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!
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.