Thursday, November 13, 2014

It Should've Been on a Saturday: Zoom (1972)

PBS got into the Saturday morning business waaaaaaaaay too late. Their Bookworm Bunch block a few years back was a throwback to simpler times, but the Public Broadcasting System could've been a playa, if ya will, if they only were able to line up some of their weekday programming for Saturday consumption and as an alternative to the broadcast networks.

Exhibit A in this regard is Zoom, which had two runs totalling 13 seasons in all (1972-8, 1999-2005), and could've easily been plugged into a Saturday slot if needed.

Zoom was the creation of one Christopher Sarson, who served as executive producer for the initial run. The cast would change on a yearly basis, though there would be at least one or two holdovers each year. The kids did comedy skits, musical numbers, and even some dance routines, which might explain why the co-ed troupe all performed barefoot in the first two seasons, but added socks & sneakers in season 3.

Following is a sample open from the 1st season:

PBS and affiliate WGBH, out of Boston, revived Zoom in 1999, 21 years after the original series ended, with the same format. Sarson was no longer involved with the show, but his vision remained vital. Too bad PBS has it in the vaults now.

Rating: A.


magicdog said...

I do remember this old chestnut!

It used to air after The Electric Company IIRC. Unfortunately, I remember very little about it - except for the rocking theme song and the kids' striped shirts.

hobbyfan said...

Sounds about right. A group of cute kids singing, dancing, doing comedy skits. Shouldn't Nickelodeon be paying royalties (All That, Roundhouse in the 90's)?

Jennifer Schillig said...

I have fond memories indeed of this show--the skits, the songs, the overall 70s-ness of it.

I used to have "The Zoom Book", a compilation of poems, crafts, drawings, and other contributions from kids (with some sheet music for folk songs interspersed here and there). There was a running theme throughout with new verses being created for the folk song "The Cat Came Back."

hobbyfan said...

I mostly watched it when there wasn't much else on, usually when the parents were at work and I was on summer vacay. Too bad they won't try something like this again.