Seen Sesame Street? It's been on for 45 years
On "Sesame Street", things have changed. The show first ran 45 years ago. That was on Nov. 10, 1969.
Now, Cookie Monster exercises self-control. Sometimes he even eats fruits and vegetables. Another change is that, now, millions of kids watch the show on phones and computers instead of TV.
In 1973 "Sesame Street" was one of two TV shows for preschoolers. Now it's competing with 84 kids' shows on TV. Yet "Sesame Street" still holds its own. It ranks 20th among kids ages 2 to 5 with 850,000 viewers per TV episode.
Half the viewers watch it in digital formats. Options include SesameStreet.org, PBSKids.org, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and some 50 apps. A "Sesame Street" YouTube channel has a million subscribers.
"Sesame Street" also has a high "co-viewing" experience. That means adults watching the show with kids. Nearly half of "Sesame Street" viewers are over age 18. That's why sketches often have pop culture references that 2-year-olds don't get, but adults do.
"Sesame Street" was one of the few shows in the 1970s to feature all races and ethnicities. Today the show also routinely features children with disabilities.
Newer seasons also feature less of the actual street with human characters. More puppets are used in skits with animation or other technical wizardry. Executive producer Carol-Lynn Parente says the puppets "have a madcap energy to them." It helps "Sesame Street" compete with the many other kids shows that are animated.