“C’mon and Zoom, Zoom, Zoom-a, Zoom!”
Back in the 70s, you might recall watching a fun little TV series called Zoom, one of the first children’s shows hosted entirely by kids. Created by WGBH, the public station in Boston, the series was aimed at grade-schoolers and featured a rotating cast of seven to ten kids who performed songs, dances, games and skits for their peers at home. It is still fondly remembered by a generation of former kids who faithfully tuned in each week.
Premiering in 1972, Zoom sought to be as interactive as possible, encouraging young viewers to send in letters with suggestions and ideas. The cast consisted solely of kids ages nine through 13 who were largely responsible for assembling the many segments of the show.
Subject matter ranged from documentary films sent in by viewers, jokes, stories, plays written by viewers and performed by the cast, as well as quizzes, games and songs. Zoom viewers who wrote in were rewarded with ZoomCards, featuring cast pictures, rhymes, and a form for the viewer’s next submission. Audience response was so great that it saved the show from cancellation after its second season.
The series original run lasted from 1972 to 1978 but PBS created an updated version in 1999. The new Zoom aired until 2005, encouraging a new generation of kids to “turn off the TV and do it!” Meanwhile, the original series remains a beloved part of childhood for millions of former kids.
If you have fond recollections of this 70s PBS series, we hope you’ll take a moment to share your memories in our comments section.