`Electric Company' to see light of day

DVD scheduled for Feb. release

For the Record

August 28, 2005|By NEWSDAY

If The Electric Company was your childhood PBS TV favorite, you'll have to wait until Feb. 7, to get your fix. That's when Sesame Workshop (formerly Children's Television Workshop) will release 24 of 780 episodes of the kid (and adult) classic in a four-DVD boxed set.

The 24 episodes will have the most memorable skits, least repetition and best representation of celebrities (including Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby and Rita Moreno), says Heather Hanssen, a spokeswoman for Sesame Workshop.

From 1971 to 1977, The Electric Company entertained and educated young minds who had graduated from Sesame Street in basic reading skills. The soundtrack won a Grammy in 1972, and the writers won an Emmy in 1973. The show's vibe is totally 1970s, complete with trippy colors and cartoon characters with Afros.

The DVD has been in the works for years. It's part of a new initiative to focus on home entertainment, says Hanssen. "In the past, our efforts have been focused on our core audience of preschoolers," she says. Now the company is focusing on the adult nostalgia market, she says.

"We're not intending for this to be something that kids can watch, although I'm sure they would enjoy it," Hanssen says. "It's really for ... the person who grew up watching The Electric Company on PBS."

Newsday is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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