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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Drtooth

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While the fiscal benefits are admirable at best, the fact still stands.

Sure, it's still on PBS, but lets we forget, how incredibly gaulish it is to take a free public television show and cart it off to not just a cable network, but a premium cable network. And then have the "sure, we'll give this to PBS free of charge, just well after the privileged kids have already seen it." Yep. That's what you get for not being born into the right family. The champion of sharing and tolerance now says "hey, you little moocher class twerps, if you want to see the new Sesame Streets without waiting until you're too old to still like the show, get your deadbeat parents to fork over extra cash!" Nice message. :oops:

I've said this almost as many times as there are preschool shows, but it's not like Sesame Street is even unique as far as being a preschool show is. There's at least 3 or 4 channels devoted just to preschool programming. There's a new preschool show every week it seems. I know that it's difficult to stay relevant in a sea of Paw Patrol merchandise falling off the shelves. This could help them yes, but in the end it could backfire spectacularly.


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.
By all means, I never really doubted that as the show is such a staple that if it got cancelled there would be massive waves. And, like, what the heck was PBS going to replace it with? Nothing as long lasting or with a massive cultural impact. But you can clearly tell PBS was trying to squeeze the show they love to drag out when they lose funding out of the network. If HBO is indeed the savior here, by all means this paints a bleak picture. Though I doubt that was all that fueled this decision.

Seriously. A crappy half hour version of the show you have to wait 9 months to see free? I don't see Sesame Street lasting much longer if this is their business model.

(edit) I deleted a previous post of mine due to embarrassing behavior. But this is pretty grim news, tempered only with hints of "ehhh, at least SW is getting some money out of it".
 
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Oscarfan

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I'm sure everyone will get to see the new stuff on YouTube.

This isn't immediately affecting me because, as I said, I can see these new shows as they air. I'm sorry about people who can't access it; that's one of the things that's a negative point on this for me.
 

D'Snowth

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Sure, it's still on PBS, but lets we forget, how incredibly gaulish it is to take a free public television show and cart it off to not just a cable network, but a premium cable network. And then have the "sure, we'll give this to PBS free of charge, just well after the privileged kids have already seen it." Yep. That's what you get for not being born into the right family.
I'm pretty sure you can get HBO in your cheap/basic cable packages.

But you bring up the same point I've been making about outlets like Netflix and such: not everybody has Netflix, and not everybody can get Netflix because not everybody is able to obtain regular internet access, so what's the point of dumping a bunch of new shows straight to Netflix (something that even JHC is guilty of) when only a small percentage of people are going to see it anyway? I know a lot of it has to do with more creative freedom and less corporate influence, but you have to have an audience and ratings to survive.
 

Oscarfan

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I'm pretty sure you can get HBO in your cheap/basic cable packages.

But you bring up the same point I've been making about outlets like Netflix and such: not everybody has Netflix, and not everybody can get Netflix because not everybody is able to obtain regular internet access, so what's the point of dumping a bunch of new shows straight to Netflix (something that even JHC is guilty of) when only a small percentage of people are going to see it anyway? I know a lot of it has to do with more creative freedom and less corporate influence, but you have to have an audience and ratings to survive.
Netflix is popular and money-making enough that it can afford to do that. I don't think ratings is something that applies to it. Views probably, if they can track those things.
 

DTF

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I have to leave in a few minutes, but I just read this on Twitter and came here...

Boy, this is dumb...

Expect a parody later like my one with the Word on the Street being "Donations"...

Who wants to bet Sonia Manzano left the show in protest? I think it's quite plausible...

I would have understood the 30 minute format if they got rid of AFFS and ETM and just had them packaged as a separate show. Actually would have been like the old cartoons with 1 Bugs Bunny, 1 Road Runner or somesuch, and then a 5 or so minute sketch in between. Then a 10-12 minutes street story followed by letter/number of the day, without block formats, so more stuff could be put in. Yeah, not fun but could have stomached it.

But, HBO?

HBO???

It's not on everyone's basic cable, not everyone even has cable and...it's HBO!

I'd rather have it on a show that generally is family friendly rather than that. I mean, I'd put it on ESPN before I'd put it there, because you could then have sports themes centered around the other stuff. The same way our kids in church have change wars and other cute little contests that are fun for them with the Gospel message to draw them in, the sports and games could be centered around helping them learn important basic stuff.

It wouldn't be great, it would probably stink, but it still wouldn't be HBO.

Not quite the rant of some others, but such a comical rant is more my style than the extreme anger of some.

Besides, there is a small part of me that would like to see Mike and Mike from ESPN Radio going off topic and discussing the latest SS program if they need to draw viewers. It would be funny, at least.
 

Drtooth

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I'm pretty sure you can get HBO in your cheap/basic cable packages.

But you bring up the same point I've been making about outlets like Netflix and such: not everybody has Netflix, and not everybody can get Netflix because not everybody is able to obtain regular internet access, so what's the point of dumping a bunch of new shows straight to Netflix (something that even JHC is guilty of) when only a small percentage of people are going to see it anyway? I know a lot of it has to do with more creative freedom and less corporate influence, but you have to have an audience and ratings to survive.
As far as a couple shows go, some Netflix originals get released to DVD. I know for a fact at least Dreamworks is releasing its shows to DVD... or at least they just released Turbo. Of course, that's the only show that's actually finished a season. There was supposedly a release of the Netflix exclusive fifth season of Arrested Development, but it kept going back and forth when it was to be released and if it was.

But yes, you do need ratings to survive, and that's where things get a little complicated. Though, at least its more intuitive than the actual TV ratings system which deals with how select groups are representational.

I'm sure everyone will get to see the new stuff on YouTube.
I know for a fact that at least half of an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (the half that deals with a major subject) gets released every week. If they can keep that deal up, it wouldn't be nearly as bad as this sounds. I just get this sneaky feeling that SW will start being a little less generous with YT uploads of clips, if not HBO.

On that subject, the real sore point is I know they need to have the long period of refusal to alternate media outlets because that's how these things work. But 9 months is a bit excessive. I mean, even 5 or 6 would be reasonable and a better compromise.

Still, if they're involved, the least they could do was keep the show the full hour.
 

vettech28

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HBO, really? I mean, not all families with kids have HBO, probably for a good reason. I'm not sure how I feel about PBS dropping the hour long version of the show in favor of the half-hour shows.

I'm nervous about how this move will effect the show's ratings and the show in general.
 

Slackbot

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How ironic that a show that was originally designed to reach children of all income brackets is going to a premium cable channel. It does soften the blow that HBO will foot the bill and then give it to PBS for free; that protects it from threats to the funding. (Hopefully HBO will not cut SST off.)

Fun fact: My family never had HBO. I didn't see Fraggle Rock until much, much later, when Amazon had a Black Friday sale on the box sets.
 

Oscarfan

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Question: Nothing is really said in the articles about HBO that they'll be carrying the show as a 30-minute program. Is it too much to assume that HBO will air the show as 60-minutes, while PBS will shorten it to 30?
 
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