Sesame Street Research

Submitted By eswe9615
Words: 929
Pages: 4

Compare and Contrast Children's shows can be wildly different in many ways. Their audience, however ties them together in just as many ways. Whether the programming aims to be educational or purely for entertainment, the content has to be age appropriate, engaging, and it has to draw an audience. Even children's programing on public television needs to draw some group in order to justify using donated funds to keep a program on the air. Once these hurdles are jumped, the programming can split in many different directions. The most educational programming can cover topics from mathematics to nature and the entertainment programming can be based on everything from superheroes to shows that mirror other content made for older viewers. Two children's shows that exemplify these similarities and differences are Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba. Sesame Street is a show that has been on public television continually for over 40 years. Yo Gabba Gabba is a show airing only 59 episodes beginning in 2007. Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba have lots of things in common other than the fact that they are children's television shows. Both shows are targeted at the same segment of the youth audience; preschoolers and other kids around that age. Sesame Street gains a lot of their audience in effect, through the parents of the children who watch. Since the program has been on for so many years, parents can pass a show they once loved down to their own children. Yo Gabba Gabba accomplishes the same parent-down effect because of the show's guest stars. Celebrities such as Jack Black, Andy Samberg, and Elijah Wood have all appeared in entertainment for adults, and on Yo Gabba Gabba. An early 90's rapper, Biz Markie even has a standing segment in which he teaches children how to beat box. By attracting the attention of parents, Yo Gabba Gabba, like Sesame Street grows its audience beyond those who would otherwise stumble upon it. Another similarity between Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba are that they both rely heavily on fantasy. While there are some kids' shows which are fully settled in the real world, a lot of children's programming employs fantastical subject matter and characters. Indeed a lot of the fantasy characters on Sesame Street have lived there for quite a long time. Big Bird and the Count are fantasy elements that have drawn children in for decades, but there are even more popular characters, like Oscar the Grouch (A monster that lives in a trash can) and the Cookie Monster are completely based in fantasy. So much so that Sesame Street has convinced children to love monsters. Yo Gabba Gabba is a children's show which also relies on fantasy. In this show, the main characters include one human and four toys which come to life and the set is essentially a playset for the toys. At the beginning of each episode, the toys, a catlike creature, a pink raindrop shaped flower creature, a long armed stripped monster, and a red bumpy cyclops come to life. In both of these shows fantasy is a major element without which, the show would lose a driving force behind each show. There are some major differences between these two shows however. First of all, Since Sesame Street has been on the air for so long there are over 4,000 episodes. This means that a child watching Sesame Street can go through their entire childhoods without ever seeing a rerun. Furthermore this length of airings allows Sesame Street to address real life issues children might face such as marriage or the death of a