Sesame Street kicks off season 50 on HBO Nov. 9, its final season on the network before the series shifts to streaming service HBO Max the following season. The season premiere is on 7 p.m. ET/PT, before weekly episodes roll Saturdays at 9 a.m.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosts the premiere, which “reimagines,” in HBO’s words, classic segments and songs like “People in Your Neighborhood” and “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Rarely seen characters, such as Roosevelt Franklin and Kermit the Frog, pop up too.
Guests for the new season include Whoopi Goldberg, Patti LaBelle, Elvis Costello, Meghan Trainor, Sterling K. Brown, Norah Jones, Nile Rodgers and Itzhak Perlman.
Season 50 also features “Big Bird’s Road Trip,” a segment that tours the United States and beyond to find out what kids love about their communities. In each installment, Big Bird meets a new friend and video chats with Elmo back on Sesame Street, sharing what’s special about their families, interests and neighborhoods.
The new season has a curriculum focus called “Oops and Aha!: Embracing the Power of Possibilities” that addresses the stress children deal with in facing academic and social-emotional benchmarks. In one episode, Abby Cadabby’s brother Rudy feels upset when he “ruins” a drawing; Alan encourages him to keep trying, and Rudy eventually creates a new picture inspired by his mistake.
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Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.