Written by Richard M. Polsky
Published 1974
Publisher Praeger Publishers
ISBN 0275088809

Getting to Sesame Street: Origins of the Children's Television Workshop is a history of the creation of Sesame Street, focusing primarily on the research and funding behind the Children's Television Workshop. Most of the book's narrative focuses on the period before the launch of the show; the show's premiere is described in the last chapter.

The cover illustration features Big Bird's leg, but the book does not discuss the Muppets or Jim Henson's involvement beyond a few passing mentions. Oscar the Grouch is mentioned in chapter 6, and there are a few mentions of "puppet characters" in chapter 8. One paragraph in chapter 8 describes the Muppet sketch in the Sesame Street Pitch Reel about the difficulty of choosing a name for the show.


  1. The Initial Planning: Television and the Preschooler
  2. The Feasibility Study: What Should Television Try to Teach?
  3. Further Planning: Developing an Educational Program Children Would Like
  4. The Proposal: Using Television to Reach a Forgotten Audience
  5. Funding and Organization: Securing Enough Money and Autonomy
  6. Final Preparations and the Formal Announcement: On the Way to Sesame Street
  7. The Summer Seminars and the Goals Statement: Refining Educational Objectives
  8. The Success of Sesame Street: Planning, Talent, Money, Timing
Appendix 1. Funding of Children's Television Workshop, 1968-1970
Appendix 2. Some Major Figures Referred to in the Study
Appendix 3. Time Chart of Development of the Children's Television Workshop, 1966-1970