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Square One TV was a live-action series produced by Children's Television Workshop that ran on PBS from 1987 until 1994. The program was an attempt to counteract the "math crisis" affecting the nation's 8- to 12-year olds utilizing a variety format of sketch comedy, cartoons, MTV music videos, serials and game shows.

Production was spearheaded by the original Sesame executive producer Dave Connell, and his longtime Sesame associate, the series head writer Jim Thurman; they both assumed the title of Senior Producer. During its production run of five seasons and 230 episodes, the series won five Daytime Emmy Awards. Reruns were seen from 1999-2002 on Noggin.

Muppet Mentions

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"Caraway Street" title

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Arthur Howard as Bert; Larry Cedar as Ernie

  • In the first season episode #172, originally broadcast May 5, 1987, series cast members Arthur Howard and Larry Cedar portray Bert and Ernie in the Sesame Street parody "Caraway Street." Ernie asks Bert for five dollars to buy a puppy, but Bert uses rounding and a calculator to show that maintaining a puppy will cost over four hundred dollars in one year. Ernie then asks him if he can borrow four hundred dollars. This parody is notable because it occurs in an official CTW production, and is similar to The Bert and Ernie Christmas Special.
  • In episode #225, Harry Blackstone performs part of a magic trick by changing a set of quarters into a dollar bill. Cast member Beverly Mickins looks at it and says, "How come Kermit's on this?"
  • The camera pans by Kermit the Frog's caricature at Sardi's, in the Mathnet serial "The Case of the Unkidnapping."

Connections

  • Marv Albert recorded a voiceover for a segment
  • Debbie Allen filmed a segment
  • Bob Arbogast provided many voices including Mr. Beazley and played Byle Dupe in Mathnet's "The Case of the Missing Air."
  • Ben and Jerry made a cameo appearance
  • Frank Biondo was the camera operator (in Season 2)
  • Tempestt Bledsoe performed the music video "Time Keeper"
  • Downtown Julie Brown filmed inserts and hosted the special Square One Video Jukebox
  • Betty Buckley played Sally Storm in Mathnet's "The Case of the Mystery Weekend"
  • Buzzco Associates, Inc. produced the animated segments Zook & Alison
  • Reg E. Cathey was an ensemble cast regular (including the "But Who's Counting" announcer and others)
  • Christopher Cerf wrote and composed songs for the series and cameos in the "Less Than Zero" music video
  • David D. Connell was executive/senior producer, writer, and voiced sportscaster Dick (and on-camera in Mathnet cameos)
  • Cynthia Darlow was an ensemble cast regular (as Judge Sandra Day O'Crater, Mrs. Nobody, and countless others)
  • Ken Diego directed some segments (in Season 5)
  • Paul Dooley played Casey Bengal in Mathnet's "The Case of the Unnatural"
  • Sarah Durkee wrote and composed songs for the series
  • Julius Erving filmed a segment
  • Jonathan Freeman played Joshua the director in "Mathnet"'s "The Case of the Unkidnapping"
  • Savion Glover performed a music video called "Tappin' Out The Rhythm"
  • Gregory Hines performed the music video "That's Math" and filmed a PBS promo
  • Leonard Jackson played Col. Wiggins in Mathnet's "The Case of the Mystery Weekend"
  • Jim Jinkins was graphics director (1987-90)
  • James Earl Jones played Chief Thad Greene on Mathnet
  • Kid 'n Play performed the music video "Rules of Thumb"
  • Gerald S. Lesser was Chairman of the Advisory Board
  • Bobby McFerrin performed the music video "Wanna Be"
  • Dick Maitland was the sound effects editor
  • Ted May was a director (in Season 2)
  • Nat Mongioi was the set decorator
  • John Moschitta, Jr. filmed a PBS promo and two insert segments and played Johnny Dollar in Mathnet's "The Case of the Purloined Policies"
  • Alan Muraoka appeared in a sketch as a TV chef baking a popover
  • Gary Owens voiced Dirk Niblick of the Math Brigade
  • Joel Schneider was director of content
  • Yeardley Smith played Jane Rice Burroughs in "Mathnet"'s "The Problem of the Missing Monkey"
  • Arnold Stang played Pop Bespectacled in "Mathnet"'s "The Case of the Unkidnapping"
  • Jim Thurman voiced Mr. Glitch ("Mathman"), sportscaster Vern (also on-camera on Mathnet), Uncle Wilt ("Zook & Allison"), and others
  • John Tierney (Sesame Street film editor) was the editor
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic performed the music video "Patterns" and played Murray the Mouth in Mathnet's "Off the Record"
  • David Yazbek wrote and composed songs for the series

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