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Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce facts for kids

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"Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce"
Sesame Street episode
SesameDivorce.jpg
The only known screenshot of the episode.
Episode no. SeasonĀ 23
Episode 19
Written by Norman Stiles
Production code 2985
Original air date 1992 (Never aired)
List of Sesame Street episodes

"Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce" is an episode of the children's television program Sesame Street. Produced in 1992, it never aired because tests showed several unintended negative effects. Sesame Street has had a history of presenting difficult topics as part of its affective curriculum goals, including death, marriage, childbirth, and disaster. Extensive research was done before these episodes were written and produced, to ascertain their focus, and after they aired, to analyze the effect they had on viewers, and that was the case for "Snuffy's Parents Get a Divorce". The show's producers had expressed a desire to produce the episode as early as 1989, and they were convinced that it was a topic they should address after the US Census Bureau reported that 40% of American children had experienced divorce.

The producers chose to present the Muppet Mr. Snuffleupagus ("Snuffy") and his family's experience of divorce. The episode was written by staff writer Norman Stiles, who also wrote the 1983 episode in which Mr. Hooper's death was explained. Every word of the divorce episode was reviewed by the Children's Television Workshop's (CTW) advisory board, content experts, and developmental psychologists. After tests showed that their young viewers were confused by the episode and did not understand important concepts about divorce, the producers decided to not air it, despite the investment they had made. This marks the only time the show's producers made this kind of decision, and was cited as an example of the producer's practice of "listening to the voices of children and by putting their needs first", despite the costs.

Sesame Street did not address the topic of divorce until November 2012, when they produced a video for limited audiences titled Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce as part of their resiliency initiative.

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