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Dedicated to Iowa's Kids: IPTV Premiers Kids Clubhouse with Dan Wardell and Abby Brown

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Iowa Public Television

Dan Wardell always wanted to host his own kids TV show, and now his dream is coming true. Iowa Public Television will air its new show, Kids Clubhouse, hosted by Wardell and co-host Abby Brown, for the first time this Friday at 7 a.m. as the start of a ten week series.  

On this episode of Talk of Iowa Charity Nebbe speaks with Wardell and Brown, along with the show’s Senior Producer and Director Deb Herbold about their new show.   It's a rarity indeed that any local or regional station or network is starting a new children's program in this day and age.

The idea originally came from a segment during IPTV fundraising campaigns, also called Kids Clubhouse and hosted by Wardell. The success of that segment lead IPTV to expand the segment into a full show.

The show includes kids from across the state participating in different activities. The show also has an educational aspect. Wardell says you can expect a lot of fun and amusement in the show.

“Fun, adventure, excitement.  Kids all across the state doing what kids love to do. Using their imagination, building robots, doing experiments and going to the library. And just having fun fun fun,” says Wardell.

The show is unique, there are not many local kids shows on air today, but Herbold sees value in this kind of statewide programming commitment. 

“Nobody does this anymore. It’s been since the mid 90’s that there was a local show … We knew that kids really responded to this and really related to Dan and so doing a local show was just a great chance to engage Iowa kids and make memories for them too,” said Herbold.

Later in the hour, Charity speaks to one of our favorite Talk of Iowa guests, Leo Landis, curator of the State Historical Museum of Iowa.  Landis takes us back to the glory days of local TV kids programming in Iowa.  He says the first TV stations in Iowa, such as WMT in Cedar Rapids, KRNT and WOI in Des Moines, WOC in Davenport and KGLO in Mason City offered their unique, home-spun shows, such as Dr. Max and Mambo, The House with the Magic Window and Duane Ellett and Floppy.  Hardly a baby boomer in Iowa today can forget their time before the tube, entranced with these charming shows.

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa