German Mouse Gets 4 million Hits on First Day
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March 7 was the 28th birthday of WDR1's popular children's TV program, Der Sendung mit der Maus, or the mouse program. A storm raged on the Internet, within 26 hours of its going live at 11:59 a.m., the mouse site had received 2400 e-mails and a total of 4 million hits on its first day.
By way of comparison, the Monica Lewinsky affair received 6 million hits on its first day. While Lewinsky was a world phenomenon, the mouse, however, is restricted to the far smaller though not inconsiderable German-speaking world.
Der Sendung mit der Maus, which started in 1971, is shown every Sunday morning on the first German TV channel, WRD1, at 11:30 a.m. and is repeated throughout the week on regional programs.
The program features cartoon characters, like the mouse and his pal the little blue elephant. It is also an educational component where children can find answers to their questions about the world; for example, how holes get into cheese and what happens when you drop a coconut off a high building.