How Chicago’s ‘Miss Frances’ set the template for ‘Mister Rogers’ and ‘Sesame Street’

John Landecker

FILE–Dr. Frances R. Horwich, who was known as “Miss Frances” of NBC’s “Ding Dong School ” children’s television program, is shown in this April 24, 1953 file photo. Horwich, whose “Ding Dong School” helped change children’s television and led the way for shows like “Sesame Street” and “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood,” died Sunday, July 22, 2001, of congestive heart failure in Scottsdale, Ariz. She was 94. (AP Photo/File)

In 1952, Frances Horwich began broadcasting her educational children’s program, “Ding Dong School”, in Chicago. From there, she pioneered the look and sound of children’s television, influencing “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “Sesame Street”. Ron Grossman joins John Landecker to tell the story of “Miss Frances” and how her ideas about learning changed television forever.

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