Author Topic: Sesame Street vs MRN  (Read 3616 times)


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Sesame Street vs MRN
« on: August 06, 2011, 10:19:44 PM »
Back when you were little and watching MRN did you feel like there was competition between the two shows?  Our local PBS station would air Sesame Street in the afternoons after MRN.  So MRN would have served as a strong lead-in to Sesame Street.  If Fred had allowed more merchandise to be produced towards children and not for the so called "Mission statement of FCI" - do you think the program's popularity would have skyrocketed much like Sesame Street?  I read Carroll Spinney's autobiography and he talks about how when the Sesame Street merchandise came out in 1979 how the show exploded in popularity almost over night.  Books were flying off the shelves as fast as they were put on the shelves.  He talks about how when he walked in a bookstore in NY he just couldn't believe the sight of seeing Big Bird books.  That is a good book by the way.  I want to get a copy of the 40th Anniversary of Sesame Street book that's like a coffee table book.  I've seen bits and pieces of it at Barnes and Noble.


Eric S

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Re: Sesame Street vs MRN
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2011, 01:51:13 PM »
I never viewed the shows as rivals, and they both aired pretty close together in my market as well, though Sesame Street would be on like 4 hrs a day as opposed to 2 episodes (1 total hr) of MRN. It wasn't until later, as I got older and maybe went to school that I kind of felt a rivalry. We'd talk about TV shows we liked, and although we all too old to really think that either show was cool, Sesame Street was talked about far more often than MRN. I'd bring up MRN sometimes and instead of the enthusiastic responses that reminiscing about Sesame Street got, I usually got responses like "Oh yeah. Wasn't there a King on that show? I liked that Trolley". There was affection, but mostly vague memories, as if not more than a handful of episodes had been seen. So I guess it kind of made MRN seem like the underdog in my mind, which made me feel more affection for it and kind of created a rivalry, however imagined it might have been.


  • New to the Neighborhood
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Re: Sesame Street vs MRN
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2011, 10:35:51 PM »
I didn't really sense a rivalry either - in fact, in a way I think both shows complemented each other. Although there were obvious differences, both shows involved elements of pretend mixed in with "real world" places and situations. The characters in both shows would often deal with their feelings and in solving problems. Both shows had fun films and great music. I certainly enjoyed watching both shows, which were shown one after the other in my area.

I certainly would have enjoyed having Mr. Rogers toys (like that long-lost playset!), but I do admire the fact that Mr. Rogers focussed more on the show itself than in producing merchandise. And yes, if you're an old-school Sesame St. fan, please try to get that anniversary book! :)


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Re: Sesame Street vs MRN
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 03:46:03 PM »
I think the two shows stem from one source -- a reaction to most kids' programming of the time -- but the two reactions were polar opposites. Sesame Street said "Hey, this stuff is holding kids' attention...let's use the same techniques to educate them." Fred Rogers said "This stuff is not how it should be. I will make a show that reflects how I think it ought to be." Two shows with a more or less common goal -- to create quality children's programming -- but with totally different viewpoints and approaches.

I loved them both.