Sesame Street
Adoption of Miles, part 1
Air date December 24, 1985
Season Season 17 (1985-1986)
Written by Judy Freudberg
Sponsors B, K, 5
Syndication Sesame Street Unpaved

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Background

In 1985, Sesame Street tackled the issue of adoption when they introduced the character of Miles, son of Gordon and Susan. Roscoe Orman originally suggested that Gordon and Susan have a child when he first joined the show in 1974. At the time, the producers felt that it was too complicated to cast a baby to play the part. Ten years later, when Orman's son Miles was a year old, he revisited the idea. Orman remembers, "Caroll Spinney offhandedly said one day, 'That son of yours is so cute -- he's such a great kid -- we should bring him on the show and let him be your son.' I said that I had suggested something like that years ago but it was shot down. And he said, 'Well, you know, you could even adopt him.' That really started my wheels turning and I mentioned it to [Executive Producer] Dulcy Singer."[1]

The producers were intrigued by the adoption angle, and cast Miles in the role. "The idea is that he'll grow up on the show -- for as long as he wants to," Roscoe Orman said in 1986. The adoption of Miles was shown in a four-part story arc that started in this episode and continued through 2123, 2124, and 2125. The events of Miles' adoption were also presented in the 1986 book Susan and Gordon Adopt a Baby.

Segments

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Picture Segment Description
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SCENE 1 Big Bird and Snuffy plan to celebrate "Best Friends Day" with a picnic at the park. Snuffy had even brought his own mitt to play catch. Big Bird is eager to get started, but Snuffy reminds him to pick up their lunch (birdseed and spaghetti) at Hooper's.
Bforbat.jpg
Cartoon Small letter b (ball/bat)
(First: Episode 1131)
Wishihadafriend.jpg Muppets Ernie doesn't want to play with Bert, who sings "I Wish I Had a Friend to Play With Me."
(First: Episode 1819)
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Cartoon The Ringmaster #5: Five fantastic floating fools fall from the big blue blimp.
(First: Episode 1310)
cut from the Noggin version
There's a Bird on Me.jpg
Song Joe Raposo sings "There's a Bird On Me".
(First: Episode 0416)
Countsheep.jpg

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Muppets The Count's main jumping-over-the-bed flock of sheep quits on him, so he calls the "24 Hour Emergency Counting Service". A reluctant deliveryman in sheep's clothing laments, "It's not an easy way to make a livin' ..."
1041pinkpanther.jpg Cartoon The Pink Panther Karate-Chops the Letter 'K'.
(First: Episode 0241)
cut from the Noggin version
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Film Alone Song
(First: Episode 0921)
cut from the Noggin version
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Muppets "Home to Me"
(First: Episode 2093)
Notababy.jpg
Song "I'm Not a Baby Anymore"
(First: Episode 0652)
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SCENE 2 David packs a picnic basket for Big Bird's picnic. On the way back to his nest area, Big Bird observes Susan and Gordon getting ready to prepare a room. He finds out it's for their new baby, Miles, and Gordon explains that they are adopting him tomorrow. Excited by the news, Big Bird volunteers to help out.
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SCENE 2 cont'd Snuffy still waits for Big Bird and decides to find him. He then spots the picnic basket with a yellow feather on it and panics, thinking his best friend disappeared. Big Bird pops out from Gordon's window and tells him that he has to help them get ready for when Miles arrives. Snuffy, not knowing who Miles is, gets the impression that Big Bird has a new best friend and doesn't need him anymore.
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SCENE 2 cont'd Inside the 123 Sesame Street apartment building, Gordon explains to Big Bird the process of building a new crib. Doubtful that the pieces on the floor will make a crib, Big Bird initially jokes that maybe they should bring The Amazing Mumford for help, but helps Gordon anyway.
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SCENE 2 cont'd Feeling dejected, Snuffy looks for a new best friend. He finds Hoots the Owl asleep on Big Bird's doors and wakes him up, inviting him to come to the park. However, it's too early for Hoots, who suggests they go tonight (which Snuffy, however, thinks would be too late by then). As Hoots goes back to sleep, Snuffy sighs, "Maybe I can be his best friend when I'm older..."
cut from the Noggin version
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SCENE 2 cont'd Back in the apartment, everyone takes a look at the new crib... which hardly looks anything like the one in the picture. Gordon is about to take it apart and start over, but Olivia hastily stops him, gleefully wanting to capture this moment. "One day, we're all gonna look back on this and laugh," she reassures him.
cut from the Noggin version
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SCENE 2 cont'd Snuffy knocks on Oscar's trash can, and meets Fluffy, Oscar's pet elephant. They both play a game of catch inside the trash can!
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SCENE 2 cont'd While Gordon reassembles the crib, Olivia shows Big Bird a picture of Miles. When Gordon finishes the crib, Olivia is about to take a picture of it, when it suddenly falls apart, causing her to burst into laughter.
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SCENE 2 cont'd Oscar and Bob hear Snuffy and Fluffy playing catch in Oscar's trash can. Bob is skeptical, as always, but Oscar convinces him to take a look. However, Bob is having none of it, expecting that he'll get a squirt of water in the face. Sure enough, Bob proves to be right, as he ducks right in the nick of time. He rubs this in Oscar's face, confirming he'll have no chance of getting squirted now... which is exactly what he gets as he mistakenly gloats this to Fluffy and Snuffy.
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SCENE 2 cont'd While Big Bird looks at pictures of Susan as a baby, Gordon finally rebuilds Miles' new crib. Olivia is about to take a picture of him with it again, but she realizes that her camera is out of film. Gordon complains, "You lost the moment!"
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SCENE 2 cont'd Oscar tells Snuffy that he can play with Fluffy any time he wants. Snuffy then observes everyone bringing gifts for Miles and gets upset, wondering why Miles is so popular all of a sudden. Maria then fills him in on the situation, but Snuffy is still disappointed about the change of plans. Big Bird overhears their conversation, and apologizes to Snuffy, reassuring him that they're still best friends.
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Cartoon Geometry of Circles #3 "Six Colored Circles"
(First: Episode 1395)
cut from the Noggin version
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Muppets The Two-Headed Monster finds a newspaper.
(First: Episode 2097)
5-Butterflies.jpg
Cartoon Five butterflies
Artist: Owe Gustafson
(First: Episode 1471)
cut from the Noggin version
Soundsaroundthehouse.jpg
Film Sounds Around the House v2: chimes, snoring, a boy pretending to be an airplane, a man playing a trumpet, and a motorcycle outside.
(First: Episode 1713)
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Muppets Grover the Waiter at La Casa de Comidas
(First: Episode 1793)
Moschittababy.jpg
Celebrity John Moschitta, Jr. has a baby who has a name beginning with every letter of the alphabet.
(First: Episode 2048)
Bforbeard.jpg
Cartoon B for Beard (poem by Edward Lear)
Artist: Jeff Hale
(First: Episode 1147)
Frogsoftheglen.jpg
Muppets Kermit sings "The Frogs in the Glen."
(First: Episode 1786)
Patelwhale.jpg
Cartoon It's a whale
Artist: Ishu Patel
(First: Episode 1684)
Sunflowers.jpg
Film A boy compares the growth of the sunflowers to his own height.
Music: Joe Raposo
(First: Episode 0589)
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Cartoon An owl and a bluebird work out a compromise.
(First: Episode 1493)
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SCENE 3 Big Bird and Snuffy celebrate Best Friends Night with a sleepover. Hoots joins them, and plays a jazz lullaby on his saxophone as Gordon and Susan look forward to adopting Miles tomorrow. Bob announces the sponsors.

The story of Miles' adoption continues in Episode 2123.

Notes

  • Over 20 years later, in 2006, Sesame Street revisited the issue of adoption with the addition of Marco, the son of Gina. The story of Marco's adoption was addressed in episodes 4130, 4131, and 4132.


Sources

  1. "Meet Gordon: Roscoe Orman," by Rebecca Herman. Sesame Street Magazine Parents' Guide, issue 160, December 1986.


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