Sesame Street cut from public broadcasting; long-time host may retire

Cookie Monster on Sesame Street (Photo: Twitter/@MeCookieMonster). (Cookie Monster on Sesame Street (Photo: Twitter/@MeCookieMonster))

Kids and adults alike will soon no longer be able to watch Sesame Street on NPO 1 in the early evening. The popular kids show will be making way for Time for Max in January. Long time host Mister Aart Staartjes may retire following this decision.

According to NPO, there are plenty of alternatives for Sesame Street lovers - the early evening broadcast is a repeat of the morning broadcast on NPO3. "In addition to the morning broadcast, kids can watch Sesame Street via theme channel Zapp Xtra, that forms part of the basic package for most providers. Or via the Zapp App, which has been downloaded 700 thousand times by now, or via uitzending gemist", a spokesperson said to the Telegraaf.

Staartjes, who had to hear the news through the media, is shocked. He has been working with the program for 40 years. "With a move to a theme channel, they are killing the program", Staartjes said to HP De Tijd. "I think I will retire now. I need to sleep on it of course, but if Sesame Street moves to a theme channel, the core of the program is gone. It was so much fun that kids could watch us with their parents in the evening. I don't see that happening anymore. Because the theme channels are natural substitutes: the audience share is zero."

NTR, the maker of Sesame Street, is disappointed but understands the decision. "It's no surprise to us. The rerun's numbers have been decreasing for years and at the same time more and more digital alternatives are added." NTR boss Paul Romer commented to the Telegraaf.

Disappointed viewers have taken to Twitter to express their objections under the hashtag  (Sesame Street must stay).