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Whoopi's Littleburg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Whoopi's Littleburg
Created byJonny Belt[2]
Robert Scull[3]
Written byAlan Katz[4]
Directed byRobert Scull
Tim Hill
StarringWhoopi Goldberg
Sean Curley
Sofie Zamchick
Mary Birdsong
Dr. John
ComposersWhoopi Goldberg
Dr. John
Guy Davis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes3
Executive producersJonny Belt
Robert Scull
ProducerWhoopi Goldberg[5][6]
Running time30 minutes[7]
Production companiesLil' Whoop Productions, Inc.[8][9]
Shot in the Dark Productions
Nick Jr. Productions
DistributorMTV Networks
Original networkNickelodeon
Original releaseJanuary 18 (2004-01-18) –
June 7, 2004 (2004-06-07)

Whoopi's Littleburg is a musical miniseries of three specials produced for Nickelodeon's Nick Jr. block.[10] It was created by Jonny Belt and Robert Scull,[11] the latter of whom co-directed the show along with Tim Hill.[12] The show uses a blend of puppetry and live-action characters.

The miniseries focuses on a five-year-old piglet named Spencer, who has recently moved to the town of Littleburg. Young children and puppets make up the majority of the population and hold the community's jobs, and very few adult characters are seen. The only major adult characters are Spencer's mother and Mayor Whoopi (portrayed by Whoopi Goldberg), whose behavior resembles that of a preschool teacher.[13] The setting was modeled after a nursery school classroom. Multiple original songs are woven into each story, normally in conjunction with the episode's moral.[14] Whoopi Goldberg, Dr. John, and Guy Davis composed the theme music.[15][16][17]



  • Spencer Piggle (voiced by Sean Curley and performed by Josh Gustin) - A light-pink pig and the newest Littleburg citizen. He is five years old.
  • Mayor Whoopi (played by Whoopi Goldberg) - Spencer's tour guide around Littleburg, and the only major human character in the series.
  • TJ/Tiger Jane (performed by Sofie Zamchick) - A light-purple cat who is Spencer's closest friend. She is six years old.
  • Mrs. Peg Piggle (performed by Mary Birdsong) - Spencer's mother, who teaches him about the town through song.
  • Peggy Piggle - Spencer's baby sister.
  • The Sun (voiced by Dr. John) - An anthropomorphic Sun (who can set and become the Moon at night) seen above Littleburg.
  • Phil - A horse with a love of painting. He is dressed in a necktie.
  • Danielle - A chicken who is almost always seen with her favorite food, pretzels.
  • Gordy (performed by Timothy Doner) - A male bird that is green and yellow and learns new words. He is the town shouter. He is two years old.

Guest stars

Rosie Perez,[18] Mary Testa,[19] and Sandra Bernhard[20] made guest appearances on the show.


Three specials[21] and a pilot episode were produced.

Pilot (2003)

TitleOriginal air date
"Pilot"[22] 2003 (2003-Fall)[23]
Spencer, a piglet, moves to a town inhabited by preschoolers. "Welcome to Littleburg" uses a similar plotline.

Season 1 (2004)

No.TitleOriginal air date
1"Welcome to Littleburg"January 18, 2004 (2004-01-18)[25]
Spencer attempts to make new friends.[24] Guest star: Mary Testa as the Sock Lady
2"Tah-Dah! Day"March 19, 2004 (2004-03-19)
Spencer worries that he doesn't have a talent to demonstrate at Littleburg's Tah-Dah! Day celebration, so his friends must help him find it. Guest star: Sandra Bernhard as the Macaroni Lady
3"But I Still Like You"June 7, 2004 (2004-06-07)
Spencer and TJ forget the importance of friendship after arguing and deciding to not speak to each other after TJ accidentally breaks Spencer's flashlight that his dad had given him. So Mayor Whoopi and Spencer's mother must help them understand that, even though friends and family members get mad at each other sometimes, that doesn't mean they won't love each other anymore. Guest star: Rosie Perez as the Flashlight Lady


Whoopi's Littleburg was first announced at Nickelodeon's upfront presentation on March 24, 2003.[26][27] In June, it joined the channel's 2004–05 programming slate.[28] It was advertised as a series of specials.[29] Episodes were aired sporadically throughout 2004, with reruns shown once weekly.[30][31] During its run, VITAC representatives deemed Littleburg "educational enough" to receive free closed captioning and subtitling.[32] In 2006, the series' soundtrack was released to Nick Jr. Radio, a webcasting station featuring songs from preschool-oriented programs.[33]


The miniseries received positive reviews from critics, many of which praised its music and appeal towards multiple age groups. The Hollywood Reporter's Marilyn Moss stated that Whoopi's Littleburg was "a lively and educational adventure into a friendly television space" and that the series was "likely to attract a wide audience."[34] Writing for The New York Times, Kathryn Shattuck called the series a "saga of empowerment" and dubbed the series' songs "fanciful."[18] Lynne Heffley of the Los Angeles Times praised the show's music, saying that it "is a standout component, woven deftly throughout."[20] In his review for The Christian Science Monitor, M.S. Mason noted that "this amusing, sweet-natured show for tiny tots will earn kudos from parents as well. Whoopi Goldberg has a wonderful ability to make kids giggle with the aid of puppets."[35] Jacqueline Cutler of the Hays Daily News lauded Goldberg's performance in particular and felt that "Goldberg emanates no-nonsense warmth. When she talks to the puppets, she neither camps it up or talks down, and that even approach makes the show work."[36]


  1. ^ "Southern Illinoisan from Carbondale, Illinois". The Southern Illinoisan. Lee Enterprises. February 26, 2004.
  2. ^ "Nick Jr. Orders 20 New Episodes of the Groundbreaking CGI-Animated Series, Slated to Rollout in October 2006". PR Newswire. April 3, 2006.
  3. ^ "Paramount Visits Nelvana's Backyard". Corus Entertainment. November 10, 2005.
  4. ^ Sparacino, Emily (April 4, 2016). "Author Alan Katz to speak at North Shelby Library". Shelby County Reporter.
  5. ^ "Whoopi Goldberg Addresses SCAD Graduates". Broadway World. June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ "CAA Speakers: Whoopi Goldberg". CAA Speakers. Creative Artists Agency. Archived from the original on January 31, 2014.
  7. ^ "Whoopi Goldberg to Write Children's Book". AP Online. Associated Press. February 23, 2004. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  8. ^ Studio City (May 8, 2014). "44 Blue Partners With Whoopi Goldberg's One Ho Productions on Multi-Gen Modern Family Docu-Series". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Media. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016.
  9. ^ Baisley, Sarah (March 9, 2005). "Nick Slates Five Animated & Whoopi Goldberg Live Series For 2005". Animation World Network.
  10. ^ "Names in the news". Knight Ridder. Tronc, Inc. February 23, 2004. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  11. ^ DeMott, Rick (April 3, 2006). "Nick Jr. Starts Production on Backyardigans Season Two". Animation World Network.
  12. ^ Anima Mundi catalogo: Festival internacional de animação. Anima Mundi. 2002. p. 398.
  13. ^ Cortisoz, Ann (January 18, 2004). "A special place for Whoopi". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  14. ^ "About Littleburg". Viacom International, Inc. Archived from the original on November 29, 2005.
  15. ^ Mix Staff (June 1, 2003). "Sessions & Studio News". Mix Magazine.
  16. ^ Davis, Guy. "Bio - The Routes of Blues". Archived from the original on January 7, 2007.
  17. ^ "Davis/Rabson Concert for McNeese State University Banners Series". Federal News Service. April 10, 2007. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  18. ^ a b Shattuck, Kathryn (March 21, 2004). "In Littleburg, Big Talent Comes in All Sizes". The New York Times.
  19. ^ "Meet the Creators of Littleburg". Viacom International, Inc. Archived from the original on February 4, 2005.
  20. ^ a b Heffley, Lynne (January 17, 2004). "Whoopi's town worth kids' visit". The Los Angeles Times. Tronc, Inc.
  21. ^ "Television E6 Saturday: Arizona Republic". The Arizona Republic. Gannett Company. March 22, 2003.
  22. ^ Sacks, Marcy. "Marcy Goldberg Sacks, Art Director" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on July 11, 2016.
  23. ^ Reed, Valerie (August 3, 2003). "A Doylestown man makes props and artwork for 'Sesame Street': Artist a success, 'Street'-wise". Daily Local News. 21st Century Media.
  24. ^ TV guide: This week's TV programs. Triangle Publications. January 18, 2004. p. 94.
  25. ^ Kronke, David (January 18, 2004). "Watch-o-Rama Highlights and Lowlights of the Coming TV Week". Los Angeles Daily News. Digital First Media. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  26. ^ Cable World Staff (March 24, 2003). "BRIEFS: New shows for Nick". Cable World. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  27. ^ Moss, Linda (March 24, 2003). "Nick adds shows in down market". Multichannel News. Fairchild Fashion Media. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  28. ^ Mason, M.S. (June 26, 2003). "Nick's not kidding around with '04 slate: Developing 15+ projects for the 2004-05 season". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  29. ^ "Whoopi to write book: Goldberg for children?". The Pantagraph. Lee Enterprises. February 24, 2004.
  30. ^ "Daytime: January 19–23". The Salina Journal. January 17, 2004.
  31. ^ "The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida". The Palm Beach Post. Cox Enterprises. March 21, 2004.
  32. ^ "Captioning the Friedmans; Local closed-captioners face new federal regs". Pittsburgh City Paper. Steel City Media. March 10, 2004. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  33. ^ "Nick Jr. Radio: Whoopi's Littleburg". Viacom International, Inc. Archived from the original on May 15, 2006.
  34. ^ Moss, Marilyn (January 15, 2004). "Whoopi's Littleburg review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on March 2, 2004.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  35. ^ Mason, M.S. (January 16, 2004). "Tuning in: On TV this week". The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016 – via HighBeam.
  36. ^ "Gov. Arnold? So why not Mayor Whoopi?". Hays Daily News. January 16, 2004.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 October 2021, at 00:37
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