Sesame Street syndication packages

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Two syndication packages of Sesame Street episodes, titled Sesame Street Unpaved and 123 Sesame Street, were produced by Noggin in 1999. The former ceased airing in 2003 and the later was pulled from Noggin's schedule in 2005.

Sesame Street Unpaved[edit]

Series intertitle

Sesame Street Unpaved features select episodes from the series' first twenty seasons. The 67-episode package includes every season premiere of Sesame Street with the exception of the season sixteen premiere. Each installment consists of a remastered version of an older episode, normally trimmed and edited to allow time for commercials. Episodes open with an exclusive title sequence created specifically for Unpaved, which depicts the characters on a busy New York street and was shot on-location in the borough of Queens. The package was partially marketed towards older viewers who would watch the program based on nostalgia.[1]

The first installment of Unpaved was produced in promotion of Sesame Street's thirtieth year on television. Unlike all other installments, it was created in a clip show format; scenes from a variety of hallmark episodes were featured instead of content from a single episode, and original footage starring five of the program's original cast members was added as a framing device.[2] These segments were written and produced by Josh Selig.[3] Caroll Spinney (Big Bird and Oscar) and Martin P. Robinson (Mr. Snuffleupagus and Slimey the Worm) were the only Muppet performers directly involved with the production.

Sesame Street Unpaved premiered on TV Land as part of its temporary Noggin programming block.[4] Most later broadcasts on Noggin paired Unpaved with fellow Sesame Workshop series 3-2-1 Contact, making up a two-hour timeslot.[5]

123 Sesame Street[edit]

Title card

123 Sesame Street repackages episodes from the 25th, 30th, 31st, & 32nd seasons. Its title is derived from the fictional address of the franchise's titular location. Unlike Unpaved, this package was explicitly aimed at preschoolers. It was used as a way to introduce a new generation of viewers to older episodes that still managed to meet modern educational standards. Many installments of this package were incorporated into marathons and events consisting of otherwise brand-new content.[6]

123 Sesame Street also debuted in 1999. It was never shown on TV Land and was regularly broadcast twice a day on Noggin.[7] When the Noggin channel was restructured in spring 2003 and many CTW programs were dropped from its regular schedule, 123 Sesame Street replaced all other airings of Sesame Street content (with the exception of Play with Me Sesame). The package continued to air until summer 2005, about three years after Unpaved was pulled.[8]

Development[edit]

Plans to create Sesame Street syndication packages for Noggin had existed since April 1998, when Sesame Workshop and Nickelodeon first invested in the company.[9] The Workshop initially considered repackaging Sesame segments into themed collections, rather than airing modified cuts of individual episodes. Herb Scannell (who was the president of Nickelodeon and TV Land at the time) suggested centering a package around Elmo, a breakout character whose popularity had peaked in the late 1990s. While describing such possibilities for an interview with The New York Times, he mentioned that "[CTW] could do 'The Elmo Show,' for example."[9]

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