We’re wagering a guess that you not only remember Zoom, but that you might even be humming the theme song as you read this (“We’re gonna zooma-zooma-zooma zoom!). One of the most beloved children’s television shows of the 70s and beyond, Zoom was both hosted by kids, and watched by millions of them over the years.
In 1972, Zoom premiered on WGBH in Boston, and was eventually syndicated throughout the United States. The PBS series was created and hosted by a cast of kids who regularly interacted with their young audience. Zoom occasionally touched upon educational and civics topics, but always in a way that was fun and interesting.
In a typical episode, the young hosts might help kids learn made up languages, feature talented youngsters from around the world, perform plays, and other fun activities. And, at the end of each episode, the audience was instructed to “Write Zoom, Z-Double-O-M, Box 3-5-0, Boston, Mass 0-2-1-3-4: send it to Zoom!”.
The result – Viewers sent in boatloads of films, recipes, jokes and stories and watched eagerly in the hopes of an on-air mention of their name (something certainly worthy of playground bragging rights).
Loyal contributors were also rewarded with cool free merchandise, and encouraged to send in even more stuff. The overwhelming response from the young demographic helped convince PBS that Zoom was worth renewing. As a result, the show would air for six seasons in its original run. An updated version was created in 1999, and it managed a respectable six seasons as well.
Do you have fond recollections of watching this PBS show from the 70s? If so, I hope you’ll share all of your Zoom memories with us in our comments section below.