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

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


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minor muppetz

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A few recurring classic sketches began to appear less and less during that time, though. Only a handful of 1998-2001 episodes had any Kermit News Flash segments in them, and Season 30 was the final season to feature any new "Monsterpiece Theater" segments.
Season 30 hardly had any Kermit segments at all, with News being the most common of them. One episode had Kermit and Joey sing the alphabet, another had "ABCs of the Swamp", and I think another had "Caribbean Amphibian", and then the other Kermit segments that year were news (including "Rupunzel", "Peter Piper", "Sleeping Beauty" (where the prince falls asleep), and "Christopher Columbus").
 

D'Snowth

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Now that I think of it . . . why does the new striped awning of Hooper's only go across half of the storefront and not all the way across?
 

Pig's Laundry

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One thing I don't like about the show scaling down on characters is we still haven't seen Zoe this season and Baby Bear's barely been there besides that one appearance. It's like all of Zoe's screen time has been given to Prairie Dawn, not that I mind Prairie getting more screen time, I still want Zoe to appear more. Besides Prairie, Zoe's really the strongest of the female Muppets on the show.
And also, I know this was part of the six main characters thing but, i'm already really tired of seeing Abby and Elmo in every single episode. And Big Bird hasn't gotten nearly as much screen time as I expected.

Grover and Oscar showing up more has been great though.

Hopefully when Season 47 rolls around we'll get to see the other characters more because we'll have more episodes.
 

Drtooth

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While I understand the idea to focus on an assortment of main characters, it seems more merchandise driven than anything. While I haven't been able to see all the episodes and have to wait until who knows when to see the episodes I missed out on, I have an overwhelming feeling that Sesame Workshop's new CEO wants to undo the age shift in the program and talk directly to the pre-pre-preschool audience Elmo's World and the 2002 show restructure drew in while alienating the 4 and 5 year olds that finally came back once the Engineering and Sciences initiatives started up. The episodes are more juvenile, yet they aren't forcing concepts into episodes. The show's been Abby and Elmo-centric as of late anyway, but it seems they've intensified it a bit. I'd also consider Zoe appearing less due to being recast maybe. But she's a very strong female character who lives by the creed of not caring what others think and going her own way. It would be a shame to lose that and focus on Abby, who they don't use to her full potential. Plus, I want more Telly, but that's just me.

And like I've said before, the one silver lining about all this is less episodes focusing on spazzy fairy tale characters taking over the show and making even Elmo a guest in his own show. And while I understand that using old tales as a springboard to teach concepts, it seems...well, I don't want to say lazy because that would be a bit unfair to the writers, but I'm not loathed to imply it slightly. I think it was especially aggressive in both the STEAM and Self-Regulation focused episodes. Plus I get the feeling that somehow there's someone behind the scenes goading the writers to not give any of the main characters tension. Yeah, I really shouldn't speculate on anything that sounds conspiracy theoryish, and it just may be accidental or coincidental, but if there's strong confirmation they want the characters to have a purity to them (for lack of a better term), that wouldn't sit well.

Taking out the half hour run time being ill fitting and still having to cram an Elmo segment at the end of the show, I'm conflicted about the show's changes. I actually like the set redesign and Oscar being able to pop up anywhere. Smart Cookies is even better than Crummy Pictures. And getting rid of Abby's Fairy Flying Time Paperweight was something at least a season or two coming (again, I do like the segment, but the constant rerunning of the expensive material dragged the show down). I also like the new opening (as organic laundry detergent commercial-esque the arrangement is) and divergent ending credits. But the lack of letter and number segments, the abrupt street stories, the talking directly to the youngest audience members really aren't doing the show any favors.
 

Pig's Laundry

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While I understand the idea to focus on an assortment of main characters, it seems more merchandise driven than anything. While I haven't been able to see all the episodes and have to wait until who knows when to see the episodes I missed out on, I have an overwhelming feeling that Sesame Workshop's new CEO wants to undo the age shift in the program and talk directly to the pre-pre-preschool audience Elmo's World and the 2002 show restructure drew in while alienating the 4 and 5 year olds that finally came back once the Engineering and Sciences initiatives started up. The episodes are more juvenile, yet they aren't forcing concepts into episodes. The show's been Abby and Elmo-centric as of late anyway, but it seems they've intensified it a bit. I'd also consider Zoe appearing less due to being recast maybe. But she's a very strong female character who lives by the creed of not caring what others think and going her own way. It would be a shame to lose that and focus on Abby, who they don't use to her full potential. Plus, I want more Telly, but that's just me.

And like I've said before, the one silver lining about all this is less episodes focusing on spazzy fairy tale characters taking over the show and making even Elmo a guest in his own show. And while I understand that using old tales as a springboard to teach concepts, it seems...well, I don't want to say lazy because that would be a bit unfair to the writers, but I'm not loathed to imply it slightly. I think it was especially aggressive in both the STEAM and Self-Regulation focused episodes. Plus I get the feeling that somehow there's someone behind the scenes goading the writers to not give any of the main characters tension. Yeah, I really shouldn't speculate on anything that sounds conspiracy theoryish, and it just may be accidental or coincidental, but if there's strong confirmation they want the characters to have a purity to them (for lack of a better term), that wouldn't sit well.

Taking out the half hour run time being ill fitting and still having to cram an Elmo segment at the end of the show, I'm conflicted about the show's changes. I actually like the set redesign and Oscar being able to pop up anywhere. Smart Cookies is even better than Crummy Pictures. And getting rid of Abby's Fairy Flying Time Paperweight was something at least a season or two coming (again, I do like the segment, but the constant rerunning of the expensive material dragged the show down). I also like the new opening (as organic laundry detergent commercial-esque the arrangement is) and divergent ending credits. But the lack of letter and number segments, the abrupt street stories, the talking directly to the youngest audience members really aren't doing the show any favors.
You absolutely hit the nail on the head. And if the changes are from anyone, it must be from the higher ups.

Also you're not the only one, I love me some Telly. :smile:
 

Pig's Laundry

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Something I noticed, in the closing "Smarter, Stronger, Kinder" song, it's pretty obvious that all of the characters were super imposed in and none of the Muppets were filmed together at the same time. Does anyone know why this is?

 

D'Snowth

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'Cause they're cheap and lazy now.

Performers' availability could also play a factor.
 

Oscarfan

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Cookie and Rosita's brief part was shot together. They apparently had to use a red screen (instead of blue or green) to account for both their colors.

And I would say shooting them separately makes certain things easier to edit.
 

Drtooth

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You absolutely hit the nail on the head. And if the changes are from anyone, it must be from the higher ups.
As I said before, it's starting to get a little more obvious why Joey left. I'm sure the fact they have a new head honcho, especially one from HIT, is why the show's taking an unfortunate backtrack in tone.

But I'd say for every negative there is a positive. Maybe the next seasons will be more polished, and maybe HBO's money will have a positive effect on the show once the check cleared. All in all, I really shouldn't complain as it's still a kid's show. Maybe it does need to play a little younger to keep its relevance, but I really wish it didn't.

By those means, Abby and Elmo are going to be the show's stars because Elmo talks to the younger audiences and Abby's pretty much their merchandising character. I just think that in a show that doesn't have too many female character leads, Zoe needs to be featured more. I'm sure there's a period of getting the character down with her new performer. Abby pretty much personifies the massive swing to fantasy the show has been going through since the 90's. I really wish she'd be used more in the "magic can't solve everything" way she used to. Sort of the Doraemon/Fairly Oddparents sort of way. But again, they want her and Elmo to be smiling and waving to sell kid's toys.
 

Pig's Laundry

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I just think that in a show that doesn't have too many female character leads, Zoe needs to be featured more. I'm sure there's a period of getting the character down with her new performer
I dunno, they haven't done this with any of the other characters when they were recast. The Count, Prairie Dawn and Ernie were back in action almost immediately after getting new performers. So i'm still a bit worried.
 
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