Ethel O' Grady
History of Television
December 3, 1996
Leaders in childrens television are and always have been concerned about
what programs actually make it on the air. Most early programming for children
of school age in the 1950's was the western program. Another type was the
science-fiction thriller which tended to be based on hero's from the radio,
comics, and films. However, a favorite of the youngest audience was the
children's equivalent of the variety show. This usually contained circus,
puppet, and/or animal segments. "Super Circus", which aired in 1949, consisted
of music, circus acts, animals, and of course, clowns.
In 1952, yet another type of program came about which reached a very
similiar audience as the circus variety shows. It was called "The Ding Dong
School". The Ding Dong School offered the conversation, low-key instruction,
commercials, and entertainment of Miss. Frances, a professional teacher.
With the help of these types of shows, a new genre was born. Children's
television which was a mixture of songs, education, fun, and a whole lot more.
In 1969, the first airing of "Sesame Street" took place. Sesame Street had
programs which were sponsored by different letters of the alphabet or numbers
each day, and relied on very short, animated cartoons with live and puppet
segments which kept the interest of preschool children. The show was an
instant outstanding success, and still broadcasts today.
In 1970, "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood" was born. Mr. Fred Roger's used
puppets and music to teach patience and cooperation, while providing guidance
to help children cope with feelings and frustrations. Mr. Roger's land of
makebelieve's handpuppet characters interacted with humans in the mythical
kingdom of King Friday XIII. There, the puppets and humans would deal with
their feelings and emotions as they solve typical, everyday problems.
This new genre of programming was a sensation.... [continues]
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(1999, 10). A Zipper for Pee-Wee Herman. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Zipper-Pee-Wee-Herman-2593.html
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