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    Sesame Street

    Sesame Street

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    PBS
    Sesame Street is a widely recognized and perpetually daring experiment in educational children's programming. This show has taken popular-culture and turned it upside-down. The fast-paced advertisements that had parents of the new era worrying for their children were the basis for the original format of this show. The show has often satirized pop culture, and made itself easier for parents to watch along too. And thus, the positive impact this show has had on modern society is beyond another. No show is more recognized the world over by as many generations and walks of life. Shown in its original format or with changes to reflect a regional education focus, Sesame Street is now seen in over 140 countries. The show that Entertainment Weekly named the "20th Best Ever Show" has changed the education scene to focus on "entertainment." This has turned out to be a valuable theory that not only helps the medicinal learning go down easier, but it also increases the effectiveness of the information being taught. In an almost backwards sense, the show stays fresh by recycling programming ideas every three years, by which time a new group of kids is watching. Unlike most PBS Kids shows, which have an original run, then go into continuous repeats until getting dropped by PBS or sold to another network, Sesame Street has created many new episodes every season since its debut Nov. 10, 1969. American teachers now expect children to arrive on the first day of school knowing the basics about letters, numbers, and language. "Kindergarten now does what first grade used to do," creator Joan Ganz Cooney has said, "and I think that's directly due to Sesame Street." International versions have changed Sesame Street to be more relevant to their culture and environments. They adjust the unique American inner city, with a cast made up mainly of Muppets, African-Americans, Spaniards and Chinese to reflect their own lifestyles. For example, Canada's Sesame Park features a small suburban town inhabited by folks like an otter and a bear, a bush pilot, a disabled child in a wheel-chair and her cat and Russia's Ulitsa Sesame set in a Russian dvor (courtyard) has a 9-foot tall tree spirit who has his joyous and problem-solving Muppet friends. No show can help in tumultuous or troubled times like Sesame Street. For example: • The Israelis and the Palestinians have now merged their independent spin-offs, to help teach the fighting cultures to accept each other for who they are, not what they have done in the past. • The original American Sesame Street helped children deal with the incidents of 9-11 • On the week of October 4-8, 2004, Sesame Workshop actually dug up reruns of Sesame Street episodes from its 32nd season, in which a hurricane plundered the neighborhood. This move was to come to grips with those disabused by the four hurricanes that struck Florida in a six-week span the previous August and September. It also sent a message about the news' propensity for covering violent acts. • The current South African government has not taken much action on the matters of HIV and AIDS, so in 2003, the South African version of Sesame Street added in a 5-year-old girl monster who manages to go about daily life with ease, even though she intercepted HIV through a blood transfusion shortly after birth. This led to an American backlash, even though her exposure in the States has always been restricted to sesameworkshop.org. Undoubtedly, she is the hardest-edged Muppet since Jim Henson's ill-fated "Creatures from the Planet Gorch" on Saturday Night Live's first season. • No other puppet than a Muppet, namely Elmo, could be taken seriously when asking America's congressional Education Appropriations Subcommittee for more funding to school music programs, so that "when Elmo goes to school, there will be the instruments to play." (Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich's Congress chose instead to divert to Sesame Street production funds from other PBS series. Among the casualties was one of Sesame Street's godchildren, Ghostwriter.) •In the mid-70s, they introduced Linda Bove, a deaf actress playing a deaf librarian that lives a life equal to all the rest of the area's inhabitants. Please note that Sesame Street's air time varies between various PBS stations in America. In recent years, a few PBS stations have dropped the show (including WNYE in New York, whose last airing was in June 2003). sesame street even had a touring show, SESAME STREET LIVE,which has just recently celebrated 25 years of performing. Characters Cookie Monster Cookie Monster has always had a passion for cookies, gobbling them up whenever he can. However, in order to promote healthy eating habits, Cookie Monster recently learned that cookies are a "sometime" food. So now, Cookie Monster also eats fruits and vegetables in addition to his trademark snack. Elmo Elmo is a cute little red monster, who wants to know more about the world he is growing up in. Oscar the Grouch Oscar lives in a dustbin, sure its not the most hygienic of places, but Oscar isn't the most hygienic of creatures. He likes to cause mischief but also enjoys learning. Ernie and Bert Best friends and room-mates, both showing us how people get along with each other and how sometimes you may even fall-out with your best friend. The Count The Count, would teaches us to count, whether it be really difficult numbers or easy numbers, the Counts thing is maths and counting, and he sure is good at it. Big Bird A huge yellow bird, who's everyone's friend. No matter what species, color or race you are.moreless
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    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

    Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

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    PBS (ended 2001)
    "In a little toy neighborhood, a tiny trolley rolls past a house at the end of a street. Welcome toMister Rogers' Neighborhood." In the annals of children's TV, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood ranks among the longest-lasting and beloved shows. Upon its conclusion, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was the longest-running series in PBS history (a record eclipsed by Sesame Street in 2003). Host Fred Rogers (known to millions as simply "Mister Rogers") used his gentle charm and mannerisms to communicate with his audience of children. Topics centered on nearly every inconceivable matter of concern to children, ranging from everyday fears related to going to sleep, getting immunizations and disappointment about not getting one's way to losing a loved one to death and physical handicaps. Rogers used simple songs and, on nearly every show, segments from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe (NOM) to make his point. A scale-model trolley was often (but not always) used to segue into the Make-Believe segments, said neighborhood being inhabited by puppet characters including King Friday XIII, Lady Elaine Fairchild and Daniel Striped Tiger. Many shows also featured visits from cast members – most often Mr. McFeely (tagline: "Speedy Delivery"), Robert Trow, Joe Negri and Chef Brockett (the local baker). Many times, Rogers also visited the neighborhood shops of both the regulars and guests. Each show began and ended with a camera panning over a scale neighborhood (said to represent the town where Rogers lived). Production History While today's longer-running PBS Kids shows reinvent themselves every five years, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood achieved, throughout its 31 seasons, that rarest of elements: consistency. It is a legacy that can all be traced through every aspect of Fred Rogers' television career. Some of the characters in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, both real and imagined, had appeared in two of Fred Rogers' earlier programs, The Children's Corner for Pittsburgh's WQED in 1954 and the CBC's Misterogers in 1963. It was for Misterogers that Fred first appeared on-camera. Rogers returned to WQED in Pittsburgh to begin writing and hosting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood May 22, 1967. Several other public television stations from Chicago to Boston carried the show on a trial basis that year. Beginning February 19, 1968, the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood program that we know today, began airing nationwide on National Educational Television (NET), the predecessor to PBS. This was also the year David Newell, returned from Europe, began work for Rogers. He was in charge of the production as well as the neighborhood's Speedy Delivery service. (AN ASIDE: Rogers wanted to call the delivery man Mr. McCurdy after the man at the Sears-Roebuck Foundation, whose support launched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. But the people at Sears-Roebuck called Rogers and said "Mr. McCurdy" was too self-serving. Thus Rogers went to his roots to rename Newell's deliveryman. "McFeely" was Rogers' middle name and the last name of his maternal grandfather.) Shows were produced as a daily strip from 1968 to 1976, at which time production was suspended. Counting black-and-white episodes, 590 shows were produced in that span. Production resumed at the beginning of the remote video age in 1979. Rogers went on location more, supervising videos of how people make things (a precursor to the TVO series Here's How!). Other characters would be introduced in the subsequent two decades. In all, 305 new programs were taped from 1979 through 2001. Of that volume, the most notable shows came in 1991, with Rogers focusing on calming children's fears during the first U.S. war with Iraq. PBS gradually narrowed the window for the 460 "pre-79" episodes with each new season from 1980 onward. When the number of "post-75" episodes was enough to cover entire years, the classic shows were retired, last airing on PBS in the summer of 1995. Despite the production stoppage and the subsequent passing of Fred Rogers on February 27, 2003, PBS continues to repeat Mister Roger's Neighborhood in all its original glory–an accomplishment unique among all PBS Kids shows.moreless
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    The Electric Company 1970s

    The Electric Company 1970s

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    PBS (ended 1977)
    On the heels of its fabulously successful Sesame Street, the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) created The Electric Company. With its roots in Motown Sound, Broadway and Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, The Electric Company drew attention for six years as the most popular instructional television show. It would win an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Series, and its soundtrack album earned a Grammy. Targeting children ages 6 through 10, The Electric Company aimed to teach basic reading and grammar skills to the young viewers. The show's cast of skit players helped teach these concepts through the use of skits, songs, cartoon and blackout segments and regular features; all of them revolved around sound clusters (e.g., sh-, -ly, -oo-), contractions, punctuation marks, etc. The series provided material for elementary schools, as CTW published a biweekly TEC Teacher's Guide detailing program contents. Quickly, the cast members began to establish themselves with various personas: • Skip Hinnant (who had played Schroeder in the off-Broadway production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown) had one of the best known characters: Fargo North, Decoder. Early in the run, this Peter Sellers knock-off interpreted messages that people gave to him when they couldn't understand what had been written. • The show also made Morgan Freeman. He created Easy Reader, the cool dude who loved reading anything he could get his hands on. Freeman also played radio disc jockey Mel Mounds, who usually introduced The Short Circus tunes (see below). • Rita Moreno created her tagline, "Hey You Guys!", while playing Millie, the Milkman's helper. She put the same fire into playing Otto the Director, who fumed as her actors didn't read their lines properly. • Judy Graubart, alumnus of The Second City in Chicago, became Jennifer of the Jungle, teaching bits of phonetics to her friend Paul the Gorilla. • And who can forget J. Arthur Crank? Jimmy Boyd (B. 1939) created the character, strictly as a voice on a telephone during the first season. In all future years, Crank was seen as that bad-tempered loud dresser. Complimenting the adults in the cast was The Short Circus, a group of five teenaged performers usually involved in songs or dances. Members of The Short Circus drew names from a hat to determine what would be their character name. While the Short Circus changed its talents from one season to the next, they did keep one member constant: June Angela. The show also set itself apart with the cloud sets by Nat Mongioi (which members of the cast called "Limbo Land"), cool music by the late Joe Raposo and others, unique sound effects Dick Maitland pinned to punctuation marks, and the high-tech computer animation. The logo above can only suggest these elements, which seemed to represent the New Era back in the 1970s. Among the most popular of the regular features was Spiderman, a live-action segment added during the series' fourth season. The Spiderman segments (for which there were about two dozen or so made) featured The Electric Company cast as various characters. Beginning in 1972, there was also The Adventures of Letterman cartoon series. The evil Spell Binder would cause trouble by using his magic wand, replacing key letters to make the worse of situations (e.g.: Train into Rain). Then Letterman would take the letter(s) off his varsity sweater and correct the hazard. Muppet characters from Sesame Street (including Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Grover) also visited on occasion through the years. A total of 780 episodes of The Electric Company aired from 1971 to 1977 on PBS; reruns of the final two seasons aired through the fall of 1985. Programs always ended with one of its cast members stating: The Electric Company gets its power from The Children's Television Workshop. This was followed by a superimposed caption: The Electric Company is a trademark and service mark of the Children's Television Workshop. © Copyright Children's Television Workshop 1971 to 1977 In 1972, CTW began issuing The Electric Company magazine. Appropriately enough, the mag contained feature articles, games and other activities featuring members of the show's cast. It was published until the late-1980s, when replaced with a magazine called Kid City. A sister magazine, Spidey Super Stories (also issued and endorsed by The Electric Company's producers) contained children's reading level-versions of the web slinger's battles with his arch-enemies plus comic strip versions of the The Electric Company Spiderman segments. Spidey Super Stories were published from October 1974 to January 1982. Sixty-five episodes of The Electric Company from various seasons – a good share from the 1972-1973 and 1973-1974 seasons – began airing on Nickelodeon's new Noggin network in the spring of 1999 (kicked off with a two-hour retrospective of the show on TV Land, another Nickelodeon sister network). The shows were edited slightly, removing all program numbers and show-ending teases (see Notes within Show 131). Also for the Noggin run, CTW gave credit to Marvel Comics, which had never received a copyright notice on the original run. Thus all episodes from Seasons 4 to 6 had their copyrights redisplayed: The Electric Company is a trademark and service mark of the Children's Television Workshop. © Copyright Children's Television Workshop 1974 to 1976 The use of the character Spiderman was provided as a courtesy to the Children's Television Workshop by Marvel Comics Group. © Copyright Marvel Comics Group 1974 to 1976 At first, Noggin aired The Electric Company during several daytime and overnight time slots seven days a week. By the time CTW was renamed Sesame Workshop in 2000, however, the show's timeslots were downgraded to late-nights and then, in 2002, only a couple of weekend overnight airings. In early 2003, with the value of Sesame Workshop's interest in Noggin even less (if not zero), The Electric Company was pulled from Noggin's schedule altogether. (Note: Classic episodes of Sesame Street, which were shown under the title Sesame Street Unpaved, had also been a part of Noggin's schedule. Noggin had shown 65 classic episodes (originally airing between 1969 to 1986) of the series. Like The Electric Company, Sesame Street Unpaved had originally aired weekdays before being placed in downgraded timeslots (eventually weekend overnights). Both shows had attracted primarily adults (who had watched the show as children) and college-aged fans, and both shows were too dated for their intended childhood audience. Noggin underwent a total personality change beginning April 1, 2002, placing more emphasis on original programming (in addition to airing reruns of Nickelodeon kiddie shows). The general effect of removing The Electric Company from the airwaves, has not been a pleasant one for American society. Some people believe Sesame Workshop discusses The Electric Company only when lowering the wrecker's ball on those who have violated their copyrights. (To this day, The Electric Company™ and the logo are trademarks and service marks of Sesame Workshop, © 1971-1977.) Though it appears Sesame Workshop chooses not to live in the past, it has been digitizing segments from all its old shows in preparation for DVD releases. The first DVD of The Electric Company is scheduled for release in 2006. (This is the result of an independent campaign for a TEC DVD release; see below.) The Electric Company will always be remembered by its fans as an entertaining series which taught children to read. Elementary classroom teachers regularly scheduled their days so their students could watch the show, and reading scores increased as a result of in-class and home viewing. Hey You Guys! petersmith among them We're gonna turn it on We're gonna bring you the power We're gonna light up The dark of night Like the brightest day In a whole new way We're gonna turn it on We're gonna bring you the power It's coming down the line Strong as it can be Through the courtesy Of The Electric Company™ from The Electric Company Theme Music and Lyrics by Joe Raposo © 1971 Jonico Musicmoreless
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    Zoom

    Zoom

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    PBS (ended 2005)
    Welcome to the ZOOM guide at TV.com.

    Originally shown in the 70s the Emmy award winning show is back!

    ZOOM is a show targeted at ages 6-11 but many people older than that watch it too! The show makes ZOOM-dos, CafeZooms, Znacks, ZOOMsci's, and more that you can do at home! They are time friendly and kid friendly! Many people watch the show because it is made by kids and for kids. Being shown on PBS Kids (Public Broadcasting Service), the show is nonviolent and is played without commercial interruption.

    Each season of ZOOM consisted of seven average kids (3 boys, 4 girls)called ZOOMers. The ideas for activities for the show were sent in by the viewers either by e-mail or snail-mail (Z-O-O-M box 350, Boston Mass.) At the beginning of each season, some of the old cast members would leave and be replaced with new kids, only two cast members stayed more than two seasons (Caroline, seasons 2-5, and Shing Ying, seasons 5-7).

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