most high-profile role was David Barnes in the PBS series Wishbone...

     - David Barnes
  • Christie Abbott
    Christie Abbott
    Christie Abbott is an American actress. Christie attended Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas. Abbott's most high-profile role was Samantha Kepler in the TV series Wishbone.- Career :...

     - Samantha Kepler
  • Mary Chris Wall
    Mary Chris Wall
    Mary Chris Wall is an actress, who is best known for the role of Ellen Talbot, the mother of Joe Talbot, on the 1995-1998 children's television show Wishbone that aired on PBS...

     - Ellen Talbot
  • Angee Hughes
    Angee Hughes
    Angee Hughes is an American actress who has appeared in film, television and theatre productions. She is best known for her role as Wanda Gilmore on the PBS series Wishbone and the film Wishbone's Dog Days of the West....

     - Wanda Gilmore
  • Justin Reese - Nathaniel Bobelesky
  • Adan Sanchez - Lee Natonabah/Dan Bloodgood
  • Rick Perkins - Mr. Bob Pruitt
  • Taylor Pope - Curtis

Awards

  • Academy of Television Arts & Sciences First Honor Roll of Children's Programming, 1999
  • George Foster Peabody Award, 1998
  • Emmy Award - Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design, 1997
  • Emmy Award - Costume Design/Styling, 1997
  • Emmy Award - Graphics and Title Design, 1997
  • Emmy Award - Costume Design/Styling, 1996
  • Emmy Award Nominations, 1998, "WISHBONE's Dog Days of the West"
  • Directing in a Children's Special
  • Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design
  • Main Title Design
  • Costume Design/Styling
  • Television Critics Association - Best Children's Show, 1996 and 1997

Other


Only a handful of the Wishbone episodes have been released to VHS and DVD. There were also a few computer games in 1996, such as Wishbone Activity Center and Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey
Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey
Wishbone and The Amazing Odyssey is a computer program published by Palladium Interactive in 1996 featuring the Jack Russell Terrier from the Wishbone television series on PBS...

. Wishbone has also inspired several book series: Wishbone Classics, Wishbone Mysteries, and The Adventures of Wishbone, which is similar to the TV series.
Wishbone also appeared in a segment in the video called "Kids for Character: Choices Count" a sequel to the 1996 video Kids for Character
Kids for Character
Kids for Character was a program that was released on VHS in 1996. It was a charity special about moral character that featured many different children's characters. It was produced by The Character Counts! Coalition and was distributed by Lyrick Studios...

.

Recently, Lionsgate
Lions Gate Entertainment
Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation is a North American entertainment company. The company was formed in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1997, and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California...

has released a new Wishbone DVD, The Little Dog With a Big Imagination, on February 15, 2011.

External links