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'Electric Co.' Lights Up on DVD

2 Nov, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

“The Electric Company,” a pioneering edutainment TV show produced by Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), will make its DVD debut Feb. 7 from Shout! Factory.

The Best of the Electric Company ($49.98 four-disc set) is a compilation of highlights from the 1970s show, which sought to teach basic reading and grammar skills to its young (ages 6-10) viewers through hip skits, songs and cartoons.

The series, which debuted in 1971, two years after “Sesame Street,” featured an ensemble cast that included Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby and Rita Moreno. Voice-overs on the show were done by Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers and Zero Mostel. Its first season also featured a rock band, The Short Circus, with Irene Cara.

Bonus features on the DVD include new interviews with Moreno, creator Joan Ganz Cooney, executive producer Sam Gibbon, head writer Tom Whedon (“Golden Girls,” “Alice”), and Short Circus member June Angela. Also on the DVD: show trivia, new episode introductions by Moreno, original promotional spots and a karaoke version of “Silent E.”

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