World Opens for Sesame

Chamki, Aanchoo, Googly & Boombah. No, those aren't the late Rodney Dangerfield's legal team. They are the new Muppets created for a localized Indian version of Sesame Street, appropriately named Sesame India.

The series, a co-production of Sesame workshop, Turner International and Miditech, launches in mid 2006 on Turner's Cartoon Network in India and kids' channel POGO.

In addition to the series, a radio program and outreach material--flashcards, posters--will be made available. The program will launch in Hindi, with some English. Versions in other languages will be added later.

Elsewhere on the international Muppet front, Sabai, Sabai, Sesame (Happy, Happy Sesame) will launch in Cambodia Dec.13.

Rather than a localized version, it will be the U.S. characters dubbed into Khmer, with segments chosen for cultural appropriateness, according to Sesame Workshop spokeswoman Lauren Ostrow.

For example, Big Bird will not appear because his segments are on the street. No street scenes are included because a New York/New Jersey street doesn't look like a Cambodian street, said Ostrow. It's not something the kids could relate to. There is a lot of Bert and Ernie, she said: "They are really big over there."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.