'Sesame Street' Book Topic on 'N.C. Bookwatch'
When the first episode aired on Nov. 10, 1969, "Sesame Street" revolutionized the way education was presented to children on television. It has since become the longest-running children's show in history, and today reaches 8 million preschoolers on 350 PBS stations and airs in 120 countries.
Michael Davis' book, "Street Gang," is the compelling and often comical story of the creation and history of this media masterpiece and pop culture landmark, told with the cooperation of one of the show's cofounders, Joan Ganz Cooney.
"Sesame Street" was born as the result of a discussion at a dinner party at Cooney's home about the poor quality of children's programming and hit the air as a big bang of creative fusion from Jim Henson and company, quickly rocketing to success.
In an all-new episode of UNC-TV's local literary series, "North Carolina Bookwatch with D.G. Martin," premiering Sunday, Aug. 9, at 5 p.m. Michael Davis shares "Street Gang" and how it traces the evolution of this iconic series from its inspiration in the civil rights movement through its many ups and downs -- from Nixon's trying to cut off its funding to the rise of Elmo -- via the remarkable personalities who have contributed to it.
Throughout this episode of "N.C. Bookwatch," Davis reveals how "Sesame Street" has taught millions of children not only their letters and numbers, but also cooperation and fair play, tolerance and self-respect, conflict resolution, and the importance of listening. And through these lessons, "Street Gang" shares the unforgettable story of five decades of social and cultural change and the miraculous creative efforts, passion, and commitment of the writers, producers, directors, animators, and puppeteers who created one of the most influential programs in the history of television.
Michael Davis has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Davis was a senior editor and family TV columnist for TV Guide from 1998-2007. A Neiman fellow, he has also worked for The Baltimore Sun and Chicago Sun-Times. "Street Gang" is his first book.
For additional information about series guests and airdates, plus links to the Bookwatch blog and online book club, visit www.unctv.org/ ncbookwatch.
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