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Outstanding Academic Title, 2007, Choice Magazine
By the late 1960s more than a few critics of American culture groused about the condition of television programming and, in particular, the quality and content of television shows for children. In the eyes of the reform-minded, commercial television crassly exploited young viewers; its violence and tastelessness served no higher purpose than the bottom line.
The Children's Television Workshop (CTW)—and its fresh approach to writing and producing programs for kids—emerged from this growing concern. Sesame Street—CTW's flagship, hour-long show—aimed to demonstrate how television could help all preschoolers, including low-income urban children, prepare for first grade. In this engaging study Robert W. Morrow explores the origins and inner workings of CTW, how the workshop in New York scripted and designed Sesame Street, and how the show became both a model for network television as well as a thorn in its side.
"An insightful look at American children's television."— Library Journal
"[An] accessible, well-researched introduction to the people and principles behind the show's creation."— Choice
"Morrow's engaging and straightforward book takes us back to that moment in the late 1960s when Sesame Street struggled into existence, and when programming was not yet brought to us by the letter 'S.'"— American Historical Review
Robert W. Morrow is an assistant professor of history at Morgan State University.
Johns Hopkins University Press
— Nicholas Sammond