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Your Thoughts: Half-hour Sesame Street begins on PBS September 1, 2014

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Phillip, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    For the first time in 45 years, PBS will begin airing a shortened 30-minute version of Sesame Street (without "Abby's Flying Fairy School" and "Elmo the Musical").

    The half-hour Sesame Street will air in the afternoons usually around 1-3 pm weekdays and a few are airing it much later in the day around 5-6 pm. It seems that not all markets are airing this version of the program. Check local listings for times and availability in your area.

    For now, the plan appears to be that the hour-long version of the show will continue on in the mornings as well. So initially this is a great move as it adds another 30-minutes of Sesame Street to PBS each day. The 60-minute and 30-minute shows will vary in content so that the same segments are usually not shown in the morning and afternoon. We'll know more as these programs begin to air.

    Since every other kids show on PBS in 30 minutes and due to the increased costs of production, I can't help but wonder if PBS is testing the waters to see if a 30-minute Sesame Street is just as viable as the 60-minute version. Even if a potential phase-out happened slowly over the next few years, maybe the days of a 60-minute Sesame Street are numbered (so to speak). PBS and Sesame Workshop both want the show to reach the historic 50 year milestone so this could potentially be seen as a way of gearing up interest in the show for the older kids while indeed testing the waters on this new format. Time will tell.

    The scheduled half-hour premiere episode is "Baby Bear is Afraid of Bees." By the way it will be interesting to see how Sesame Workshop numbers these programs if they are numbered at all.

    In addition to airing on PBS stations, selected episodes of the 30-minute show will also be available for free online at pbskids.org/video, on the PBS KIDS Video App, on Apple TV and on the PBS KIDS Roku channel.

    Here's an article from the NY Times about the change...


    If you saw the new 30-minute Sesame Street, please like this post and share your thoughts below.
  2. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I don't see how doing a half-hour is cheaper, since the hour-long has that much re-used footage anyway.

    And I think these will not be numbered "44xx" or "45xx". The half-hour version is airing in a few minutes on my station, so I'll see, but I think those numbers are used for other repeats.
  3. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    What exactly is the point of all this? Why go through all the trouble, time, and effort to cobble together two different versions of the same episode? Can't they just air the same episode twice a day like they used to? Wouldn't that save the production and editing staff a lot of time?
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It's probably because PBS would refuse to let them run it twice a day at an hour each. Somehow, it feels like they needed a half hour to fill. I'm miffed because that half hour my station took would wind up kicking WordGirl off the single afternoon slot. As for the episode itself, I shouldn't feel unimpressed because it was logical they'd just take an older episode and edit it down, but I feel unimpressed. Seems they lost the opportunity to cobble together new reruns, but editing them was just quicker and easier.
  5. ssetta

    ssetta Well-Known Member

    I just watched it, and I have to say it really is not all that exciting. I thought there would maybe be a thing or two in the half hour version that wasn't in the original version, but that does not seem to be the case. I will say that if you've been anxious to check out this new half hour version, don't be. Its not worth it. It is merely the original version of the show with portions edited out to make it 30 minutes long. So basically, if you've already seen the hour version, theres no reason to check out the half hour version.
  6. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    Wow, I expected this to be like a new SS, but is it just really the show cropped?
  7. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Here's a rundown of what was in it:

    • WOTS Opening
    • Theme (without an ep #, strangely)
    • Street Story
    • Celeb. Word Spot
    • Murray's Bring Out Your F
    • Song: Six at Sea
    • B&E Adventure - Flower Shop
    • Sounds of the Street
    • Honeybee Song
    • Sponsors
    Eh. I don't have to watch these regularly, so I don't mind. I wasn't expecting much. It seems a little faster paced than the regular show. The credits were also at 2x speed.
    sesamemuppetfan and Phillip like this.
  8. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    So, what is the point of lessening the show's running time by half, and airing in the afternoon? Why not just air the hour long SS in the afternoons like they used to do before?
  9. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Because an hour-long show in the middle of the afternoon surrounded by half-hour ones works better, viewing-wise. This is just how things are done.

    I don't have a problem with it, just so long as they can keep the hour-long and half-hour versions. An hour is a long time by kids show-standards, but there's a lot more they can put in it.
  10. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Some official statements from the above article on the reasons for the change...

    As I mentioned above, long-term this could potentially be the beginning of the end of the hour-long version of Sesame Street, if the 30-minute version proves significantly more successful. It may take years for this to happen but it gives PBS an existing library of 30-minute programs already in the can if such a change was to occur.
    Muppet Master likes this.
  11. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    In my area, the half-hour version airs in the morning and the hour version airs in the afternoon. Is it like that for other areas? Also, I don't get the half-hour version until tomorrow.
  12. Rugratskid

    Rugratskid Well-Known Member

    My local station isn't showing any times other than 10AM until September 13 (as far as it goes). Maybe it's not available here?
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  13. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    Interesting. For me, it's vice versa, though, I don't know about you, but in my personal opinion and based on what other people on here have been saying about this half hour version so far, I don't think it will be worth my time at all.
  14. Rugratskid

    Rugratskid Well-Known Member

    I'm actually in school during the hour version, so this is my only chance to watch some Sesame Street... then again, I haven't watched since 2009, so it's probably very much different. :p
  15. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    I'll wait until I see it to be sure.
  16. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Here's something interesting: the 30-minute edits of #4503 and #4505 are airing a couple of days before the hour-long versions. (#4503 is supposed to air on the Wednesday, but the shorted version is playing on Monday).
  17. Luke kun

    Luke kun Well-Known Member

    I really hated it yet liked it.
    FunnyBear and MikaelaMuppet like this.
  18. sesamemuppetfan

    sesamemuppetfan Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I wasn't talking you out of watching it. It's your choice in the end, and if you feel the need to watch it, then OK.

    Wow, really? That is interesting.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I don't like the cynical reasoning behind it... the whole aspect for it to be tailor made for yuppies with tablets and phones so full of apps, they don't even bother with any other viewing media, mainly because they can shut kids up on a shopping trip (or even ruder, in a restaurant). It makes Sesame Street a lot less accessible to the original demographic. Poor kids are still a thing. I know full well the economics and realities of television are changing. But this seems like a move pandering to iPad users.

    However, watching the full hour episodes, it's painfully obvious they can't even fill the full hour without reusing the heck out of current segments, sometimes twice a season. And they only use HD unless they don't. Like there's no reasoning behind it. And for some reason, Ernie and Bert are for foreign markets only! Enjoy the same celebrity/parody segment from a few episodes ago a second time. You don't even have to watch the show anymore, since it posts everything online. No tenth time with an Abby episode.

    So a half hour Sesame may not seem so bad, it's just they aren't using that half hour wisely, and old street stories should be cobbled together with different segments. But time and money, it's cheaper and easier to just cut something down.

    BTW, anyone else notice the Count sings about 6 kids song was edited too? The line about "This is my favorite song about six" was missing.
  20. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    I watched. And there was literally nothing new. Interesting thing is my DVR counts the half-hour show as a different show from the normal hour show.

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