The Electric Company: PBS to Turn the Power Back On

Electric CompanyThe Corporation for Public Broadcasting is working with PBS stations and community organizations nationwide to create a cross-platform reading program (on-air and on the net). The initiative targets low-income children and is part of the Ready to Learn project which is funded by the Department of Education. One of the new series in this effort is actually an old favorite — The Electric Company.

The original Electric Company ran on PBS for 780 episodes from 1971 to 1977. It featured such diverse talent as Bill Cosby, Lee Chamberlin, Judy Graubart, Skip Hinnant, Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, and Spider-Man. The series mixed animation with skits and songs to help primary school kids develop their reading skills. The series was produced by Children’s Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop) and was envisioned as a natural progression from CTW’s landmark series Sesame Street.

The new version of The Electric Company is still under development but PBS describes the new version this way: “The all new Electric Company will reinvent the popular show for today’s 6-9 year olds as a multi-screen and outreach educational experience!” The new series is scheduled to debut in Fall of 2008. Stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

7 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Russell (San Jose, CA) says

    Just this past Friday, (January 23, 2009) my local PBS station aired the updated version of The Electric Company. As a child, I adored the original version as a child, and my own son enjoyed the re-run classics when The Electric Company aired on cable’s NOGGIN Network. I am very pleased with the new updated version! They mainly use a background of hip-hop music, and the set-up really is set to grab interests of today’s child. They still use similar curriculum in comparison to the original 70s version, and was obviously very carefully put together. I hope The Electric Company is a big success. We are in such great need of wholesome educational shows for kids. I wish the cast and producers a long and very successful journey with their newest venture of this re-newed classic!

  2. anon says

    I remember the old show vaguely. I have to say this to the schoolteacher — I profess that I never went to kindergarten nor knew how to write my name when I entered first grade. By the end of first grade, I was in the top reading class and could write my name. My parents were poor and never graduated high school, but they knew the importance and value of education. Three of their four children went on to college and all graduated from high school. What was the key to all this ‘success’? Parents who cared, and a mother who was a stay at home mom and went over our lessons with us. Nowadays, kids are either left alone or with some nanny or babysitter.

  3. Donna says

    As a 2nd grade teacher, I am seeing that most children are not entering kindergarten as prepared as they should. In ‘the olden days’, a lot of children didn’t go to kindergarten because parents taught them at home. To help with this, children had shows like Sesame Street and Electric Company. It seems now, that parents are not teaching the children at home but just throw them into kindergarten. Even though these parents sit their children in front of the TV set, they are watching shows like Sponge Bob instead of educational programming. i applaud the return of the Electric Company and hope that it truely will be an educational show like the old version. “HEY YOU GUYS…!

  4. renza says

    wholesome is not in today. I wish that my children could get this kind of understanding and explaining the way we did as a way of improving the literacy. spongebib has their attention, but it is teaching stupid. I am trying to find the old stuff. My children really enjoy the bit they an get from youtube.

  5. John Bledsoe says

    Show was that way on purpose to make children learn. From an adult’s perspective, it is “dumb” but for a kid, it may be a great show. Depends on how old you were when you watched the original show.

Leave a Comment

Your comment may need approval from a moderator before it appears. We review comments to weed out spam, duplicate postings and personal attacks. We welcome constructive discussion.