Part game show, part reality TV, and part spoof, FETCH! features real kids, real challenges, real science, and an unreal host named Ruff Ruffman (yes, he's an animated dog!) Featuring 20 half-hour episodes, FETCH! mixes live-action with animation and breaks the mold with its educational and comical take on America's newest television genre. Targeting six- to ten-year olds, it is spontaneous, unscripted, and full of twists.
The star/producer of FETCH! is a slightly neurotic yet lovably charismatic canine named Ruff Ruffman. He runs the show from his state-of-the-art headquarters, otherwise known as his doghouse. From the outside, it's pretty much what you'd expect (a roof, four walls, a couple of worn-out squeaky toys), but inside, it's a different story. Pride of place is given to the FETCH 3000 — an amazing machine capable of tabulating scores, disposing of annoying cats, and blending the occasional smoothie. Yes, the FETCH 3000 can even turn a dog...into a star.
Rounding out the cast are Ruff's six tweenage contestants. Each episode follows one or more of the cast members as they embark on mystery assignments (concocted by Ruff) to test their determination, their daring, and their intellect. True to the reality TV format, the kids have no idea what they're getting into until they're off on their challenges. If things aren't exciting enough, Ruff will throw in an unexpected twist to up the ante. At the end of each episode, Ruff awards points and declares a daily winner. And at the end of the season, the contestant with the most points wins an Unbelievably Fabulous Grand Prize! (True to form, Ruff is still working out the details...)
FETCH! explores the untapped potential of the hugely popular reality television genre and proves that it can be a great venue for kids to have fun while learning problem-solving skills and teamwork. The series also offers viewers an important perspective on competition by letting them know that the value of an experience isn't just determined by winning or losing, but by what happens along the way. Funded in large part by the National Science Foundation, the series focuses on real world science, featuring kids as they pursue questions, conduct experiments, and actively investigate the world around them. In addition, the series also has an extensive outreach initiative, designed to extend the impact of FETCH!'s science themes and give viewers a chance to play along with the show, even after the TV is turned off.