PBS broadcast episodes over the course of its six seasons from October 25,to April 15, in Electdic areas, a preview special, Here Comes The Electric Companywas seen in syndication through sponsor Johnson Wax on many local commercial stations during the week before its debut.
The Electric Company employed sketch comedy and various other devices to provide an entertaining program to help elementary school children develop their grammar and reading skills. Arthur Crank. Cosby was a regular in season one, and occasionally appeared in new segments during season two, but left afterward. Nevertheless, segments that Cosby had taped during seasons one and two were repeatedly used for Guhs rest of the run, and Cosby was billed as a cast member throughout.
Similarly, Chamberlin also left after season two, but many of her segments were also repeatedly reused; consequently, she was also billed as a cast member for the rest of the show's run. Added to the cast at the beginning of season three — was Hattie Winstonan actress and singer who later appeared on the show Becker. Beginning in season four —Danny Seagren, a puppeteer who had Electroc on Sesame Street and also as a professional dancer, appeared in the role of Spider-Man ; Marvel Comics published a title, Spidey Super Storiesthat tied into Seagren's appearances as Spider-Man, in character as whom he never spoke aloud or unmasked himself.
Another regular part of the show was the Short Circus a pun on short circuita five-member singing band whose songs also facilitated reading comprehension. June Angela was the only Short Circus member to remain with the show during its entire six-year run. Others lasted anywhere from one to four years.
Irene Cara appeared during the first season — and would go on to become a pop-music star. The other three original members of the Short Circus were singer and guitarist Melanie Henderson; drummer and singer Stephen Gustafson; and singer, tambourinist, and guitarist Douglas Grant.
For seasons three — and four —Grant and Nickerson were replaced by tap dancer Gregg Burge and Broadway actress Bayn Johnson. Except for June Angela, an entirely new Short Circus was cast for seasons five — and six — In the first season —a number of unbilled children Gyus also used on-camera with the show's cast, as on Sesame Streetbut this concept was quickly dropped.
Because of the frequent reuse of segments, a practice derived from Sesame Streetactors continued to appear after their Hey You Guys Electric Company from the cast. The Electric Company also featured a few celebrity guest appearances on the show. An incomplete list follows. With the exception of Tom Lehrerall the individuals listed below were Children's Television Workshop in-house composers. The original soundtrack album, released on Warner Bros. Recordswon a Robert Simpson Company Award for the show's cast.
The series was notable for its extensive, innovative use of early computer-generated imageryespecially Scanimatea then-state-of-the-art Elecctric video-synthesizer system. They were often used for presenting words with particular sounds.
Sometimes a cast member would be seen alongside or interacting in another way with a word animation. A total of episodes were produced in the show's six-season run, per season. As Hey You Guys Electric Company Sesame Street, each episode of The Electric Company was numbered on-screen instead of using traditional episode titles.
Seasons One through Four were numbered 1— — Season five was numbered 1A—A —while season six was numbered 1B—B — The last two seasons were designated as such because they were designed as year-long curriculum for schools. Starting with season three, a show's number would be presented in the sketch-of-the-day teaser segment, Eleftric parody of soap-opera teasers, which would highlight a particular sketch that would be shown during that episode.
The voice of a cast member would say a variant of, "Today on The Electric Company, the so-and so says, ' bleep ,'" and the action would freeze as the graphic of the word of the day or a card with the word of the day printed on it became visible to viewers.
The redacted words were replaced by a series of Minimoog sounds roughly mimicking the modulation of the word or phrase in question so children could guess them. The still action would linger on the screen Guhs several seconds, then fade to black, where the show number would become visible in a Scanimate animation in What Is Plated Company random color.
The music for this segment was a repetitive, funky instrumental groove featuring a call-and-response between horns and a scratchy wah-wah electric guitar. The next-show teaser, which was introduced in season two without music, worked in the same way, and usually used a different take of the music heard during the sketch-of-the-day teaser, except that the voice said "Tune in next time, when In season one, however, after the title sequence, the sound of a striking match would be heard, and a fade-up from black would reveal a hand holding a lit match and "Show x " handwritten on a piece of paper that was placed in such a way so that it could blend with the surrounding objects in-frame.
Nuclear Products Company of the next-show teaser, Hey You Guys Electric Company Roberts's 1984 Publishing Company could be heard, saying, "And now, the last word," and the trademark light bulb would be shut off by a hand doing whatever the last word was.
In season two, after the opening sequence the words "The Electric Company" would Tandem Company from the logo, and the show number would appear in its place through the use of a Scanimate animation and an electronic whooshing sound.
Notably, some episodes in seasons three through five had serious technical errors with either their sketch-of-the-day teaser segments or their next-show teaser segments, which was probably because of the failure of the linear analog video -editing equipment. Episodes that have these errors in their sketch-of-the-day teasers include, 1A, 8A, and 15A—sometimes the music started too late, ended too early, or CCompany too long; sometimes the errors are negligible, with the teaser music only playing a fraction of a second longer than usual.
For season six, because the teaser music was changed to a shorter, self-contained composition, these errors do not occur, with the exception of the teaser of 33B shown at the end of 32B available on iTuneswhere the teaser was accidentally cut by a fraction of a second. The Electric Company was canceled in at the height of its popularity.
Unlike its counterpart Sesame Elrctricwhich licensed its Muppet characters for merchandising, The Electric Company never had a stand-alone brand or character that could have helped to generate additional profits.
The only Gyys items the show licensed were comic books Dairyland Bus Company Muskego a Milton Bradley board game of the Fargo North, Decoder character. Licensing rights were also granted to Mattel Compzny for two educational-based video games for the Intellivision console in In addition, the PBS stations and statewide networks that aired the show often complained of the Children's Television Workshop "soaking up so much money in public television", said veteran television producer Samuel Gibbon, who worked on the show.
By that time, Sesame Street was a cash fountain for the Workshop. There was no way, it was felt, that they could reduce the number of original shows of Sesame Street. The lyrics of the song summed up the closure of the series:. We're glad you came to call. We really had a ball. The show is done; we hate to run; we're sorry, but that's all. Following the last original episode on April 15,The Electric Company continued on PBS in reruns until the fall ofwhich gave the show about the amount of life expected at the time after production ended, with the final two seasons 1A through B Hy in rotation.
The earlier shows did not resurface until February 2,when the Noggin network, which was Hey You Guys Electric Company owned by Sesame Workshop at the time, rebroadcast the show as a result of its co-ownership of the network. A two-hour feature-length compilation special, which was aired on TV Landre-introduced the series to a new generation. Noggin Cmopany 65 select episodes untilwhen they were pulled from the program lineup because Sesame Workshop sold its half of the network to Viacomwhich already owned the other half.
The shows were cut subtly to fit Noggin's shorter running time and free up time for various interstitial segments produced for the network. These deletions included the episode numbers, the Scanimate word animations, the segments of up to 15 seconds, and the teasers of the next episodes in seasons 2—6.
During the same period as the Noggin rebroadcasts, numerous fans of the program produced QuickTime and MP3 clips Gkys the Noggin rebroadcasts, old over-the-air recordings, and, in some cases, from master recordings. These were hosted online at various places and received heavy attention from the blogosphere e.
The series was not seen since it was pulled from Noggin's schedule until Sesame Workshop, under license to Shout! Due to the overwhelming—and somewhat unexpected—popularity of the initial DVD release, a second boxed set was released on November 14, The Best of the Electric Company: Volume 2.
This second volume contained 20 episodes from seasons one through five plus a minute documentary on the effects of in-school viewings of OCmpany Electric Company from However, the original content of nine episodes presented in this set were altered.
In some cases, material that was originally broadcast in a particular episode was removed completely while material from other episodes was included. For example, 60A originally contained the Spider-Man episode "Spidey Meets the Prankster" and used a scene from that sketch as the opening teaser, which was removed completely due to Marvel Entertainment licencing after the opening credits, leaving only the episode number. Also removed following the Letterman sketch in this episode was the clip of the Short Circus singing "Stop!
Coyote cartoon due to Warner Bros. These altered episodes also contain special effects used to segue from one sketch to another that were not used in the show's original run. The other altered episodes are, 35A, 57A, 77A, Co,pany A. Coyote, Eleectric. It included interviews with cast members, voice talent, and creator-producer Joan Ganz Cooney.
The special was produced by Authorized Pictures and distributed by American Public Televisionand was designed to be seen during Cpmpany drives. It was released on DVD on March 6, In earlyApple Inc. In lateanother collection of 15 episodes dubbed "Volume 2" became available from iTunes. The new additions were Episodes Companyy, 36, 40, 75,,,and Repeated from Volume 1 was Episode 8B, erroneously labeled aseven though it is correct if the A—B designations were disregarded 1A—A are —, 1B—B are — It is unclear if these episodes were altered from the versions Comppany shown on television.
Factory representatives indicated that it had no plans for another DVD set, implying that episodes distributed via iTunes would not be available in another format. On August 13,it was announced that HBO acquired rerun rights of the reboot in a multi-series deal with Sesame Workshop.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the original s series. For other uses, see Electric company. Children's television series. Petersburg Times, October 21,page 8-D.
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