The product of three years' development, 3-2-1 Contact™ (B. 1980 D. 1988) stands as the third-longest-running series ever produced by the Children's Television Workshop (as it was then called). Its premise was to bring the world of science, and all its excitement, to middle-school students, particularly girls and minorities. Through seven seasons, various hosts traveled around the world to find science in everything. Over the years, features such as clever animation, biographies, and the detective series The Bloodhound Gang were included. Complementing the series for middle-school students and teachers alike was 3-2-1 Contact magazine, edited by Jonathan Rosenbloom.
In the first season of 3-2-1 Contact, three hosts – Lisa, Marc, and Trini – met at a regular set, called the "workshop," to discuss their scientific adventures. It looked every bit the science equivalent of The Electric Company, with loads of animation and regular celebrity segments. But the stars of the show were Lisa, Marc, and Trini, going off on scientific adventures (some of which were repeated numerous times throughout the season). The Bloodhound Gang, produced by Daniel Wilson Productions, featured wonderful mysteries (most written by Sid Fleischman) related to whatever theme 3-2-1 Contact was devoted to that week.
The Bloodhound Gang, not to be confused with that musical act of questionable behavior, was a smart team of apprentices for the Bloodhound Detective Agency in (by all looks of things) Kenilworth, New Jersey. The gang consisted of Vikki, the super-observant leader; Ricardo, the photographer/amateur magician; and a younger member. The first season was divided between Zach and Cuff, both of whom ran the detective agency CB.
After three years of rerunning 65 programs, CTW gave 3-2-1 Contact a new format for Seasons 2 and 3. Very little material was recycled within these programs, except for adventures of The Bloodhound Gang.
A new team of characters – Robin, Kathy, Miguel, and his ten-year-old brother Paco – brought a new element of reality to the series. Their set was an average basement. Another co-star, Jackie (played by Liz Gorcey) appeared only on location. Biographies of scientists, a sporadic studio element of Season 1, became a weekly feature in the second and third seasons. These new biographies always were filmed on locations where the scientists worked.
The Bloodhound Gang returned with a new member, Skip. In contrast to Zach and Cuff,...