|Based on||Little Bill, by Bill Cosby and Varnette P. Honeywood|
|Developed by||Fracaswell Hyman|
|Creative director(s)||Robert Scull|
|Theme music composer||Bill Cosby, Don Braden, and Jon Faddis|
|Composer(s)||Stu Gardner and Art Lisi|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Nickelodeon Animation Studio|
|Original release||November 28, 1999 –|
February 6, 2004
Little Bill is an American animated children's television series produced for Nick Jr. The stories are based on Bill Cosby's Little Bill book series (illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood), set in Philadelphia, and feature Bill Jr. learning a lesson or moral. It was developed through research and in consultation with a panel of educational consultants.
The show's debut was on November 28, 1999, and aired on CBS as part of Nick Jr. on CBS, from September 16, 2000 – September 7, 2002, then as part of Nick on CBS from August 2, 2003 – September 10, 2005. The final episode aired on June 23, 2003, and reruns returned, with the return of Nick Jr. on CBS, on September 17, 2005.
Reruns continued to air on the channel Nick Jr., until February 24, 2014.
Little Bill was seen through until September 9, 2006, when the block was replaced with the KOL Secret Slumber Party block (which became: Cookie Jar TV). Sonia Manzano, best known for playing Maria Rodriguez on Sesame Street, was a frequent writer for the show.
Set in Philadelphia, the show centers on Little Bill Glover as he explores everyday life through his imagination. Little Bill lives with his parents, his great grandmother Alice (aka Alice the Great), his older sister April and brother Bobby. At the end of every show, he breaks the fourth wall by summarizing his day to the audience before going to bed.
Sometimes, he even talks to his pet hamster, Elephant. Then, one of his family members says, "Little Bill, who are you talking to?". This was an ongoing catchphrase that closed every show.
Most episodes contain two eleven minute stories, except for three episodes. There were two episodes focusing on Little Bill's idol, Captain Brainstorm, and a special for Christmas (Merry Christmas Little Bill). Although he only performs the very minor role of Captain Brainstorm, Bill Cosby appears in live action during the opening credits of the series, interacting with the animated character of Little Bill.
- William "Bill/Little Bill" Glover Jr.
- An inquisitive and imaginative boy who loves his pet hamster named Elephant, and is a fan of the fictional Blue Socks baseball team. He also likes Captain Brainstorm because he comes up with great ideas. He enjoys going to kindergarten, although he misses Elephant, but he is still happy and content nonetheless. He is known as Little Bill because his actual name is Bill Jr; his father's name is also Bill. Little Bill is based on Bill Cosby's son, Ennis William Cosby, and was voiced by Xavier Pritchett.
- William "Bill/Big Bill" Glover Sr.
- Little Bill, Bobby, and April's father, and is the husband of Brenda. They have a very close relationship with their father. He works for the Department of Housing, as a housing inspector. His hobby is collecting and listening to jazz records. He is also known as Big Bill because his actual name is Bill Sr. He was voiced by Gregory Hines.
- Brenda Glover (née Kendall)
- Little Bill, Bobby, and April's mother, and is the wife of Big Bill. She works for a bank (seen in "Mom's Trip"), but her hobby is photography. She was voiced by Phylicia Rashad.
- April Glover
- The oldest and only daughter of the Glover children. She is a highly talented basketball player on the school team, and also at basketball camp, where she won a trophy and is also in a choir at the family's local church. She is often seen getting bossy and she sometimes argues with Bobby. She was voiced by Monique Beasley.
- Robert "Bobby" Glover
- Bobby is the most studious of the kids. He is always reading and investigating things. He is the middle child, and oldest son of the Glover children. He can also play the violin, and sometimes he can say upsetting things, usually resulting in his family saying, "Bobby!". He was voiced by Devon Malik Beckford (Season 1–2), and then Tyler James Williams (Season 3–4).
- Alice the Great
- Great-grandmother of Little Bill, Bobby, April, and Jamal; Alice is also Brenda and Deborah's grandmother (see "The Magic Quilt"). Alice the Great has an older brother and sister (see "The Surprise") and a cousin who lives in Cincinnati. Usually teaches Little Bill lessons and tells stories to him. She also lives with the family. She was voiced by Ruby Dee.
- Elephant is the family pet; a small, light yellow hamster. He is the only member of the Glover family who does not speak. When the rest of the family goes on vacations, he is left at home.
- Captain Brainstorm
- Captain Brainstorm is an astronaut, who has an orange rocket and an orange space suit. Little Bill is a fan of his television show, Space Explorers. Captain Brainstorm has a dog called Spark E, whose tagline, "Ruff Roo!", is in a dog accent. He was voiced by Bill Cosby, the creator of Little Bill.
- Andrew Mulligan
- Andrew is an Irish-American boy who is Little Bill's best friend. Andrew and Little Bill have many things in common, they both like Captain Brainstorm or play with construction sets, etc. In one episode, "Copy Cat", Little Bill and Andrew have a quarrel and Andrew calls Little Bill a copycat, but soon learns his lesson and apologizes to him. Andrew has a pet sheepdog named Farfy. Andrew is sometimes seen with his cousins: Kevin and Rachel. He lives two houses away from Little Bill. He was voiced by Zach Tyler Eisen.
- Kiku is a Japanese-American friend of Little Bill's. Little Bill would say that she is the nicest of his friends. She loves nature (particularly flowers) and origami (her maternal grandmother, Ms. Natsuko, showed Little Bill how to make origami in the episode "Shipwreck Saturday"). She was voiced by Eunice Cho and later Emily Cleckner.
- Fuchsia Glover
- Fuchsia is the paternal cousin of Little Bill, Bobby and April. Her father Al (Big Bill's brother) runs a shop close to Little Bill's house. Fuchsia's mother is named Vanessa. She was voiced by Kianna Underwood. She goes to school with Little Bill.
- Dorado is a friend of Little Bill who is Puerto Rican (see "New Foods" and "Natural Root Pals"). He teaches Little Bill about Hispanic culture by inviting him to dinner. Dorado introduces Bill to "arroz con guandules y platanos" (rice with pigeon peas and plantains). Dorado is a bit of a comedian. He was voiced by Vincent Canales
- Grandson of Alice the Great's friend Emmaline, uses a wheelchair to get around because he was born with cerebral palsy. He and Little Bill are good friends and pretend to be dinosaurs together; Monty's favorite dinosaur is T-rex. He was voiced by Cole Hawkins.
- Michael Riley
- A classmate of Little Bill's who moves to the neighborhood from Miami, Florida. He is mean to Little Bill and his friends at first, but he soon learns his lesson. He is then a very good friend to Little Bill. He sleeps over at Little Bill's house in one episode and in the next episode, he plays in the snow with Little Bill for the first time. He was voiced by Muhammad Cunningham.
- Miss Aisha Murray–Clinkscales
- Little Bill's kindergarten teacher, who later marries Dr. Winthrop Clinkscales (although the students are still allowed to call her Miss Murray, since they have trouble pronouncing her husband's surname). Their engagement was mentioned in "The Ring Bear" and they were married in "Miss Murray's Wedding." She was voiced by Ayo Haynes and later Melanie Nicholls-King.
- Dr. Winthrop Clinkscales
- Mrs. Murray's husband. He’s a doctor, and treats Little Bill when he breaks his arm in "A Trip to the Hospital." The kids usually have difficulty pronouncing his last name.
- Mrs. Shapiro
- Little Bill's neighbor, who moved back to Hawaii, in the episode "Same Moon, Same Sun, Same Star," to live with her sister Mimi. She was voiced by Madeline Kahn in her first appearance, and later by Kathy Najimy.
- Mr. Miguel Rojas
- Mr. Rojas is an elderly Mexican-American man who speaks English and Spanish. He moved into Mrs. Shapiro's house and met Little Bill in the episode "The New Neighbors." He has a dog called Lito who is good at doing tricks. He only appears in "The New Neighbors," "Doggie Magic," "The Early Bill," and "The Halloween Party." He has children, but they're all grown up and have families of their own. He was voiced by Victor Argo.
- Mr. Clark Terry
- Alice the Great and Little Bill's new friend. He teaches Little Bill how to skip rocks and make music with a reed. He plays the flugelhorn. He was voiced by Clark Terry, whom he is named and modeled after.
- Baby Jamal Welsh
- Little Bill's maternal baby cousin, son of Deborah (Brenda's sister) and Gary.
- Percy Mulch
- The owner of a pet shop. He knows all about animals, but is a bit clumsy, and has a hard time remembering the first names of Little Bill's parents. He was voiced by Doug E. Doug.
- Mr. Williams
- A music store owner from "The Musical Instrument." He is a talented musician, and shows Little Bill the piano, accordion, saxophone, and drums (which happens to be his grandson's favorite instrument).
- Aunt Deborah Kendall
- Aunt Deborah is Brenda's younger sister, the wife of Uncle Gary (Welsh) and the mother of Baby Jamal. She’s Little Bill, Bobby and April's maternal aunt and she’s Big Bill’s sister-in-law. She appears in "Just a Baby" when she and Gary came over to her sister's house to show them baby Jamal.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||9||November 28, 1999||June 5, 2000|
|2||12||September 4, 2000||February 26, 2001|
|3||12||May 7, 2001||July 8, 2002|
|4||19||September 16, 2002||June 23, 2003|
List of home media releases
|Name||Release Date||Number of Episodes||Episode Titles|
|Me and My Family||June 5, 2001||4||
|Big Little Bill||June 5, 2001||4||
|What I Did at School||August 21, 2001||4||
|I Love Animals!||February 5, 2002||4||
|Merry Christmas, Little Bill||September 24, 2002||3||
Episodes on Nick Jr. compilation DVDs
|Name||Release Date||Number of Episodes||Episode Titles|
|Nick Jr. Holiday||September 24, 2002||1||
|Nick Jr. Celebrates Spring!||March 2, 2004||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 1||May 24, 2005||1||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 2||October 18, 2005||1||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 3||February 7, 2006||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 4||June 6, 2006||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Holiday||September 26, 2006||1||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 5||March 13, 2007||2||
|Nick Jr. Favorites Vol. 6||August 7, 2007||2||
- 2003 – Outstanding Performer In An Animated Program – Gregory Hines
- 2004 – Outstanding Children's Animated Program
- "Monty's Roar/Natural Root Pals". Little Bill. Season 1. Episode 1. 23 minutes in.
- "Little Bill episodes". TV Guide. Archived from the original on August 26, 2014. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- "Nickelodeon's 'Little Bill' Debuts as First African American Balloon In 76th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". PRNewswire.com. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- "Little Bill". noggin.com. Archived from the original on April 7, 2008. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
- Shrivastava, K M (2005). Broadcast Journalism in the 21st Century. New Dawn Press Group. p. 56. ISBN 9788120735972. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- "Little Bill Thinks Big". Retrieved 15 May 2015.
- 61st Annual Peabody Awards, May 2002.
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