Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Created by Kate Taylor and produced by Boston's PBS outlet WGBH, the daily, half-hour Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman was a part-animated, part-"live" educational game show geared for preteens. Actor Jim Conroy provided the voice of Ruff Ruffman, a hyperactive, fast-talking cartoon dog. On each episode, Ruff guided a group of six live-action youngsters on a secret mission within the confines of the show's "Studio G" (actually nothing more than a garage). In the manner of the reality shows which this series lampooned, the kids were required to tackle various challenges and puzzles focusing on three different areas of science -- animals, inventions, air/space -- in hopes of completing the mission, the purpose of which would not be revealed until the end of the episode. The contestants were split into three two-person teams, with two teams actually playing the game and the third pair being quizzed on the lessons learned in the course of events. The progress of the game was dictated by the animated computer "Fetch 3000," with Ruff occasionally taking breaks from the action to spend time with his erstwhile sweetheart, Charlene the Poodle. Partly funded by the National Science Foundation, and offering 20 episodes per season, Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman debuted May 29, 2006.