Sesame Workshop (formerly known as the Children's Television Workshop) and created
by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett. The program is known for its educational
content, and images communicated through the use of Jim Henson's Muppets, animation,
short films, humor, and cultural references. The series premiered on November 10, 1969,
to positive reviews, some controversy, and high viewership; it has aired on the U.S.'s national
public television provider (PBS) since its debut, with its first run moving to premium channel
HBO on January 16, 2016.
The show has undergone significant changes throughout its history.
The format of Sesame Street
consists of a combination of commercial television production elements and techniques which
have evolved to reflect the changes in American culture and the audience's viewing habits. With
the creation of Sesame Street, producers and writers of a children's television show used, for the
first time, educational goals and a curriculum to shape its content. It was also the first time a
show's educational effects were studied.
Shortly after creating Sesame Street, its producers
developed what came to be called the
"CTW model" (after the production company's previous name), a system of television show
planning, production, and evaluation based on collaborations between producers, writers,
educators, and researchers. The show was initially funded by government and private foundations
but has become somewhat self-supporting due to revenues from licensing arrangements,
international sales, and other media. By 2006, there were independently produced versions, or "co-productions", of Sesame Street broadcast in twenty countries. In 2001 there were over 120 million viewers of various international versions of Sesame Street, and by the show's 40th anniversary in
2009, it was broadcast in more than 140 countries.
By its 40th anniversary in 2009, Sesame Street was the
fifteenth-highest-rated children's television
show in the United States. A 1996 survey found that 95% of all American preschoolers had watched
the show by the time they were three years old. In 2008, it was estimated that 77 million Americans
had watched the series as children. As of 2014, Sesame Street has won 167 Emmy Awards and 8 Grammy Awardsómore than any other children's show.