The Electric Company rebooted: all-new series to premiere on TVO, charging a new generation of readers

    -  Launches on TVOKids Monday January 19 2009 with special two-hour
       sneak-peek marathon. Regular timeslot Mondays at 5:30 pm starting
       January 26 and Saturdays at 9:30 am

    -  Season 1 celebrity appearances include Wyclef Jean, Whoopi Goldberg,
       Jimmy Fallon and Tiki Barber

    TORONTO, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - From the makers of Sesame Street comes a
reinvented, modern take on The Electric Company, the iconic educational series
from the 1970s. The all-new Electric Company makes its Canadian premiere on
TVOKids with a special two-hour mini-marathon Monday January 19 2009 from 5 to
7 pm, before settling into its regular weekly timeslot Mondays at 5:30 pm
starting January 26 and Saturdays at 9:30 am.
    Like the original series, today's Electric Company is designed to develop
reading skills in six- to nine-year-olds, but charges literacy learning with a
fresh hip-hop edge fitting for a new generation of viewers. Shot on location
in and around New York City, the series follows a group of do-gooders -
defenders of the spoken and written word - who employ their reading
superpowers to keep their urban neighbourhood safe from the antics of local
pranksters who sometimes wreak havoc with their own word skills. Using
narrative, phonics-based music videos, dance, animation, beat-box segments and
comic wordplay sketches rooted in themes like the body, animals, games and
space, The Electric Company entertains kids while driving home elements of
reading such as decoding, vocabulary, motivation and comprehension.
    "We are thrilled to have The Electric Company become part of the TVOKids
family of programming," says Patricia Ellingson, TVO's creative head of
Children's Media Content and Programming. "As with all TVOKids content, The
Electric Company is designed by educators in partnership with some of the
world's best producers of children's content." She adds: "If you think
learning to read sounds boring, hold onto your hats because this show is
full-on entertainment jam-packed with energy and featuring the most talented
singers and dancers I've seen in a very long time. The Electric Company is a
show that will be a definite must-see not only for kids but the entire
    Season 1 of the new Electric Company will feature comedy segments with
Academy Award-winning actress Whoopi Goldberg, kid comedian and actor Kyle
Massey, former NFL superstar and Today Show correspondent Tiki Barber, rapper
Common and 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer; music videos with Grammy Award-winning
musician Wyclef Jean and hip-hop superstar Sean Kingston; and original songs
from singer/songwriter Ne-Yo, Saturday Night Live's Jimmy Fallon and R&B star
    Executive producer Karen Fowler gathered an abundance of creative talent
for the series, including musical director Chris Jackson, who currently stars
on Broadway as Benny in the Tony Award-winning hip hop dance musical In the
Heights, as well as Tony and Oscar nominated playwright and lyricist Willie
Reale (A Year with Frog and Toad, Dreamgirls) who is co-executive producer and
leads The Electric Company writing team.
    To preview The Electric Company, please visit TVO's January 2009 media
    For media queries, screeners or interview requests, please contact TVO
Communications or Sesame Workshop.

    About TVO
    TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted
source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and
stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be
engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media.

    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

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Angela Garde, TVO
Communications, (416) 484-2600 ext. 2305,; Alicia Durand,
Sesame Workshop, (212) 875-6223,

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