Following this week’s media scandal over allegations that were aggressively rebutted and later recanted, award-winning Sesame Street puppeteer Kevin Clash remains on a leave from his role as Elmo, one of the show’s most beloved characters. An accusation that Clash had an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy, published online early Nov. 12 by gossip news site TMZ, prompted Clash to request leave so that he could defend his reputation. Sesame Workshop, which looked into the allegations after learning of them in June, granted the leave and issued a statement:
Puppeteer Kevin Clash, the performer behind Elmo, one of Sesame Street's most beloved characters, has taken a leave of absence following news reports of an allegation that he had an inappropriate relationship with an underage boy, according to a statement released today by Sesame Workshop. The accuser recanted Tuesday afternoon (see update, below). The Workshop heard of the allegation in June, when a 23-year-old who claimed to have had a relationship with Clash at the age of 16 first communicated with the company. "We took the allegation very seriously and took immediate action," the Workshop said in its statement. "We met with the accuser twice and had repeated communications with him. Continue Reading
Sesame Street will broadcast an edited version of its five-part special on hurricanes on Friday, Nov. 9. Editors cut the original to eliminate segments on storm preparation, focusing the new version on dealing with the aftermath of a storm, according to Entertainment Weekly. In the original program, first broadcast in 2001, a storm ravaged the iconic neighborhood of Sesame Street, leaving Big Bird's nest in ruins. This is the third airing for the hurricane special. Sesame Street re-ran the entire series in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina assaulted the Gulf Coast. Last week, during an Oct. Continue Reading
The man behind Sesame Street’s Count von Count, Jerry Nelson, died Aug. 23 at age 78. Nelson, who worked with Muppets creator Jim Henson early in his career, also played Gobo Fraggle on Fraggle Rock, a Henson TV series from the 1980s. Nelson “imbued all his characters with the same gentle, sweet whimsy and kindness that were a part of his own personality,” said Lisa Henson, c.e.o. of Jim Henson Co., in a statement. “He joined the Jim Henson Co. Continue Reading
Judy Freudberg, who wrote for Sesame Street for almost 40 years, died June 10 of a brain tumor, according to Hollywood Reporter. She was 63. Freudberg won 17 Emmy Awards for her work on the pubcasting series, and collaborated with Tony Geiss on Sesame Street’s first feature film, Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird (1985), and on two animated movies for executive producer Steven Spielberg: The Land Before Time (1985) and An American Tail (1986). Freudberg joined Sesame Street in 1971, during its third season, as a script typist and began writing for the program four years later. Continue Reading
During pledge drives, public television stations routinely ignore one of their biggest audience draws — the daytime PBS Kids block — deeming the meager returns not worth the effort of disrupting the viewing habits of children who watch each day. But ongoing financial challenges at many stations have prompted some to test new approaches for tapping into the strong affinity for the shows. Continue Reading
Alvarado, a former APM and CPB exec, is joining the Center for Investigative Reporting
The nonprofit news organization announced on May 2 that Alvarado will serve as chief strategy officer and work to expand membership, engage diverse audiences and increase revenue for the San Francisco–based center, the nation’s oldest nonprofit investigative reporting organization. Alvarado also will take a leadership role in the center’s upcoming Knight Foundation–funded YouTube investigative channel. Alvarado departed in March from American Public Media, where he served as senior v.p. for digital innovation for two years. In 2009, he led efforts to bring more diversity and digital innovation to public media as a CPB senior v.p.
“When I joined the board of CIR last year,” Alvarado said in a statement, “I said that CIR exemplifies a truly networked newsroom with some of the most talented reporters and producers working today. It’s still true — and even more so with the merger with the Bay Citizen,” the local nonprofit online news hub. Continue Reading
Public TV cleaned up at the Creative Arts Daytime Emmy Awards June 25
PBS and American Public Television, as distributors, had 16 winners (and earlier, 53 nominations). Nickelodeon’s programs and artists won 11 Emmys and ABC’s won 10. Sesame Street scored seven and Electric Company five. Avec Eric, APT’s new food series with chef Eric Ripert, took an award for graphic design. The competition covers broadcasts during the calendar year 2009, 2 to 6 p.m.
Public TV winners included:
Outstanding Children’s Animated Program
Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Ellen Cockrill, Carol Greenwald, Dorothea Gillim David Kirschner and Jon Shapiro, e.p.; Matthew Baughman and Paul Higgins, coordinating producers; David Wilcox, producer; Share Stallings, co-producer; Jacqui Deegan, series producer. Continue Reading