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Children's TV Shows The longest running British children's TV show is Blue Peter. Since 1958, generations have grown up with the familiar format of information, education and entertainment. Topics have included sports, hobbies, adventure and how to make things. The program is also famous for its appeals over the years. These are to raise money for a cause and the ongoing appeal for lifeboats for sea rescues resulted in 25 new ones for the service. Along with the presenters, there has been a series of pets in the studio. Children can write in for a Blue Peter Badge achievement award. A time capsule was buried in the Blue Peter Garden in 2000, to be opened in 2009. Some shows achieve cult status and one of the more unusual ones is The Magic Roundabout. The stop motion animation series appealed to adults as well as children. This children's TV show began in France and then was adapted for a UK audience with Eric Thompson (father of actress Emma Thompson) as narrator. Thompson also wrote the English scripts and the BBC broadcast ran from 1965 until 1977. The characters included the operator of the carousel, Mr. Rusty and a group of friends who used the Magic Roundabout. Dougal was the lovable dog, Zebedee was a jack-in-the- box, Brian was a snail, Ermintrude was a cow, and Dylan was a hippie rabbit. The other human presence was a girl called Florence. The longest running TV show for children in the US is Sesame Street. From 1969, kids have learned about the alphabet and been entertained with a series of great characters. The mixture of live actors, puppets and animation has led to dozens of Emmy Awards. It has also been a successful export and is shown in 20 different countries. It was on this show that puppet master Jim Henson developed his famous Muppet characters, including Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, the Cookie Monster, Kermit the Frog and the double act of Bert and Ernie. Animals are always a big draw and families love to sit down together and watch their favorites. Flipper, the story of a Bottlenose Dolphin, ran from 1964 until 1967. He soon became a star. The show had been adapted from the 1963 movie, starring Chuck Conners. This children's television series was set in Florida and centered round the Ricks family, Flipper, and also their pet pelican called Pete. Porter Ricks was Chief Warden at a marine conservation area and his two sons, Sandy and Bud grew up on the water. Flipper would help the family in several adventures. Lassie was another animal star, familiar to moviegoers and TV audiences. The rough collie was loved around the world and even featured in a Japanese animation. There were seven American TV series in total and the original Lassie ran between 1954 and 1973. Some of these episodes are available on DVD and VHS. There are only three animals to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Lassie is one of them.
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