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Sesame Street Is Changing Its 56-Year-Old Format For The First Time Ever


  • Sesame Street is changing its format after decades, switching from a magazine-style format to a more narrative-driven style with two 11-minute segments and a new animated series in between.
  • The shift away from the classic magazine style may be a detriment to Sesame Street’s ability to entertain young children with shorter attention spans, potentially risking the loss of some of its educational lessons.
  • However, the pivot to a narrative-driven style may be vital for Sesame Street’s modernization efforts while maintaining the positive messaging at its core.



Sesame Street is changing its format for the first time in the entirety of its run. Debuting in 1969, Sesame Street has become one of the biggest children’s shows and public television series of all time. Featuring classic characters such as Elmo, Big Bird, Kermit the Frog, and Miss Piggy, Sesame Street has been spun off into a number of feature film adaptations. There are also numerous titles starring the Muppets, who populate Sesame Street‘s episodes.

Now, Sesame Street is changing its format after decades. As per The Hollywood Reporter, Sesame Street season 56 will take a different direction, as it will switch from the magazine-style format to more of a narrative style. This format will involve two 11-minute segments spliced together into an episode time slot, with a new animated series, called Tales From 123, coming between the two stories. Sesame Street season 56 will air in 2025.

Will This Format Change Help or Hurt Sesame Street?

Actor Brett Goldstein in athletic apparel on the Sesame Street set with puppets Elmo and Grover

As Sesame Street continued into the 21st century, it spent years standing out from its children’s show peers. Except select shows like the late aughts reboot of The Electric Company, the two-chunk narrative format is how most kids’ TV shows today find their structure. Examples include SpongeBob SquarePants, Phineas and Ferb, and Arthur, all of which are more narrative-driven as opposed to Sesame Street’s magazine style.

On the one hand, the shift away from its classic magazine style could be a detriment to Sesame Street. After all, a series of shorter skit segments can often better entertain young children whose attention spans are smaller. This is especially important for a show that is so focused on learning and teaching children, for Sesame Street has been long praised for its promotion of literacy skills. Diverging from this format could risk some of Sesame Street’s lessons being lost.

On the other hand, the pivot to a narrative-driven style may be vital as Sesame Street continues to modernize in the current era. The show has already attempted to do so by introducing diverse characters who teach kids messages about radical acceptance. Regardless of the episode structure, Sesame Street will stay at its best if it sticks to this positive messaging at its core.

Source: THR


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