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Steve Mellow's ‘Looking Glass' intended to be reflection of a child's imagination

April 12, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH

Staff Writer

igger than "Sesame Street?" Maybe not, but local television producer Steve Mellow's budget for his new children's TV show "The Looking Glass" isn't exactly in that league, either.

"We can hold our own to ‘Sesame Street' anytime because we're different from them … they took three years and $10 million before they even shot a single piece," Mellow said with a large grin Thursday afternoon. "Our budget is somewhat less than that."

Funded in part by a state grant using Proposition 10 tobacco tax and under the auspices of Project Listos, the show will air in a half-hour, five-show format between now and the end of June.

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"The Looking Glass" will premiere on CBS KSWT Channel 13 at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Taking time out from taping a segment at an El Centro family daycare center, Mellow explained how he came to name his show after Lewis Carroll's enduring classic, "Through The Looking Glass."

"The image of ‘The Looking Glass' has always been very, very important to me — ever since I was a really young kid.

"It's important because the looking glass is the reflection of the children's imagination; it's where all the boundaries are broken and where it's possible to be anything, do anything and go anywhere. And that's what my show is all about."

With a target audience of the pre-kinder set, Mellow's production uses an 8- and a 9-year-old as hosts and as he points out proudly he even tapes the show at a child's eye level by adjusting the camera tripod appropriately.

As this is the first time a TV show for young children has been produced locally, Mellow is anxious to gauge the reaction of the community.

"CBS wants to know if there is a permanent place in our community for a ‘home-grown' children's show and so it's really important for us to receive feedback from the public on this one," Mellow said.

Mellow is keen not only to hear what locals think about the program, but he wants to know what subjects people would like to see covered in future episodes of the show.

If, after watching the show on Saturday, you'd like to voice an opinion, Mellow says he'd welcome your calls to the CBS toll-free number (800) 313-3013.

Incidentally, when initial funding for the show runs out June 30 Mellow says he'll be looking for new corporate and educational sponsors — and he promises faithfully to come in well under a $10 million budget.

>> Staff Writer Jennifer Ralton-Smith can be reached at 337-3442 or dingo87@earthlink.net

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