Press Release

Sesame Workshop’s The Electric Company Sparks a Literacy Power Surge With A Brand New Season Premiering January 25, 2010 on PBS KIDS GO!®

Celebrities Recharging The Electric Company Include Dwight Howard, John Leguizamo, Kyle Massey, Chris Massey, LL Cool J, Monique Coleman, Sherri Shepherd and Samantha Bee

American Greetings Joins Beaches Resorts as Sponsors of The Electric Company

New York, NY , December 16th, 2009
Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organization behind Sesame Street¸ is charged up to deliver a second season of the hit show The Electric Company. The series, designed to combat the literacy crisis facing America’s 6 to 9-year-olds, will premiere a brand new season of 12 exciting half-hour episodes beginning January 25, 2010 and can be seen 5 days a week on PBS KIDS GO! (check local listings).

Season two of The Electric Company
begins with a special three-episode recurring role by kid comedian and Cory in the House star, Kyle Massey, playing Keith’s cousin, PJ. Then, following the premiere week, new episodes will air each Friday. This re-invented version of The Electric Company is designed to appeal to today’s kids with fresh animation, music videos, and exciting narrative storylines. Other celebrities turning on the power this season include: NBA superstar Dwight Howard, Emmy Award-winning actor John Leguizamo, The View co-host Sherri Shephard, actor and rapper LL Cool J, actor Chris Massey, High School Musical star Monique Coleman and comedian and The Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee.

“It is such a thrill to have a season two of a series that, on one hand, was designed to teach today’s tech-savvy kids the incredible power of words, while on the other hand, is such an iconic part of educational television history,” says Karen Fowler, Executive Producer, Sesame Workshop. “By bringing back The Electric Company for a second season, we are continuing to pave the way for kids to make the transition from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn'.”

With more than one-third of fourth graders across the United States scoring below basic levels in reading[1], The Electric Company aims to tackle this literacy crisis by coupling a strong literacy curriculum with entertaining and engaging stories. Each week, The Electric Company focuses on a specific literacy themed domain and the entire week’s episodes will introduce vocabulary words that fall within this theme. The premiere week of The Electric Company will focus on storytelling and includes vocabulary words such as "unbelievably," "character," "details," "detective," "courageous" and "predictable."

“PBS continues to be committed to guiding children in literacy skill development and The Electric Company is a comical and fun way for kids to strengthen these skills,” said Linda Simensky, VP, Children’s Programming, PBS. “The second season will not only continue to help children who are at-risk but will also be a helping hand for other children as they develop literacy skills and learn about age-appropriate social–emotional life lessons.”

The Electric Company is a multimedia literacy campaign designed to reach out to today’s 6 to 9-year-olds, not only on television, but wherever kids are: in the community, after-school programs and online. To date, over 20,000 curriculum based outreach kits and over 200,000 magazines have been distributed nationwide. In addition, the The Electric Company website has had over 8 million site visits with over 21 million videos streamed[2]. The website also recently won the 2009 Best in Class Interactive Media Award.

Season two of The Electric Company is made possible by the generous support of Beaches Resorts and American Greetings. Both Beaches Resorts and American Greetings are longtime sponsors of Sesame Workshop programming and they continue to champion children’s education by sponsoring The Electric Company.

The Electric Company is part of PBS KIDS Raising Readers, a national literacy initiative focused on using public media to improve the reading skills for children ages two to eight, with an emphasis on children from low-income families. The effort is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and a Ready To Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, part of a cooperative agreement with CPB and PBS. 

Visit The Electric Company at:

www.pbskids.org/electriccompany

The Electric Company YouTube Channel

The Electric Company on Facebook


About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that changed television forever with the legendary Sesame Street. As the single largest informal educator of young children, local Sesame Street programs produced in countries as diverse as South Africa, Bangladesh and India are making a difference in over 120 nations. Using proprietary research to create engaging and enriching content, Sesame Workshop produces programs such as Dragon Tales and Pinky Dinky Doo. In addition, multimedia needs-driven initiatives provide families tools for addressing such issues as children’s health, military deployment and emergency preparedness.  As a nonprofit, product proceeds and philanthropic donations support Sesame Workshop’s educational research and creative content for children around the world. Learn more at www.sesameworkshop.org.

About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!

PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offers all children—from every walk of life—the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and outreach content. Like its programming counterpart, PBS resources—including PBS KIDS online (pbskids.org), PBS KIDS GO! online (pbskidsgo.org), PBS Parents (pbsparents.org), PBS Teachers (pbsteachers.org), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country—leverage the full spectrum of media and technology advancements as well as community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Guiding children towards empowerment for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 65 million people each week and reaching 99% of American homes.  

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,000 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television, and related online services.


[1] U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2007 Reading Assessment.

[2] Google Analytics Website Visits  & TEC video plays from PBS Platform (TEC Site & GO Player)" January 19, 2009 - November 30, 2009


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