Peep and the Big Wide World is an animated cartoon that teaches nature and basic science concepts to preschoolers. The main characters include a yellow baby chick named Peep and his friends Quack, a teenaged blue drake, and Chirp, a baby red robin with pink eyelids. The current show, narrated by Joan Cusack is based on a National Film Board of Canada cartoon short of the same name, created in 1988 by Kaj Pindal and narrated by Peter Ustinov, and another short, "The Peep Show", from 1962. The original short comprised three 10-minute films featuring Peep, Quack, and Chirp as they meet a cat, a ladybug, a turtle and a frog who speaks from both sides of his mouth.
The show is produced by WGBH in Boston and 9 Story Entertainment in Toronto, Canada. In the US, this show formerly aired on Discovery Kids as part of its commercial-free and sponsor-free "Ready, Set, Learn!" programming block. It now airs nationally in the United States on public television, distributed by American Public Television. In Canada, it airs on TVOntario. DVDs and books are also available for purchase. Peep and the Big Wide World is currently sponsored by the National Science Foundation in conjunction with WGBH-TV as part of an education and outreach program. The principal investigator is Kate Taylor, also of the ZOOM block. The National Science Foundation is the only permanent sponsor of the show. Northrop Grumman, The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Toyota funded the show for only season two. The Discovery Kids Foundation funded the show for only season one. In 1999, the show was produced by Clumsy PriStar Television. The VHS copies are produced from Clumsy Pristar's home viewings.