Recently in TV Category

On "Saturday Night Live," the opening moments are usually reserved for the monologue - the sometimes humorous effort by the weekly host to introduce themselves to the audience with jokes and skits.

While Martin short, a veteran "SNL" cast member and host would go on to lead the show in the usual format, the opening of the December 15 episode instead featured the New York Children's Choir singing "Silent Night."

Rolling Stone's Peter Nicklaus writes about the history of TV shows after tragedies and the role they play in healing the American psyche:

Last night's episode of SNL opened without introduction on the smiling faces of The New York Children's Chorus singing a stunning, beautiful rendition of "Silent Night." Regardless of whether the performance was written as a last-minute salute to the youngsters lost on Friday, or a pre-planned bit meant to bring cheer to the show's Christmas episode, the tone was pitch perfect.

From moving tributes to schedule changes, TV networks of struggle with the appropriate action and tone to take following national tragedies. Lori Rackl writes that last-second scheduling changes were common across networks as programmers worked to move controversial content or hold it indefinitely.

Sesame Street/Children's Television Workshop photo

Big Bird has had a rough month.

After becoming a cause celebre after being targeted by Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate, the yellow fellow's name has been kicked around way too often as part of President Obama's successful presidential campaign - see this attack ad to get an idea in case you've been under Big Bird's nest the last few weeks.

But just as the political turmoil began to calm down, Hurricane Sandy's wrath kicked up. On Friday, Sesame Street will air an episode dedicated to the devastation wrought by the October superstorm when it hit portions of the East Coast. In it, Big Bird's nest is destroyed and the characters work through how to deal with losing a home and living with a disaster.

From the Sesame Street Tumblr blog:

On Friday, we'll be airing a very special episode of Sesame Street.

A hurricane has swept through Sesame Street and everyone is working together to clean up the neighborhood. When Big Bird checks on his home, he is heartbroken to find that the storm has destroyed his nest. Big Bird's friends and neighbors gather to show their support and let him know they can fix his home, but it will take time. While everyone on Sesame Street spends the next few days cleaning up and making repairs, Big Bird still has moments where he is sad, angry, and confused. His friends help him cope with his emotions by talking about what happened, drawing pictures together, and giving him lots of hugs. They also comfort Big Bird by offering him temporary places he can eat, sleep, and play. Big Bird remembers all the good times he had at his nest and realizes that once it is rebuilt, there are more good times and memories to come. Finally the day has come where most of the repairs to Big Bird's home are done and his nest is complete. As he is about to try it out, though, the city nest inspector says it not safe, yet, because the mud isn't dry. Big Bird is sad that he has to wait another day, but Snuffy comes to the rescue and blows the nest dry and he passes the test! Big Bird thanks everyone for being his friend and helping to rebuild his nest and his home.

You can find your local listing information here.

Big Bird, though, is not the first Streeter to attempt to help kids come to grips with the trauma and terror associated with living through a storm like Sandy. Elmo has already done his part to soothe nerves during an interview on WNYC:

To help those affected by Sandy, check out this Red Cross site.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the TV category.

transportation is the previous category.

video is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.