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Electric Company, Come On Back

Welcome back, Electric Company. Question is: Can the 1970s magic of an amazing cast -- Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby -- be replicated?

PBS is bringing back the show that ran from 1971 to 1977. "The literacy crisis today is as pervasive and alarming as it was in 1971 when we created the first version of 'The Electric Company,' " said Scott Cameron, director of education and research for Sesame Workshop. The show -- with a new cast -- is scheduled to air in January 2009.

Returning to the big screen are Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober, and Red. Remember the Fraggle Rock crew? The live-action feature musical now in the works will have them leave their cave home and meet -- gasp! -- humans they think are aliens.

In an unscientific test of whether my kids might be interested in "The Electric Company," I turned to YouTube, where "You've Got the Power", "Hey Diddle Diddle", "Hey You Guys" and plenty other Electric Company snippets are available.

Their reaction? When can they see SpongeBob like all of their friends?

Do you think your kids will be interested in returns of "The Electric Company" and "Fraggle Rock?" Are you excited? What are your kids' popular shows and movies these days?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  May 15, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers
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Hooray! I have the "best of" DVDs and we love them.
Of course, my kids also like sponge bob. It's okay.

Posted by: inBoston | May 15, 2008 7:23 AM | Report abuse

They love watching "Fraggle Rock" on DVD with us. We also got seasons 1 and 2 of "The Gummy Bears" cartoon on NetFlix and the loved it! Right now we don't have cable so their only option is PBS. They love "Big, Big World", "Mister Rogers", and "Sesame Street". Our favorite movies are "The Secret Garden", "Enchanted" and "PeeWee's Big Adventure".

Posted by: Momof5 | May 15, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

My son loves Spongebob-- and I think it's really fun, too! It is encouraging him to read in the sense that I ask him which episode he wants to watch based on the titles (we watch on DVD). I think the world would be rather dreary place with a bit of Spongebob. It's currently the only TV series our son watches. Since we have so little time for TV, we couldn't watch Electric company and a Sponge Bob-- so I'm happy for our routine of Sponge Bob then a little book reading.

Posted by: mommy S. | May 15, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Sorry-- meant "dreary place WITHOUT Sponge bob."

need coffee . . . .

Posted by: mommy S. | May 15, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

I loved Fraggle Rock when I was growing up. Maybe the kids would love it to. The only TV channel that our kids watch is PBS Sprout. Since we only watch non-violent shows when the kids are around... we pretty much watch PBS Sprout too.

I find SpongeBob violent and it is not watched in our house anymore. Although I grew up with Tom and Jerry and Wile Coyote and such like with no ill-effects, my husband says that violence does affect him so my TV viewing has changed radically in the last year and especially in the last six months. If it is violent, it can not be watched in front of the kids and only in front of the husband if it is not too violent.

Their favourite show? Kipper. I rather like it too.

Posted by: Billie | May 15, 2008 10:02 AM | Report abuse

My kids love the old dvds of Electric Company and don't seem to notice the haircuts and music at all. They go bananas for the top-notch songs.

If anyone wants to tivo a modern version of Electric Company this summer, prior to the new one, check out "Between the Lions" which covers the same territory.

Posted by: DCer | May 15, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I am too young for Electric Company, but I LOVED Fraggle Rock as a child. I didn't know it was on DVD! I must buy it! Oh, and I don't have any children. But, I can't let that stop me from reliving my chilhood!

Posted by: Sweetie | May 15, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm generally distrustful of this sort of attempt to recapture some quirky love object from childhood years. At its worst, this sort of impulse leads to the Speed Racer movie.

Posted by: tomtildrum | May 15, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Schoolhouse Rock is still the very best!!! I still like it at 44 and my 5 year old likes it too. She will watch the DVD as much as we let her.

Posted by: Robin | May 15, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

This is the most fun news all day!!! oh, the memories.

Posted by: Linda | May 15, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes - most definitely. My daughter grew up with Between the Lions (and learned so much) but when I found the Best of the Electric Company online, I had to buy it. She loved it just as much. She is now 8 but will occasionally put in a DVD and listen to the shows as she does her thing.

I suppose it depends on the kids and their exposure to different pop cultural icons, but for my language loving kid, Electric Company was a hit!

Posted by: Marla | May 16, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

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