Clifford The Big Red Dog is an American-British animated children's television series, based upon Norman Bridwell's famous children's book series of the same name. Produced by Scholastic Studios, it originally aired on PBS Kids from September 4, 2000 to February 25, 2003. Clifford was the runt of the litter, and was chosen by a city child named Emily Elizabeth Howard as her birthday present. No one expected Clifford to grow, but Emily Elizabeth's love for her tiny red puppy changed Clifford dramatically. Before long, he was over 25 feet tall, forcing the Howard family to leave the city and move to the open spaces of Birdwell Island. Clifford The Big Red Dog was one of many PBS Kids shows designed to teach children a number of life lessons. Two 15-minute stories made up each half-hour cartoon. Usually one story featured Clifford and his canine friends, T-Bone and Cleo among them; the other story would focus on Emily Elizabeth and friends her age. One principle was kept religiously: the dogs talked only when humans were not present; otherwise, they only barked. Veteran actor John Ritter voiced Clifford in all episodes. This was originally done by Brent Titcomb in the series that debuted in 1988 and ran into the early 1990s. Generally speaking, his schedule dictated the production of Clifford The Big Red Dog. By the time the last of the 68 half-hour cartoons and the movie were completed, Ritter was back on ABC's prime-time schedule, starring in 8 Simple Rules. Ritter's death on September 11, 2003 came less than a week before PBS debuted Clifford's Puppy Days, a function of keeping Clifford's legacy going.