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Sesame Workshop

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Sesame Workshop
Logo used since 2018
FoundedMay 20, 1968; 56 years ago (May 20, 1968) (as the Children's Television Workshop)
June 5, 2000; 24 years ago (June 5, 2000) (as Sesame Workshop)
Legal status501(c)(3)[2]
Headquarters1 Lincoln Plaza
Area served
Jeffrey D. Dunn[3]
Vincent A. Mai[3]
Key people
Joan Ganz Cooney (co-founder)
Lloyd Morrisett (co-founder)[3]
SubsidiariesSesame Street Inc,
The Electric Company,
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center,
Sesame Workshop Communications Inc,
Sesame Workshop Initiatives India PLC,
SS Brand Management Shanghai,[1]
Noggin LLC (until 2002)
The N LLC (until 2009)
Revenue (2014)
Expenses (2014)$111,255,622[1]
Employees (2013)
Formerly called
Children's Television Workshop (1968–2000)

Sesame Workshop (SW), originally known as the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) is an American non-profit organization for the research and production of educational children's programs. It established in 1968.

The Workshop oversaw the production of Sesame Street, a television show for pre-school children from low-income families. Two years were spent, from 1966 to 1968, researching, developing, and raising money for the new show. It was called "one of the most important television developments of the decade".[4]

Sesame Street premiered on PBS in the United States in November 1969. Since then, the Workshop has made many different shows, like The Electric Company, Ghostwriter, and The Upside Down Show. In 1999, the Workshop started its own TV channel, called Noggin.

Co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney said of the CTW model: "From the beginning, we—the planners of the project—designed the show as an experimental research project with educational advisers, researchers, and television producers collaborating as equal partners".[5] She described the collaboration as an "arranged marriage".[6]

Research[change | change source]

Cooney's proposal included using "in-house formative research".[7] This would inform and improve production. Independent evaluations tested the show's impact on its young viewers' learning.[8][9]

Gerald S. Lesser and Edward L. Palmer were hired to do research for the show. Lesser and Palmer were the only scientists in the U.S. studying children and television at the time.[4]144 They were responsible for developing a system of planning, production, and evaluation, and the interaction between television producers and educators, later called the "CTW model".[10][11]

Later[change | change source]

After Sesame Street's initial success, the CTW began to think about its survival. Their funding sources were organizations that tended to start projects, not sustain them. Government funding ended by 1981.

The CTW expanded into other areas, including the publications of books and music, international co-productions, interactive media and new technologies, licensing arrangements, and outreach programs to preschools. By 2005, income from the CTW's international co-productions of the show was $96 million. By 2008, the Sesame Street Muppets accounted for $15–17 million per year in licensing and merchandising fees.

Television shows[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Sesame Workshop. Guidestar. June 30, 2014.
  2. "Sesame Workshop". Exempt Organization Select Check. Internal Revenue Service. Accessed on May 20, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Leadership Team". Sesame Workshop. Accessed on May 20, 2016.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Davis, Michael 2008. Street Gang: the complete history of Sesame Street. New York: Viking Penguin. ISBN 978-0-670-01996-0
  5. Borgenicht, David 1998. Sesame Street unpaved. New York: Hyperion, 9. ISBN 0-7868-6460-5
  6. Cooney, Joan Ganz 2001. Foreword. In Fisch, Shalom M. and Truglio, Rosemarie T. (eds) 2001. "G" is for Growing: thirty years of research on children and Sesame Street. Mahweh, New Jersey: Erlbaum, xi. ISBN 0-8058-3395-1
  7. This means trying the programs out on real kids during the production stage.
  8. Fisch, Shalom M. and Lewis Bernstein 2001. Formative research revealed: methodological and process issues in formative research". In Fisch, Shalom M. and Truglio, Rosemarie T. (eds) "G" is for Growing: thirty years of research on children and Sesame Street. Mahweh, New Jersey: Erlbaum, 40. ISBN 0-8058-3395-1
  9. Mielke, Keith W. 2001. A review of research on the educational and social impact of Sesame Street". In Fisch, Shalom M. and Truglio, Rosemarie T. (eds) "G" is for Growing: thirty years of research on children and Sesame Street. Mahweh, New Jersey: Erlbaum, 85. ISBN 0-8058-3395-1
  10. Morrow, Robert W. 2006. Sesame Street and the reform of children's television. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 68. ISBN 0-8018-8230-3 68
  11. Lesser, Gerald S. 1974. Children and television: lessons from Sesame Street. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-71448-2