Square One TV

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PBS (ended 1992)

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Square One TV

Show Summary

Mathman, your mission is to explore the Square One Television guide at TV.com. You will explore the guide, taking in the details about the show and contributing any information you may have about the show if you so desire. But beware the evil Mr. Glitch. He will eat you if you navigate away too quickly. Square One TV was a PBS series dedicated to making math fun. Airing daily on most PBS stations, this show was full of pop-culture parodies, great music, excellent skits and so much more. Much like The Electric Company, a celebrated phonetics series of the 1970s, Square One TV went from one concept to the next. The series had occasional celebrity guests, such as talented musicians and even magician Harry Blackstone. Legendary announcer Gary Owens became a regular in the second season, voicing Lt. Dirk Niblick, who helped his friends understand certain sales traps. The most recognized element of Square One TV, appearing at the end of each episode, was "Mathnet," a parody of the show Dragnet. Each Mathnet case lasted for one week (or five episodes) of the show and featured detectives George Frankly and his partner Kate Monday (Pat Tuesday in Seasons Four and Five) solving a fictional crime through the use of math. A big part of Square One TV seemed to be its devotion to The University of Michigan. Pac-Man parody Mathman wore a Wolverines helmet; programs in the third season made estimates based on the Michigan Stadium; Lt. Dirk Niblick's mother was a Michigan fan, and so on. It was all within reason: Square One TV's executive producer, the late David D. Connell, graduated from The University of Michigan in 1953 and the show's senior producer, Jim Thurman, is from the UM class of 1957. Square One TV was a production of the Children's Television Workshop, known today as Sesame Workshop. Some major changes came to the show in Season Four: the opening theme music and credits as well as the closing credits were changed, many new segments were added and the Mathnet series moved permanently from California to New York. The series was continued till the end of its fifth season and then canceled, much to the disappointment of its many fans. The show continued in repeats on most PBS stations until 1994 and then left the airwaves pretty much entirely... until it was picked up by the satellite/cable station Noggin. But Noggin took the show off along with a bunch of other Sesame Workshop shows in May 2003, so now Square One TV isn't on any station any more. Special thanks to Brian Hilley for information on segments that Noggin cut out when they showed the program. Noggin also aired some episodes of "Mathnet" on a program called Phred on Your Head. Still looking to watch some Square One TV? Look for online videos, check your local library (including any inter-system loan setup they may have) and GPN --- a great resource for this and other classic shows, including Ghostwriter and 3-2-1 Contact. Note: Square One TV only showed credits at the end of each five-episode run. Guest stars will be credited, to the best of the editor's abilities, for only those episodes in which they appeared, but special crediting notes (such as actors credited by a different name) will only be shown for every fifth episode. Special thanks to RantinAnton and Curtis Olmsted for their help in adding information to this guide. May the math be with you!

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James Earl Jones

James Earl Jones

Chief Thad Green (Seasons 1-2), Booming Announcer Voice (Season 3)

Gary Owens

Gary Owens

Lt. Dirk Niblick

Larry Cedar

Larry Cedar

Various Roles

Barbara Feldon

Barbara Feldon

Anonymous Narrator (Season 1)

Bari K. Willerford

Bari K. Willerford

Benny Pill (Late Season 3-5)

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Comedy