This article needs additional citations for verification .(September 2019)
|Genre||Educational, sketch comedy, puppet show, animation|
|Based on||Sesame Street|
|Country of origin||Netherlands (1976-2019)|
|Production companies|| NOS |
|Original network||NOS (1976-1995)|
|Picture format|| PAL (1976-2000s)|
HDTV 1080i (2000s-2018)
|Original release||January 4, 1976 –|
June 28, 2019 (on hiatus)
Sesamstraat (Dutch pronunciation: ['seːzɑmstraːt]) is a Dutch former television series in the Netherlands, and a spin-off of the U.S. children's program Sesame Street . In its early days the show was broadcast in Flanders (Belgium) as well. It is the second longest-running foreign adaptation of Sesame Street without interruptions, behind only Sesamstraße .
After a pilot episode entitled Sesamplein ("Sesame Square") which released in 1974, Sesamstraat began broadcasting in 1976.   It started as a Dutch/Belgian coproduction, with only one thirty-minute episode a week. These episodes had only 12 minutes allotted for the Dutch cast. At this time there were only two Muppets and three live actors, Piet Hendriks, Sien Diels, and Annet van Heusden. Piet owned a hobby and crafts workshop and a camper which he would drive around The Netherlands and Belgium for live trips. Sien owned a grocery store, where the exchange of knowledge and happenings were as important as the selling of products. And Annet played a kindergarten teacher. In 1978, Sesamstraat's format changed to a daily 15 minute show that aired in the evening, around dinnertime.
The first season was shot on location in a half Dutch, half Belgian town. It was broadcast every Sunday for a half-hour in the afternoon. For the second season, a realistic town square was built inside the studio, which slowly evolved into a more abstracted, colourful town, featuring Pino's nest, Sien's store, a workshop, two houses, an apartment building, a trailer and a treehouse. The insides of the house sets could be decorated in different ways, so that the viewers would never be certain about who lived where.
Other special Sesamstraat episodes include the 2500th episode, and a yearly special episode focused on Sinterklaas. The 25th Anniversary series in which Dutch celebrities made guest appearances on the street. On January 7, 2000, Prime Minister Wim Kok read the daily story "Er staat een olifantje in het gras..." (There is a little elephant standing in the grass) for the Muppet residence before they went to sleep. Wim Kok is one of the many prominent guests who read a story to them. (Normally this was done by Frank, Gerda or Paula). Other celebrities that have made guest appearances are: Freek de Jonge (Comedian), Ruud Gullit (Professional soccer player), André van Duin (Comedian), Mary Dresselhuys (Actress), Hans Dagelet (Actor), Kees van Kooten (Writer), Brigitte Kaandorp (Comedian), Sonja Barend (Show host) and Janine Kastelijn (Youth Winner for Reading in 2000).
In 1992, a 30-minute film, Sesamstraat en Melkweg, was produced for the Artis Zoo Planetarium in Amsterdam.
In 2005 the show saw some schedule trouble. The government decided to halt the funding and broadcasts of NPS. The final debate took place on September 12, 2005 in the Tweede Kamer. It was decided that NPS could continue making programs, but it had to make several changes to fit into modern television, including a new broadcast schedule.
For the 2005/2006 season, Sesamstraat moved into new scenery. The set became completely abstract, with toy block-like buildings, broccoli for trees, and a tower with a giant light-up clock. The scenery was introduced with a TV special. Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, and Elmo flew over to the Netherlands for this special occasion. It was the first time the American characters visited the Dutch street.
Starting in September 2006, Sesamstraat expanded to 30 minutes and airs three times a day.
In 2008, the show got 15 minutes of extra broadcast time a day. This meant there was room for two more Muppets. Angsthaas and Stuntkip were introduced.
October 2009 brought a new segment for the show. Several famous Dutch singers perform duets with the Sesamstraat characters Pino, Tommie, Ieniemienie and Purk. All songs were written by Henny Vrienten. The segments air every Friday starting October 30, 2009. Among the artists are Trijntje Oosterhuis, Caro Emerald, André van Duin, Edsilia Rombley, Ernst Daniël Smid, Hind, Guus Meeuwis, Huub van der Lubbe and Willeke Alberti. All the duets were broadcast again in a special on December 25 and 28.
On June 28, 2019, The NTR made public they had to economize again and decided to stop producing the following two years. Instead they will broadcast reruns.
Pino is one of the most important Muppets in the children's program, and has been a part of the central cast since the show started airing in 1976. He has the appearance of a giant blue bird whose design closely resembles that of Big Bird, who is his cousin.  At approximately 4 years old he is a little younger than his friends Tommie and Ieniemienie, and sometimes he has a little trouble keeping up with them. Pino is shy, sensitive, and sometimes clumsy in his childish naivety. Being the second youngest, he likes to play with Purk. He is best known for his funny laugh and his catchphrase "Echt waar?!" ("Really?!").
Pino has had many different performers through the years, including Dirk Grijspeirt (1976), Theo Joling (1977), Bert Plagman (1979), Erik J. Meijer (1980) and Leo Dijkgraaf (1984). In 1991, Renée Menschaar started performing Pino, and she has been his regular performer ever since. She is the first woman to play Pino, who has always remained a boy character.
Tommie is a six-year-old dog. He is clever, energetic and creative. Tommie can write a few words, including his own name, which he is very proud of. He is famous for his own made up exclamations, like "Poe hee!" (approximately pronounced as: pooh hey) and "Hatseflats!". In the 2005/2006 season, Tommie got his own racing car.
Tommie has been around since the beginning in 1976. The first Tommie puppet was made by producer Ton Hasebos from an old fur coat. He was a teddy bear-like creature that walked on all fours. Through the years he evolved from a 'teddy bear' kind of creature to a more doglike animal. Tommie's recent look, which was introduced in 1981, was designed by The Jim Henson Company. The recently refurbished Tommie has a lot more fur in his face.
Like Pino, Tommie has had a few different performers, including Stef van der Linden in 1976 and Martin Pragt in 1978. In 1979, Bert Plagman became Tommie's performer, after sharing the part with Martin. Renée Menschaar (Pino's performer) and Judith Broersen (Purk's performer) both started their Sesamstraat careers as Tommie's right hand. Nowadays, Daphne Zandberg performs Tommie's right hand.
Representing the psychological age of a six-year-old mouse, Ieniemienie is the oldest of the group.  She is very clever and smart-alecky, and sometimes she tends to be a little bossy. Her best friend is Tommie. Being the smallest rodent on Sesamstraat, she often hangs out with Pino. Ienie is famous for her giggle, as well as her signature movements like scrunching her nose when she's angry or raising her shoulders when she's confused.
Ieniemienie was introduced in 1980. She started out as a mouse who lived in a hole. Through the years, when female emancipation wasn't as much as an issue on the street, her personality became more childlike and girlish.
The puppet has been refurbished a few times, but without drastic changes; except for the 1996 anniversary special, in which Ieniemienie's legs were shown for the first time, during a stiltwalking scene.
Ieniemienie's performer is Catherine van Woerden. Her arm rods are manipulated by either Marijke Koek or Lindai Boogerman.
Troel is a fluffy white girl poodle. She is very feminine and a little naïve, and she speaks in a high-pitched voice. Troel is the girlfriend of Tommie.
Troel was introduced during the second season in 1977 as the first girl Muppet to star with Tommie and Pino. She was designed to look like a girl version of Tommie.
Troel was performed by Marijke Boon.
Even though the viewers had no problems with her, the producers found her too feminine for a show that dealt with female emancipation, so she disappeared after a year. A newspaper article mentions another reason for her disappearance: her performer didn't get paid as much as the male performers[ citation needed ].
Troel was replaced by Ieniemienie a couple of years later.
The Dutch word "Troel" means "dear" or "sweetheart" in a more informal, sometimes even negative way.
Purk is a baby piglet who wears a diaper and a little bow in her ear.  She is clumsy and messy and loves to get herself dirty. She is still learning how to talk, and she can't walk yet. She is taken care of by everyone on Sesamstraat.
Introduced in 2003, Purk is the newest of the Muppet characters. She was created in order to introduce the subject of "a younger child in the family".  While the Dutch wanted her to be fat, they felt that Purk should not be too fat due to the issue of obesity. It took three years for Sesame Workshop to approve the character. The actual puppet was based on a drawing by Sesamstraat actor and mime artist Hakim Traïda.
Purk debuted in a Sesamstraat "Sinterklaas" special as a surprise.   In the special, Tommie runs away from Sesamstraat, after the adults gave his stuffed crocodile to Purk. Before the taping of the special, Sesamstraat organised a press convention about Purk's 'birth', hosted by Tommie and Ieniemienie.
Purk was designed by Ed Christie and built by Rollie Krewson.
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