Peppa Pig is a children’s programme broadcasting on Channel 5 and Nick Jr. in the UK, Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. in the US, ABC 4 Kids in Australia and Discovery Kids in Latin America, including Brazil. Each episode is approximately five minutes long. The show revolves around Peppa, an anthropomorphic pig, and her family and friends. Each of her friends is a different species of animal. Peppa’s friends are her age, and Peppa’s younger brother George’s friends are his age. Episodes tend to feature everyday activities such as attending playgroup, going swimming, visiting their grandparents, cousins, going to the playground or riding their bikes.
The characters wear clothes, live in houses, and drive cars, but still display some characteristics of the animals on which they are based. Peppa and her family snort like pigs during conversations in which they are speaking English, and the other animals make their respective noises when they talk, with some exhibiting other characteristics, such as the Rabbit family’s squeaking sounds and enjoyment of carrots. The Rabbits are also the sole exception to the rule of human-like habitation, in that they live in a burrow in a hill, though it has windows and is furnished in the same way as the other houses. The characters also blush when embarrassed and their mouths express other emotions such as sadness, happiness, irritation, bewilderment and confusion. Although the main characters—mostly mammals—are anthropomorphic, other animal characters are not, such as Tiddles the tortoise, Polly Parrot, and the ducks. The narrator of the series, John Sparkes, reinforces the action and humour, saying things like “Oh, dear” when something unfortunate happens (such as George starts crying) or “Look out!” when a character is doing something unsafe (such as Peppa riding her bicycle without looking where she’s going).
The first series of 52 five-minute episodes started on Channel 5 on 31 May 2004, and had its American premiere as part of Cartoon Network’s Tickle-U preschool television programming block on 22 August 2005, redubbed with American actors, and Noggin in December 2007 and January 2008. As of 2014 the series airs on Nick Jr. in the US. It can also be seen on Nick Jr. in the UK, Portugal, Italy, Benelux, Scandinavia and Australia. In Taiwan the show can be seen on Playhouse Disney. The second series of 52 episodes began on Channel 5 on 4 September 2006, with Cecily Bloom replacing Lily Snowden-Fine as Peppa, among other cast changes. The third series started broadcasting on the Channel 5 kids block Milkshake! on 4 May 2009 with Harley Bird replacing Cecily Bloom and Lily Snowden-Fine as Peppa.