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  2. Sesame Street Season 49
    Sesame Street's 49th season officially began Saturday November 17 on HBO. 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. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    What I'm talking about, hopefully, is a small selection of episodes that haven't been released on those platforms. Sort of a "Sesame Upaved" type deal. Though it would be kinda sucky if they were those already released episodes, I agree. Thing is, those episodes will probably disappear from all formats once the HBO run starts or the contracts run out, whatever comes first.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  2. WorldOfSesame

    WorldOfSesame Well-Known Member

    What the heck is this with a newly released thing in the news about Sesame Workshop is going to create a Sesame Street Muppet Spinoff this January or after that as well from Sesame Street? Could someone please help to explain what this is all about. All I can find online is that they are going to create this...I currently cannot find anything else about this though.
  3. WorldOfSesame

    WorldOfSesame Well-Known Member

    My quote from the "Your Thoughts: Half Hour Sesame Street Begins on PBS September 1, 2014 post"
    "My local PBS Station (as of a few minutes ago!) stated on their website that if, quote "no new episodes were made...then PBS will have to die it off of PBS". What does that mean?"

    This refers to episodes still on PBS. Pretty sure the HBO episodes will be banned from PBS if this keeps happening though.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  4. oknazevad

    oknazevad Member

    No, they will not be be banned. Where are you getting that idea from? New episodes are being made, will air on HBO first, then appear on PBS 9 months later, with recent reruns appearing on both HBO and PBS to fill out the schedule. That is exactly what they've said will happen, and anything else is just fear mongering. Please don't do that. If you don't know something, ask it as a simple question, instead of panicky, incorrect speculation that we already know is incorrect. That's how bad rumors start.
    Pig's Laundry likes this.
  5. WorldOfSesame

    WorldOfSesame Well-Known Member

    My local PBS station is MPBN, and their website says that Sesame Street may be not airing in some areas of the country (their source is PBS themselves). So did their station. Oh, well...they've been cutting back on kids shows anyways. All they now play is very few programs anyways...Well, I'm now out of luck.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    While I do doubt that, PBS stations can vary in what they air for kid's programming, and some cases when you have a lot of PBS stations that air kids shows (like my area) they tend to air certain things that wouldn't be seen in most other areas.

    In my case, I was hoping the shorter half hour Sesame episodes would air a few times a day spread out over 3 channels (2 standard PBS stations that are sister stations of each other as well as a digital Kid's channel), but it just airs it once in the mornings now. Other shows get multiple runs a day depending on their popularity. That said, my PBS Kid's digital station runs some boring craft program that looks like it was made in an all purpose room. Don't see why that's a thing (should go on the other digital channel, "Create"), but apparently it is, and they stop running kid's programming at like 7 PM.
  7. WorldOfSesame

    WorldOfSesame Well-Known Member

    Yeah. Just to take a look at what the schedule is...I will type it here for MPBN's kids programming (just for reference).
    7:00 Wild Kratts (2 episodes)
    8:00 Curious George (2 episodes)
    9:00 Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood (2 episodes)
    10:00 Sesame Street
    10:30 Peg + Cat
    11:00 Dinosaur Train (2 episodes)
    12:00 Super WHY!
    12:30 Thomas & Friends
    1:00 Peg + Cat
    1:30 The Cat In The Hat
    2:00 Curious George (2 episodes)
    3:00 Arthur (2 episodes)
    4:00 Odd Squad
    After that at 4:30...Charlie Rose then news.
    Note: Odd Squad and Arthur might be dropped from this schedule soon...They want to play more talk shows on air instead. Hey! At least the JHC show Dinosaur Train still airs! I also like (the only other one other than also SS as well) the Kratt Brothers as well.
    On weekends we just get nearly 1.5 to 2 hours of children's shows. Wow.

    Also, what PBS station do you get? I know that MPBN .4 has a 3 hour delay of every program of .1 though. I wonder if that's the same case for you.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  8. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    I just wanna share these cool videos promoting the season: ,
  9. wiley207

    wiley207 Well-Known Member

    You know, the way "Sesame Street" has changed a lot with the reduced length reminds me of when something similar happened to "Big Bag," another CTW-produced show that aired on Cartoon Network in the 90s (for those who don't remember.)
    The first season in 1996 had 13 hour-length episodes, each one comprised of the main story with the human and Muppet cast sandwiched by recurring cartoon segments; these were like 3 to 6-minute cartoon episodes, often coming from different parts of the word, including "Troubles the Cat" (created in the USA for CTW, featuring an orange cat and her "Troublescope" she would use to help figure out problems), "William's Wish Wellingtons" (a BBC import from the UK made by Hibbert-Ralph), "Slim Pig" (another UK BBC series), "Koki" (made in Spain for CTW, basically a claymation "Pingu" knock-off with chickens and ducks), "Tobias Totz and his Lion" (made in Germany) and "Samuel and Nina" (made in Australia by Yoram-Gross, the "Blinky Bill" company). Before the "Koki" cartoon would play, there would be a filmed "Big Bag Beat" music video featuring kids dancing and playing. (I remember one with a song about flying, and it featured kids running around with capes, including a shot that was later reused in the 1998-2001 "Sesame Street" opening!)
    In spring 1998, the second season of "Big Bag" debuted, but with a HUGE change. The show was now only a half-hour long, and only would feature three cartoon segments. The only ones from the first season to return were the CTW-made "Troubles the Cat" and "Koki," along with the then-new "Ace and Avery" shorts by John Dilworth. Reruns of first-season episodes were edited down to a half-hour length, cutting a few of the main story segments, and limiting the cartoons. Either a first season rerun would feature a "Troubles" cartoon, a "Big Bag Beat" music video and a "Samuel and Nina" cartoon, or a "Wish Wellingtons" cartoon, a "Slim Pig" cartoon and a "Koki" cartoon. "Tobias Totz" was completely dropped from the show when this happened.
    But at least "Big Bag"'s second season brought us the episode where Elmo comes to visit!
  10. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    You know, I seem to recall someone saying the new arrangement of the main theme song was supposed to be reminiscent of the original version from 69 to 92. I don't see or hear that. Not that the new intro is bad, because it really isn't, it's great, I just don't see or feel any old school throwback in it.
  11. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I think it's meant as in it's not a modern, hip-hop arrangement. Even though that kind of indie folk is technically "modern" and "popular," it doesn't have the rap/hip-hop sound of the last several seasons which some people didn't care for.
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    While I can't say I exactly loved the Hip Hop arrangement, I have to admit I like the beat. The instrumental at the end of the show was actually pretty catchy. I have to admit I liked it better as a hip hop inspired arrangement than the 1990's closing.

    Plus, it didn't come from absolutely nowhere like the calypso theme arrangement. I never got the logic of that one, but it was kinda fun, actually.

    I'd say the new arrangement is...uh...like the kind of ukulele and chimes arrangement you'd find in a food commercial where the words "organic" and "natural" are thrown around. Like that...what's that commercial for that service that delivers a box of snack assortments to your house? That. Like if the end theme wasn't that "Stronger, Smarter, Kinder, Faster, Better" the arrangement of the Sesame theme would have been accompanied by whistling to make it all folksy. I got to admit, it works on a kid's show really well. Can't say I love it, but I don't dislike it.
  13. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, wasn't the 90s a decade of where there were all these kind of sub genres of music that had tropical inspirations that were trying to be mainstream but just didn't quite catch on, like calypso, reggae, ska, and the like? Whenever I hear and see that calypso intro, to me, it just screams 90s. While the actual calypso arrangement of the theme song is not a particular favorite of mine, I don't mind the instrumental cue that opened each episode up till Season 38 - I still wish I could find a clean, full recording of it.

    The hip-hop arrangement makes a little more sense, if only because by then, the street had long gone back to looking more like an inner city street, rather than the gentrified little village as it did during the ATC era.
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  14. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    This is and always has been my favorite version of the theme:
    D'Snowth and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  15. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    Mine too!
  16. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    To me, this is from the period where SST first arose from its Dork Age and was "reborn" in a sense; it kind of got itself back on track.
  17. Pig's Laundry

    Pig's Laundry Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, the 1998-2001 era was an almost perfect era. It was a wonderful combination of the "Around the Corner' stories mixed with the classic episodes. This was the first time that the writers had really found the perfect cast. The humans were great, the muppets were great. And they really understood where all the characters fit into the show and what their functions were. Best of all there weren't too many characters to focus on like there was during the ATC era. Plus, they were still showing a lot of classic segments from the 70s and 80s, so that was nice.
    D'Snowth likes this.
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I do distinctly remember a short lived world music style fad, so Calypso Sesame Theme isn't that out of left field, but compared to the so 90's it's painful end credits (that we had well into the 2000's), it seems a bit of a strange choice.

    Then again, the 90's graced us with "It's Zydeco," so yeah...

    Is my feeling too. It has what I call a safe "urban" beat. Just superficial enough to be non-threatening, but not too...well...white guy in his fifties. I just don't think it worked vocally as well as it did instrumentally.
  19. wiley207

    wiley207 Well-Known Member

    I have to agree, the 1998-2001 era of "Sesame Street" was pretty good. Sure, this is when they introduced "Elmo's World," but we still had the classic "magazine"-esque format, and it heavily emphasized the classic songs and featured the classic characters, probably to celebrate the show's 30th season. Season 30 was also the first season in a long time with no rerun street stories, which explains why the number of episodes was reduced from 130 to 65 (they couldn't rerun any previous episode street stories anymore due to the introduction of "Elmo's World.") And yep, the 1998-2001 opening sequence was a nice throwback to the classic intro sequences; again, probably as a deliberate homage for the show's 30th season. Interestingly, they still continued to use the 1992 "Dancing City" closing credits, and the calypso-esque "street scene opening" music, maybe because they figured "We've already changed the show so much for this season, so let's leave a little of the modern stuff in for the returning viewers." At least the credits still seemed to fit with the 1998-2001 era, but a couple of years after that, it was seriously dated.

    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. (An interesting note was one Season 30 episode actually showed the "39 Stairs" segment with the full 1992 "Library" intro instead of that simple "green curtain" intro; it was probably an editing mistake or something.)
  20. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I suppose this is the thread now since other threads about Season 46 are locked, but there's a great comparison photo that illustrates how well David Gallo and his team did their job at making the street look like it could be anywhere in NYC with that new bridge backdrop:

    Still, somehow the decision to color the bridge that rusty shade of red makes me think of the Golden Gate than any bridge in NYC.

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