Tuesday, March 16, 2021

This Day in TV History: Project Peacock presents Donahue and the Kids

NBC had a rough 1980-1981 season after a promising start led by Shogun, but it produced acclaimed work. Project Peacock was a series of prime time specials aimed at kids. 

Perhaps the most famous of them is January 1982's The Electric Grandmother, based on Ray bradbury's I Sing the Body Electric. Other specials include How to Eat Like a Child with Dick Van Dyke and The Big Stuffed Dog by Charles M. Schulz. The latter is the saga of a stuffed Snoopy--an adventure featuring Abe Vigoda, Noah Beery Jr., Gordon Jump, and Robert Ginty!

40 years ago tonight, the second of the series, Donahue and Kids debuted. Phil Donahue talked with kids who confronted lige-threatening illnesses in this hourlong program, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program.

The ideas of Donahue doing his regular show with a bunch of kids sounds funny, but this was a serious topic; the focus was on Gerald G. Jamplonsky's Center for Attiudinal Hearing, a California institute devoted to teaching kids positive thinking.

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