Sesame Street has found a new home for the year 2020. The beloved children’s series will be moved to HBO Max for its 51st season run. The deal will include a package of five new seasons of Sesame Street, several spinoffs, series’ universe extensions, and specials based on the show’s already existing digital 50-year library. However, episodes will continue to be syndicated on PBS several months after their initial airing through HBO’s upcoming streaming platform.
“Sesame Street is, and always has been, the gold standard for children’s programming, and we’re thrilled that Sesame Workshop chose HBO Max as its new partner,” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer, mentioned in an official statement. “This brand is synonymous with quality and integrity, not to mention that nothing is more important than educating young new minds. This landmark deal perfectly illustrates the type of quality programming HBO Max will offer across every demographic.”
The overall deal with the Sesame Workshop includes five 35-episode seasons of Sesame Street; annual specials titled, The Monster at the End of This Show, an animated version of the Grover-starring Monster at the End of This Book and a new season of Esme & Roy. So far, two other unnamed animated series and a documentary anthology are also in the works with the latter exploring key issues kids and families face. The Not Too Late Show With Elmo, a Sesame Street version of a late-night talk show will also populate HBO’s roster.
Despite Sesame Street being a public television staple since its humble beginnings in 1969, PBS made an initial deal back in 2015 with HBO that allowed the network any syndication rights to episodes, leading to a natural transition of sorts— home audience viewership for PBS has dipped consistently for the past few years. HBO Max will help ignite that flame and will additionally feature a Sesame Street hub that will focus on character-driven shortform collections, a selection of episodes from the spinoff The Furchester Hotel alongside the show’s currently offered catalog.
“As we celebrate 50 years of Sesame Street and look to the future, we are thrilled to enter into this powerful partnership with HBO Max and their growing offering of best-in-class content,” commented Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s president of media and education and COO. “Producing this broad slate will help us deliver on our mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. We are also excited about partnering with WarnerMedia and AT&T as we seek ways to expand Sesame Workshop’s impact around the world.”