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Target Age Gap and Age of Children on the Show

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by BigBirdABCDEFGH, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. Hi,

    I have a curious question about both the target age gap (the people watching the show at home) and the age gap of the children (aside from the regularly-appearing kid stars, such as Miles) who participate on each and every episode of Sesame Street through the years: is it true that much of the children who participate within SS's each and every skit (footage within Elmo's World, for example including the "Music" episode where one piece of footage shows various children doing their rounds of the "Alphabet Soup/Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star/Baa Baa, Black Sheep" melody, including one person on piano, another on violin, a group of children on recorders, another group of children on kazoos, yet another group of children humming "la, la, la," and finally a young orchestra doing the final measure) are usually aged between 5 and 12 years old (between kindergarten and grade 6)?

    If that's the case, then for example: theoretically, for their part in the 1998-99 season, all the children participating on the show would have had to meet these eligibility requirements:
    *Kindergarten students must have approached their 5th birthday prior to 11/1/97, one year before the 1998-99 season shows have aired. Their dates of birth would have ranged between 11/2/91 and 11/1/92.
    *Sixth-grade students must have approached their 11th birthday prior to 11/1/97, for reasons stated previously. Their dates of birth in this case would range between 11/2/85 and 11/1/86.

    ~Ben
  2. mupcollector1

    mupcollector1 Well-Known Member

    I've never really paid attention much to the ages of the children, but my best answer was during the classic years, I believe the target age was anywhere from Kindergarten / preschool - about 10 or 11 yrs. Then again the show was entertaining to the parents as well. Also the human cast on Sesame varried. Like for example Gena was very young when she joined the show. So I guess the thing about humans on Sesame was that any age human lived on Sesame as well as any age Muppet because all the characters human and Muppet was total diversity. So I think that's what Sesame was aiming for in the classic years. So I don't think it has anything to do with the target audience seeing kids their own age on the show but more of a devercity and respect in which they will learn as they grow up in adulthood. So I think that's what Sesame was trying to do.
    BigBirdABCDEFGH likes this.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    If they used the target age, we'd have extended sequences like the "Let's talk to a Baby" from Elmo's World. The Target age is that young.
  4. For many years, according to the never-so-trustworthy Wikipedia, the target viewing age has been 3-5 yrs. of age (preschool), but in the years after 1998, with the debut of the Elmo's World segment, the target age actually dropped to 2-3 yrs. (pre-kindergarten). If anyone else knows better, please elaborate, but I prefer the 1969-92 period myself.

    ~Ben
  5. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Being an educational show, it would make sense to have children on the show who were more adept at the things they were teaching or showing. Kids on the show should already know how to count/say alphabet (even if they need help or propting) as opposed to the kids they're teaching at home who are in the process of being exposed to or learning it. Any time you model something or show "hey look what kids can do" - it's more effective to see kids who have learned how to do the thing in question or somewhat advanced in the process. Take the Murray Had a Lamb segments where they visit various schools - they don't visit the schools on the first day (Murray's point of view represents the newbie); the kids are demonstrating the skills they've had ample time to learn. Kids at home are seeing this as "something possible you too can do"
    RedPiggy likes this.


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