Could this be the beginning of the end of Sesame Street? First, it was the typical Saturday morning cartoon lineup ousted and now, after years of having this beloved children’s show in a one-hour time slot, PBS has chosen to shorten it down to a half-hour show.
According to a report by Current, the announcement came on Wednesday, saying that this iconic series has been so successful since they started airing the 30-minute versions in the afternoons last year, that they have decided to drop the longer slot for the shorter one. This change will begin on November 16, and will air in the mornings as usual.
They seemed to be testing out the half-hour slot last September, as they had aired that in addition to the usual hour-long show in the mornings. Apparently, PBS Kids and Sesame Workshop came to an agreement after receiving positive feedback from both the stations and the viewers in response to the shorter version of Sesame Street.
This change comes 46 years after this kid’s show premiered. Why the change? From the comments made by a few PBS executives, it sounds like it all about money and being able to make way for new shows that may appear in the future. One program manager in Seattle supports this huge change. Hildy Ko said that even though Sesame Street will be shortened, it will still have the hearts of everyone who loves it.
“Despite the history of a one-hour show and its success, I support the change. Sesame Street will remain relevant in the lives of children, families, caregivers and the future of our society because they have an iconic brand that zeros into the heart. Plus, a shorter Sesame Street will probably be more economical as far as production. It’s always about the money and how we can stretch our pennies.”
It was bad enough when news came out in July that original cast member Sonia Manzano announced that she was retiring after 44 years of walking down this famous street. The Inquisitr reported on how sad fans were when they heard the news that she would no longer be part of the show. Now, with this surprising piece of news that PBS is making this change in time slots, social media may have a firestorm on their hands.
Another programming director in San Diego, John Decker, hit the nail right on the head with his comments about freeing up that extra half-hour so that more kid’s shows can be squeezed in to take over.
“It makes good sense that the format of Sesame Street be consistent with the other shows. It also frees up a prime kids’ viewing slot for new and/or existing shows. PBS is riding a wave of success with kids’ programs right now and the additional half-hour in the morning gives them a great opportunity to continue to bring new shows to life.”
Everyone knows who Bert and Ernie are, as well as Elmo, Grover, and The Count. In fact, it seems that Bert and Ernie were just made the new CEOs of Google’s new parent company, called Alphabet. Mashable was joking around about Sesame Street and Alphabet after a funny post was sent out by the show’s official Twitter.
Alphabet? It's been part of Sesame Street since 1969. http://t.co/eMwRRNzZZ2— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) August 10, 2015
All joking aside, it is sad that kids will now have a half-hour less of the friends that they love and adore. Turning over a new leaf when it comes to this beloved series may just have social media up in arms.
What are your thoughts on this new change for Sesame Street?