It was announced earlier this summer that Sesame Street would air it’s next five seasons on HBO after four decade on PBS. When the deal was announced, it was seen as a win for the cash-strapped Sesame Workshop but it also drew a tremendous amount of criticism from many educational television supporters. The chief complaint was that Sesame Street was being removed from public television and turned over to a premium channel that’s known for it’s less than kid friendly content. For HBO it’s a great move because they are now aligning themselves with the most recognizable children’s program in history. That first season on HBO (Sesame Street’s 46th) – will premiere on January 16th, 2016. Two new 30-minute episodes will air back to back that day.
With Sesame Street’s new half-hour format (On PBS they would run an hour long), several other changes will occur along with the show’s move to HBO. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of a new cast member, Nina, a young Hispanic Woman. Cookie Monster will have a brand new segment where he fights crime with cookies. Elmo will move into a brownstone at 123 Sesame Street (which is a big step for Elmo) , Cookie Monster will move into an apartment above Hooper’s Store ( poor Alan), Big Bird will settle into a new nest ( Big Bird doesn’t handle change well) and Oscar will be in a new garbage can . Scheduled to appear in the first group of episodes are Gwen Stefani, Pharell, Alan Cumming, and Ne-Yo. The HBO version of Sesame Street will also feature a new theme song.
Reruns of the previous seasons of Sesame Street will still air on PBS five days a week. Sesame Street purists won’t have to wait too long to see the new season of the hit children’s show as it will air on PBS in late 2016.