Open Sesame is the umbrella term coined by Children's Television Workshop to describe a specific format of Sesame Street adaptation. In contrast to the full co-production models, Open Sesame shows are dubs, initially packaged as either 13 or 27 segment blocks. In the earliest years, a locally produced opening film, often featuring animated versions of Sesame Street characters, introduced the series, and was the only local footage used. In more recent decades, the openings have generally been produced in the United States of America, by Bill Davis' studio. With few exceptions, nearly every show in this model was called Open Sesame, as translated into the native language of the intended country. The first series of packages in the 1990s mostly consisted of material from seasons three through twenty-four of the American show, while the second series included more bits from the following two seasons, as well as more segments from the first two seasons (they also added segments featuring Big Bird, who was almost entirely absent from the first package).
The earliest seasons of Sesamstrasse, while not officially part of the format, used a variation, but incorporated a greater amount of local film and cartoon inserts. The first Open Sesame packages debuted in 1975 and 1976, in Spain, Sweden, France, and Montreal, Canada. By 1979, Portugal and Italy had followed suit. Some of these countries, based on the success of the dubbed series, later expanded into co-productions, with varying levels of success.
Open Sesame Shows
- Iceland, Sesam Opnist Þú
- Malaysia, Taman Sesame
- Pakistan, Khul Ja Sim Sim
- Portugal, Abre-Te Sesamo, 1976
- Turkey, Açıl Susam Açıl, 2001-2011
- Borgenicht, David "Around the World with Sesame Street." Sesame Street Unpaved.
- Lesser, Gerald, Edward L. Palmer, and Milton Chen. "Sesame Street: Patterns of International Adaptation." Journal of Communication. Spring 1976.
- CTW. 1979 Corporate Review.