Nothing Is Sacred: Sesame Street to Be Cut Down to 30 Minutes


Sesame Street, the emblem of our childhoods, has fallen victim to the whims of a generation with a shorter attention span and will officially shorten its episodes to 30 minutes down from its usual hour. The change will take effect November 16.

PBS Kids and Sesame Workshop made the decision after a test 30 minute version “in response to the positive station and viewer feedback to the shorter version introduced last fall.” The network began airing the hour-long version in the mornings and the half-hour version on weekday afternoons.

Current, a public broadcasting site, reports:

Both versions are doing well in ratings, according to Craig Reed, executive director at public TV audience research company TRAC Media. Ratings for childrens’ programs are generally higher in morning timeslots, Reed said. While the half-hour show’s numbers are slightly lower than the hourlong program’s, the shorter version “does very well at growing its audience over the lead-in — just what we would expect for a program that is performing at a high level,” he said.
PBS also made the shorter version available for streaming on the PBS Kids website, mobile app and Roku channel. Since the introduction of the shorter format, average monthly viewing of Sesame Street content on PBS Kids digital platforms has increased 40 percent, Vera said.

Now I am not a child, nor do I have one, so this doesn’t specifically effect me, but it is sad that children once liked paying attention to a single thing for an hour, and now they don’t.

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