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    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Monday August 6 on PBS. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

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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. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    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").
  2. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    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?
  3. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    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 likes this.
  5. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    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. :)
  6. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    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?

  7. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    'Cause they're cheap and lazy now.

    Performers' availability could also play a factor.
  8. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Now that Hooper's has wifi, when are we going to start seeing people sitting at the counter inside, or at one of the tables outside, engrossed in their laptops, tablets, phones, etc.?
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Somewhat off-topic, but I wonder why SNL hasn't shrunk down yet. I don't understand why they even bother with the last half hour of sketches for broadcast when they're always completely omitted when they reduce the reruns to an hour from an hour and a half.
  13. InvaderZim

    InvaderZim Well-Known Member

    ABC Kids in Australia has shown several episodes of season 46 yet to air on HBO.

    Here's what is on ABC iView/iView Kids:

    HBO has only aired up to episode #4616, Rocco's Playdate, whilst ABC is now up to #4622 (Chicken when it comes to Thunderstorms)-which HBO will not air until June 4.

    Guessing Sesame Workshop allows Australia's ABC to air episodes before HBO does.
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    This is often the case with American shows - particularly kids shows and cartoons - where new episodes will air overseas months before they even see the light of day in their native country. Never really understood why that is, but it goes back as far as I can remember.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I completely agree to that since the show always had those really bad filler sketches that are just there to make sure the show is a half hour longer than it needs to be. And we certainly can't count on Robert Smigel-esque animated segments that at least have a funny tonal shift in humor. Though I do like when they have "We're not Porn Stars...Anymore" as a show closer. I'm partial to that one because it somehow reminds me of Senor Cardgadge. But yeah, even in the best seasons with the best casts, there's those 2 (maybe 3) skits that somehow take up a half an hour per show because of the insane amount of advertisements that aren't even funny by the unfunniest cast members standards. I think they only exist to pad around the second musical performance (that usually gets cut out anyway on certain rebroadcasts) so it doesn't get cut in its initial airing.

    Because of course it does. Yeah, I agree with D*Snowth's frustraition. I can understand if it's some European thing we'd either see as filler on a cable channel (which the latest season of Oggy was until they stupidly didn't go through the episodes where they'd find an okay in European kid's cartoon hidden naked background woman and stopped airing it like it's the show's fault and not theirs for being lazy enough to let it slide), or years later on qubo or the new third option of Netflix and the like, but it's annoying that you can see the entire season of a show before it gets a proper TV show release...and the US is the one that funds the show!!! I'm incredibly ahead of the CN broadcasts of Robots in Disguise because of UK based uploads, which doesn't bug me since it's at like 6:30 on a Saturday.

    I always go over the horror story of what happened with Spectacular Spider-Man, and then laugh my butt off when uppity fan types whine about how Ultimate Spider-Man somehow stopped them from making a third season. And I'm like...DUDE! Kid's WB went under, 4Kids didn't want to pick up the second season. Like 2 years pass when even Bulgaria got the darn thing, then Disney XD picks it up either just before or just after they bought Marvel but wanted to establish the show first, so they had a third year of waiting to show the entire first season again. So yeah. There was no chance in Hades Sony was going to do season 3. Just after season 2 they were telling the staff to clean out their desks.

    Anyway, seems like HBO is keeping SW on a tight leash, so there's no way any Aussie uploader's going to put any of these things up on YT. I'm convinced that is the reason why WGBH goes apescat when someone uploads Arthur episodes and then goes down on any episode in any level of not broadcast quality. Because Australia already aired 2 seasons worth of material. Clearly, these foreign channels want to just dump all the episodes at once and wait for reruns instead of the slow and choppy releases of a few episodes here, months of rerun, a few more episodes, months of reruns, and the final episodes before more reruns before the next season of the same stingy thing.

    I'm entirely convinced that if HBO wasn't airing Sesame Street, we'd only be like the Dinosaur episode by now.
  16. zucca

    zucca Member

  17. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    So, when are we actually going to get to see Oscar popping up in various different trash cans and such throughout the street?
  18. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    Well we saw him do it in the "Funny Farm" episode.
  19. MuppetSpot

    MuppetSpot Well-Known Member

    Also he heckles Elmo & Abby in the band episode.
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    So since Season 46 was delayed a few months, I'm curious as to how this will affect when and how we'll be celebrating SST's 50 anniversary/season. I know it's still a few years away yet, but I got to thinking today about how up until Season 35, each five-year anniversary was typically celebrated a year early because that's how the seasons were produced and broadcasted (so even though SST debuted in 1969, the 30th anniversary was celebrated in 1998 because that's when Season 30 began).

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