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Sesame Street shrinks to 30 minutes, new shows will premiere on HBO and PBS nine months later

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Oscarfan, Aug 12, 2015.


What is the biggest major change Sesame Street has been through in the past 46 years?

  1. Adding the first daily repetitive segment, Elmo's World, beginning in 1998

  2. Reducing the annual shows from 130 episodes in 1998 eventually down to 26 episodes in 2003

  3. Changing from an unpredictable "commercial" format to a more predictable "block" format in 2002

  4. Shrinking from a 60 minute show to a 30 minute show in fall 2015

  5. New shows debuting on HBO, then airing on PBS nine months later beginning in fall 2015

  1. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Well, here's some BIG BIG NEWS:


    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2015
    MikaelaMuppet and The Count like this.
  2. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    I kind of knew this was going to happen.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  3. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    Well, this stinks.
  4. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    Having a main core 6 Muppet cast and shortening the show to half an hour altogether? Yup, they're really trying to blend in with the style of other kid shows alright. It already kinda makes me wonder what the new format this season is gonna look like.

    My only hope is that they continue to air the half hour version in the afternoon, depending on what kind of classes I'll end up with throughout the day. (I have one PBS station that airs kiddie programming from early in the morning until about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and another that airs kiddie programming from the early afternoon until at least 6:30 or 7 pm.)
  5. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    RIP, Abby's Flying Fairy School and Elmo the Musical.
  6. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    On the one hand:
    • This is changing one of the sole remaining concepts of the show since its inception
    • Probably the loss of Abby's Flying Fairy School (eh) and Elmo the Musical (boo)
    • An even more limited amount of inserts per show
    • Almost none of the online reviews for the shorted season 45 episodes have been supportive of the shorter running time, despite SW's claims that it makes the show better for streaming
    On the other:
    • 30-minutes is better than nothing
    • Maybe this will free up their own funding and they can do more than 26 shows a season
  7. Katzi428

    Katzi428 Well-Known Member

    Who knows, they might keep just Abby's Flying Fairy School and Elmo the Musical. :rolleyes:
  8. wiley207

    wiley207 Well-Known Member

    They could make them into spinoffs or something. Make "Elmo the Musical" into a separate half-hour show or something.

    But it is indeed the end of an era...
  9. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    My main argument for that will always be this: if they split off AFFS or ETM, it'd make sense for PBS to air them alongside SS. In which case, they're would be no point in them being separate; they might as well be a part of the regular hour.
  10. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    PBS Kids Sprout and digital delivery like iTunes is the most likely home for Abby's Flying Fairy School and Elmo the Musical. These shorts would work nicely with Sprout's rotation.
    Pig's Laundry and Oscarfan like this.
  11. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Considering they've recently been putting Crumby Pictures and AFFS in purchasable volumes on iTunes, that seems entirely plausible.
  12. The Count

    The Count Moderator Staff Member

    To quote :insatiable:, "Me world no make sense anymore."

    Then again, I've been of the opinion for the last several years that perhaps a feasible programming block for SST could be for the US market to adopt a tactic similar to the European markets. By that I mean, have the main street story (fifteen minutes or half the episode) and your letter and number sponsor segments, and perhaps a few parody segments filling up the other half of the episode. Then air AFFS, ETM, Crummy Pictures, and SG 2.0 alongside the main program but separate so they don't clunk up the main program itself. So yeah... This announcement does set me back rocking on my heels, but that's primarily due to the unexpected nature. After a couple of days I'll be okay with such a decision.

    Some Sesame Street on the air is better than no Sesame Street on the air. Thank you for that important lesson :batty:.
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    For the longest time I always scoffed when some politico said "Sesame Street could do well on private TV networks" in response to the whole "we don't want PBS to get that teeny amount of tax money it gets" debate. And you know what? Crushing the show into a half hour format is exactly what I'd expect from a private network. We should have seen it coming with PBS, but I thought they'd at least have the decency to treat the show that pretty much established their children's line up, a show that outlasted Maroon Dinosaurs and campy British babbling mutants, with the respect it deserves.

    Their excuse of bringing it in line with the other shows is the most patronizing thing I've seen about Sesame Street from the network. "Our competitors don't have hour long blocks." Your competitors air commercials and one competitor still strongly supports the obnoxious and dated (and yet to be discredited) talk slowly and sit around waiting for the answers to your own questions schtick. Now, yes. There have been vast improvements in the field of Preschool programming. Disney has some great stuff. But there's just soooo much of it that Nick can actually create a show about Puppies running around. No... real freaking Puppies! Just running around! It's a THING! :confused:

    And yes, I have indeed been complaining about filler. There's a unique problem with the show here. It has too little footage to keep up a full hour, I agree. But at the same time, it doesn't fit at all into a half hour. There's no way for it to have a 45 minute slot. Yes, on the bright side no Abby's Flying School and more budget and stuff like that. On the negative side, shorter, jarringly paced street stories ("Everyday Magic" and "Oscar's Trash Plan" for example), letters and numbers will get an even shorter end of the stick, and I wouldn't doubt we'd still see the same TV parody/celebrity guest twice a season.

    This is, in the end, a disappointing move goaded by PBS that has no problem airing hour long (or more) blocks of popular shows anyway. They've been putting the squeeze on Sesame Street, which still is relevant and money making, when none of their other kid's shows measured their long term consistent success. 45 years really should count for something. Bet SW was also taken in by Streaming sweetheart deals as well.
  14. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    So was season 46 filmed as a half-hour show in preparation for this change or is it going to be edited down?
  15. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    This stinks.

    I was expecting PBS to drop the half-hour version instead of the hour-long.
  16. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder if there'll be more DVD releases of full episodes now that it's going to always be a half-hour. In the past few years we've gotten DVD releases of two full hour-long episodes each, but now I wouldn't be surprised if there will be DVDs with four half-hour episodes (and I never wondered about that possibility for the 30-minute versions of the season 45 episodes).

    At this point, I wonder if the show should just end and be replaced with a new Sesame series featuring the same characters.
  18. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Not only that, but apparently one of my local news outlets has just reported that apparently PBS is now dropping SST altogether and the show will instead be moving to HBO:


    That's an odd move, don't you think? Couldn't future seasons of SST be produced exclusively for Sprout? I'd even suggest the Hub, but they don't exist anymore. And we all know SW's partnership with Viacom didn't last, hence Noggin morphing into the Nick Jr. channel.
  19. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    PBS isn't dropping Sesame Street. Here's the laymens turns of it all:

    SW will be making new stuff for HBO. PBS will get it after a 9-month period. And PBS is getting it free of charge, as all the production costs, etc. are being footed by HBO.

    While I still stewing on whether this is objectively good, it is the best thing financially that could ever happen to SW.
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    At this point in time, I'm honestly beginning to question just how much longer SST will continue to last. In the grand scheme of things, five years is a decent amount of time for the show to keep going, and it so far seems to be holding itself up against all of the major changes and shake-ups that are happening with this season alone. I know a number of skeptics for the past few years have been doubting any continuation of SST's longevity.

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