Thursday, January 8, 2009

Children's television

I flipped on the radio looking for news and instead heard Diane Rehm talking about Sesame Street. Not something you hear every day, but former TV Guide editor Michael Davis just wrote a book about it. His comments on children's t.v. programming and the evolution of Sesame Street were so interesting that I just kept listening.

I appreciated how he emphasized children having plenty of time to play outside and simply be kids while recognizing that they're probably going to watch some t.v. - so it might as well be quality educational programming. He also encouraged parents to watch t.v. with their children, so they can discuss it afterward, rather than just using it as a babysitter. I know that's not always practical, but it sounds like a good thing to shoot for!

The book, by the way, is called Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. (Gotta love that title!)

Since they're (apparently) targeting a younger audience now, I've heard people say Sesame Street isn't what it used to be*, but that makes a "complete history" even more valuable, right?

*Ali: I couldn't find your post on this, feel free to link in the comments. :)

*Edited to add: The post I wanted to reference there is Mom to Henson, come in Henson from Ali at Sanguine.


Photos: (1) by Lone Primate. CCL.(2) by johnmarkos. CCL. (3) by dalcrose. CCL.


  1. We are truly kindred Radio spirits... You reminded me that I wanted to listen to the portion of this show that I missed on Tuesday. I hope you got to listen to the whole thing. Especially about half-way through when they talked about Mr.Cooper's death because there was a great reading from the script where they discussed his death.

    Also, if you're in the mood to go back and listen to more of her (Diane Rehm) shows, listen to the her interview with Maya Angelou (rebroadcast on Dec. 31). What an amazing attitude she has...

  2. Gladly, My Dear!

  3. Liz: Actually, I missed that reading, but they talked about it the rest of the interview. So I'll have to go back and listen to the first part. And, yeah, I always enjoy listening to Maya Angelou.

    Ali: That's it! Thanks!

  4. Oh yes! We do love us some Sesame Street around here. I will look into that book. It sounds fascinating!

  5. Have you read what Malcom Gladwell has to say about Sesame Street in the Tipping Point? It's really interesting:

  6. Annie: No, I hadn't seen that article. I'll check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!


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