Kids’ TV Grows Up

The Path from Howdy Doody to SpongeBob


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About the Book

In the early days of television, suburban families welcomed TV into their homes as an electronic babysitter that would also teach their children about the world. Children’s programming soon came to play a key role in the development of mass culture, promoting the shared interests, norms and vocabulary through which children interact with peers and define themselves as a cohort. This social history examines the forces driving the development of children’s television in the U.S., from its inception to the present. Analyses of iconic programs reveal how they influenced our concept of childhood.

About the Author(s)

Formerly head of research for Sesame Workshop, Jo Holz has been a market research executive for NBC, Oxygen Media and Nielsen, taught media studies at New York University, Rutgers University and Columbia University, and was Professional in Residence at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Philadelphia.

Bibliographic Details

Jo Holz

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 34 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6874-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3060-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface 1
Introduction 5
One. The Birth of Children’s Television (Late 1940s to Mid–1950s) 13
Two. The Infancy of Children’s Television (Mid to Late 1950s) 53
Three. The Toddler Years (the 1960s) 73
Four. Early Childhood (the 1970s) 97
Five. Middle Childhood (the 1980s) 118
Six. The Tweens (the 1990s) 136
Seven. The Postmodern Child (2000–Present) 172
Epilogue 203
Chapter Notes 205
Bibliography 215
Index 223