An Iconic PBS Show Is Finally Streaming

PBS has some of the most iconic programming, especially for children. The public broadcasting service is responsible for iconic education shows like Barney & Friends and Sesame Street, the latter of which continues to air. Another classic show that aired on the station was Zoom, and this was long before video conferencing and virtual work and learning became a thing.

The series premiered in the early 1970s. From the show's opening featured seven barefoot kids running, jumping, dancing, and singing on a bare stage. Children of all ages were immediately captivated. Its theme song is famous for one line: "Come on and zoom, zoom, zoom-a zoom. You gotta zoom, zoom, zoom-a zoom." In honor of its 50th anniversary, the show will become available to stream via the American Archive of American Broadcasting.

More than 100 episodes will available to stream for the first time ever. GBH, where Zoom was produced, will also have a virtual event to include a conversation with creator and producer Christopher Sarson, as well as comments from original cast members of the show. The 1970s show was revived in 1999 and aired until 2005.

"It was seven kids having fun and just being children," remembers original Zoomer Nancy Walker. She told NPR the producers of the show "allowed us to be inquisitive." Joseph Shrand, another cast member says being on the show was "exhilarating" and "the best thing ever." Walker went on to work in television production, while Shrand is a psychiatrist and author.

Dr. Shrand added: "Zoom has been an enormous foundation for everything I'm doing now as a child psychiatrist." He says being part of such a diverse cast was also instrumental. "We became friends very quickly," adding the experience molded him into his current profession. "You can be who you are in a group of people who respect you and value you, and that allows you to trust. And that trust allows you to explore…who you are," he noted.

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Sarson revealed that there were several factors that contributed to him wanting to create Zoom. He says shows like The Partridge Family and similar shows that aired during that period "were all false. None of them was real life." He also wanted to influence the way children interacted with their peers.