Sesame Street History
The show is broadcast worldwide; in addition to the U.S. version, many countries have locally-produced versions adapted to local needs, some with their own characters, and in a variety of different languages. Broadcasts in Australia and New Zealand began in 1971. In Canada, beginning in 1970, 15-minute shows called Canada’s Sesame Street were broadcast, and by 1972 an edited version of the one-hour American program was airing featuring specially filmed Canadian segments. In 1995 the American version was replaced by a half-hour long all-Canadian version of the series entitled Sesame Park. Since the original Sesame Street was still accessible to Canadians, and more familiar, the format change didn’t find acceptance with audiences and was taken off the air in 2002. 120 countries have aired the show, many of which partnered with Sesame Workshop to create local versions.
The series airs currently on PBS (United States), and MediaCorp TV12 Kids Central (Singapore).
In recent years Sesame Street has made what area educators consider to be critical advances in its international versions. In the late 1990s versions appeared in China and Russia as these countries shifted away from communism. There is also a joint Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian project, called Sesame Stories, which was created with the goal of promoting greater cultural understanding.
The show has also spawned the spin-off series Play with Me Sesame, the “classics” show Sesame Street Unpaved, and the segment-only series Open Sesame. Elmo’s World and Global Grover, both of which are segments of Sesame Street, have been distributed as individual series