ZOOM: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Format Children's television series
Created by Christopher Sarson (1970–1974)
Kate Taylor (1999–2006)
Country of origin United States
Running time 30 minutes
Original channel PBS
Original run January 3, 1972 (1972-01-03) – June 24, 2005 (2005-06-24)

ZOOM is an American educational television show, created almost entirely by children, which aired on PBS originally from January 3, 1972 to 1978 and again from 1999 to June 24, 2005. Both versions were produced by WGBH-TV in Boston.



ZOOM encourages children to "turn off the TV and do it!" On the show, a cast of (usually) seven kids (known as ZOOMers) perform various activities such as games, plays, poems, recipes, jokes, and science experiments, all suggested by viewer contributions. The mail-in request became a pop culture reference for its music exhortation to "Write ZOOM, Z-Double-O-M, Box 3-5-0, Boston, Mass 0-2-1-3-4: send it to ZOOM!". There is also a language game on the show called Ubbi-Dubbi and another called Fannee Doolee. The performers in the original series were known for wearing striped rugby shirts and jeans and for performing barefoot, although the cast members started performing in shoes from the third season (1973) on.

ZOOM was a new kind of series when it premiered on January 3, 1972. Unlike other children's fare at the time, it was, for the most part, unscripted. Far from seeking to capitalize by making stars of the child actors, the contracts prohibited them from making any television appearances or doing commercials for three years after they left the show.

ZOOM was intended to inspire children to be active investigators, creators, and problem-solvers as well as introduce them to the principles of ethnic diversity. The show's ZOOMSci segment, for example, featured on the later incarnation, encouraged viewers to try the activities shown on ZOOM and to send in their results.

When ZOOM made a comeback in 1999, parents who had grown up watching the show could now share it with their own children, and found that it was very much the same as it had been in the 1970s. The theme song was similar, there was still Ubbi-Dubbi, and the ZOOMers continued to play games and perform skits suggested by other children. With the advent of the Internet, the "0-2-1-3-4" jingle was rarely sung, supplanted by one that emphasized "PBSKids—dot org!" Also, when reading aloud the names of contributors, the later version provided only first names and abbreviated surnames (e.g., "Paul T."), presumably as a compromise between crediting the children and meeting modern privacy expectations for child safety.

The show was last taped during the summer of 2004, many episodes taking place off of the ZOOM set. The decision to cancel the show was largely because of failing ratings, with the last season's ratings down almost a fifth from the previous year. Currently, there are no TV stations airing rerun episodes, with the sole exception of Discovery Kids Canada, which is available only by digital cable or satellite subscription within Canada. There is currently talk of putting ZOOM on either PBS Kids Sprout or soon-to-be 24-hour digital PBS Kids Go! channel.[citation needed]

The first ZOOM series lasted six seasons (1972–1978) and featured 49 ZOOMers. The second ZOOM series lasted seven seasons (1999–2005) and featured 32 ZOOMers. At the end of every season of the second series, cast members who had grown too old were replaced by new cast members.

Fannee Doolee

Fannee Doolee is a fictitious girl acted in the playhouse by the ZOOMers on ZOOM. During the play, Fannee Doolee does not face the audience and she does not speak; instead, Fannee Doolee's unheard dialog is exposed when the person she was seen talking to turns to talk with others. The play is a comedy and the repeating gag is that Fannee Doolee likes and dislikes things that are similar and the people around her are perplexed by this inconsistency. For example, she likes stools but not chairs; she likes coffee but not drinks; she likes rolls but not bread; she likes cheese but not dairy. The 1970s series used this play format more than the 1999-2005 version. In the second series a ZOOMer would pop up on screen and say, "Fannee Doolee likes _____, but doesn't like_______. Why do you think that is?" There was also a theme song for Fannee Doolee that spells her name. It almost gives away the joke. It went "F-A-double N-double E D-double O-L-double E. (repeat). Fannee Doolee!!"

The gag is a lexical and spelling puzzle. Fannee Doolee likes words that have double letters; hence, she likes sweets but not candy, and likes luggage but not suitcases. This is a variation on a game commonly known as The Green Glass Door.

Cast members

First Version (1972–1978)

First Season (Early 1972): Joe Shrand, Jon Reuning, Nina Lillie, Tommy White, Kenny Marshal, Nancy Tates, Tracy Tannebring

Second Season (1972–1973):

  • Cast 1: Kenny Marshal, Nancy Tates, Tracy Tannebring, Ann Messer, David Alberico, Jay Schertzer, Maura Mullaney
  • Cast 2: Ann Messer, David Alberico, Jay Schertzer, Maura Mullaney, Bernadette Yao, Leon Mobley, Luiz Gonzalez
  • Cast 3: Bernadette Yao, Leon Mobley, Luiz Gonzalez, Danny McGrath, Edith Mooers, Lori Boskin, Neal Johnson

Third Season (1973–1974):

  • Cast 1: Danny McGrath, Edith Mooers, Lori Boskin, Neal Johnson, Donna Moore, Mike Dean, Timmy Pruce
  • Cast 2: Donna Moore, Mike Dean, Timmy Pruce, Hector Seandon, Rose Clarkow, Shawn Miranda, Danny Malloy

Fourth Season (1974–1975): Andrae Neilsan, Carmen Hernandez, Cate Albonda, David Azzoto, Harvey Reed, Norman Christian, David "Red" O'Brien, Tishy Lyman, Tommy Schultz, Tracey Dunlap (This was the only season of the original show that featured more than seven ZOOMers at one time.)

Fifth Season (Late 1976): Arcadio Gonzales, Chris Blackwell, Jennifer Gold, Karen Wing, Levell Gethers (who did not complete the season), Nell Cox, Ron Richmond

Sixth Season (1977–1978): Amy Clark, Carolyn Malcolm, Chee Bong, John Lathan, Nicholas Butterworth, Shona Wiseman, Susan Hobbie

Some PBS stations continued to broadcast reruns of the series as late as early 1980.

Cast names and update

Leon Mobley, a cast member from the 1972-1973 season of ZOOM

During the 1970s version of the series, WGBH never disclosed the ZOOMers' last names, which was likely part of the producers' policy of just using ordinary kids who would be likely to stay ordinary kids, and allowing the viewers to more easily identify with the ZOOMers; this policy also included a contract in which the ZOOMers would not appear on television for three years after leaving the show.

Listed below are some cast members' full names that have come to light in later years.

  • David Alberico (1972–73)
  • Nicholas Butterworth (1977–1978) is Founder, President & CEO of Diversion Media.
  • Mike Dean (1973–1974) is an artist and musician. (websites: www.zoomboymike.com and www.michaeldeanoriginalart.blogspot.com)
  • John Lathan (1977–1978) has had guest parts in The West Wing and was a member of the Engine Crew on Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?
  • Danny McGrath (1973–1974) is a songwriter and musician.
  • Leon Mobley (1972–1973) is founder of DJIMBE West African Drummers and Dancers (DWADD),[1] and has performed with the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, toured with Ben Harper, and Peter Wolf.
  • Edith Mooers (1973–1974) showed genius in mathematics at an early age, won prestigious academic awards in math as a university undergraduate, and went on to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from MIT. Her father was the legendary computer pioneer Dr. Calvin Mooers (1919–1994).
  • Donna Moore (1973–74) is a professional singer, actor, and monologuist in New York.
  • Maura Mullaney (1972–1973) is an Amtrak conductor.
  • Harvey Reed (1974–1975)
  • Jon Reuning (1972) is a New York City playwright and co-founder of United Stages, a company that produces programs and marketing for small-venue theatrical productions, including publication of current theatrical scripts. He holds a BFA in theater, having studied at Syracuse University and the Graduate Acting program at NYU.
  • Jay Schertzer (1972–1973)
  • Joe Shrand (1972)
  • Nancy Tates (1972)
  • Tommy White (1972)
  • Bernadette Yao (1972–1973) practices the healing arts.[2]

Second Version (1999–2005)

Season 1 (1999): Zoe Costello, Jared Nathan, Keiko Yoshida, Pablo Velez, Alisa Besher, David Toropov, Lynese Browder

  • Jared, Keiko, Pablo, David and Lynese left after season one but Alisa and Zoe stayed for season two.

Season 2 (2000): Ray MacMore, Caroline Botelho, Claudio Schwartz, Alisa Besher, Jessica "Jessie" Ogungbadero, Kenny Yates, Zoe Costello

  • Ray, Claudio, Alisa, Jessie, and Zoe left after season two but Caroline and Kenny stayed for season three.

Season 3 (2001): Frances Domond, Kenny Yates, Rachel Redd, Eric Rollins, Kaleigh Cronin, Kevin "Buzz" Barrette, Caroline Botelho

  • Frances, Kenny, Eric and Buzz left after season 3 but Rachel, Kaleigh and Caroline returned for season four.

Season 4 (2002): Aline Toupi, Garrett DiBona, Rachel Redd, Matt Runyon, Estuardo Alvizures, Kaleigh Cronin, Caroline Botelho

  • Rachel, Matt, and Kaleigh left after season four but Aline, Garrett, Estuardo and Caroline stayed for season five.

Season 5 (2003): Caroline Botelho, Aline Toupi, Estuardo Alvizures, Garrett DiBona, Mike Hansen, Kortney Sumner, Elena "Shing Ying" Shieh

  • Caroline, Aline, Estuardo, and Garrett left after season five but Mike, Kortney, and Shing Ying stayed for season six.

Season 6 (2004): Mike Hansen, Kortney Sumner, Francesco Tena, Cara Harvey, Kyle Larrow, Maya Morales, Elena "Shing Ying" Shieh

  • Mike, Kortney, Cara, and Maya left after season six but Francesco, Kyle and Shing Ying stayed for season seven.

Season 7 (2005): Nick Henry, Taylor Garrson, Francesco Tena, Noreen Raja, Emily Marshall, Kyle Larrow, Elena "Shing Ying" Shieh

  • Caroline was in the most seasons (4), Seasons 2, 3, 4 and 5 (2000–2003).
  • Shing Ying was behind Caroline with 3 seasons of being on the show, Seasons 5, 6, and 7 (2003–2005)
  • Caroline and Kenny guest-starred on Arthur in a "And Now a Word from Us Kids" (in the case ZOOMers and gave a sneak peak behind the show ZOOM).
  • Caroline was going to be in Season 6 and she was under age. But because of how old she looked, she stopped.[citation needed]*

Cast names and updates

  • Kevin "Buzz" Barrette is a 2007 graduate of Auburn High School. He is a freshman at Boston University as of fall 2007.[3]
  • Lynese Browder has a daughter and is a 2008 graduate of Pine Manor College.[4]
  • Zoe Costello graduated from New York University in 2009.[5]
  • Garrett DiBona is a freshman at University of Tampa
  • Ray MacMore is currently living in Brooklyn, NY, attending Brooklyn College. He works at a hotel in midtown Manhattan and is one of three members of USRS, a Hip-Hop group.
  • Estuardo Alvizures has worked with Sociedad Latina and is currently in Guatemala.[6]
  • Jared Nathan was a third-year acting student at the Juilliard School;[7] he was killed in an automobile accident in Hollis, New Hampshire on December 28, 2006. The driver of the automobile in which Nathan was riding was alleged to be drunk.[8][9][10]
  • Jessica-Kate "Jessie" Ogungbadero is a senior (class of 2009) at Harvard University[11]
  • David Toropov is a 2007 graduate of Phillips Academy Andover. He is attending Bard College as of fall 2007.
  • Pablo Velez graduated from Emerson College in May, 2007.
  • Kenny Yates, whose full name is Kenneth Yates Jr., is an assistant to film directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, as of 2006.[12]
  • Keiko Yoshida graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2006 and is currently a Spanish teacher.[citation needed]
  • Noreen Raja is a senior at Grafton High School in Massachusetts and is a member of the Central Massachusetts Regional Student Advisory Council to the Board of Education.
  • Aline Barta is currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Cara Harvey graduated from Wachusett Regional High School and is a member of the University of Connecticut class of 2013
  • Maya Morales is a current junior at Worcester Academy.
  • Taylor Garron was a contestant on season 1 of ZOOM's successor show FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman.
  • Caroline Botelho is currently a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Francesco Tena is a graduate of Boston Latin School and currently a freshmen at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.
  • Kyle Larrow is a graduate from the Class of 2009 at Boston College High School. Currently attending Harvard University as a member of the class of 2013.
  • Kortney Sumner graduated from Newton North High School in 2008, and is currently a sophomore at Skidmore College.


First Version

In 1974, A&M Records released an album of songs from the show titled Come on and ZOOM (LP OCLC 3060311; cassette OCLC 18900529), featuring cast members from the second season. The catalogue number of the album was SP-3402 (213 402 under PolyGram system).

In 1975, the cast members from the first version came out with an album called Playgrounds that was available by mail order.

There were two books published for children that were based on the 1970s ZOOM series:

  • The ZOOM Catalog (ISBN 0394825322), published by Random House in 1972, featured the best stories and activities from the show
  • Do a ZOOMdo, published by Little Brown in 1975, featured activities from the show

In 1997, WGBH released the video and book set Best of the 70s and ZOOMers Revisited—Where Are They Now? (ISBN 1578072077).

In 2008, WGBH released a two DVD set ZOOM: Back to the '70s. The first DVD was a reissue of Best of the 70s, with extras consisting of behind the scenes stills set to the theme song and a 10 question quiz asking what a few of the cast members are doing today. The second DVD consisted of four episodes from the 1970s series.

Second Version

Three videos were released based on the show: Party with ZOOM (1999, ISBN 157807200X), The ZOOMers Video Special: The Making of ZOOM! (2000), and ZOOM: America's Kids Remember (2002).

Four books compiled by Amy E. Sklansky were published by Little, Brown and Company:

  • ZOOM Zingers (1999, ISBN 0316952613)
  • ZOOM Fun With Friends (1999, ISBN 0316952753)
  • ZOOMdos You Can Do! (2000, ISBN 0316952761)
  • ZOOMfun Outside (2000, ISBN 0316952788)

As always, all material in these books were submitted by the viewers.

DVD release

A two-disc set with four full episodes plus various footage from all six seasons of the 1970s version was released on October 28, 2008.[13]

See also

  • Studio See (another PBS children's program that used content from viewers)



External links


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