Sesame Street is shifting to HBO Max, with five new seasons, four spinoff series, specials and its 50-year library moving from HBO. The streaming platform is set to launch in spring 2020. Beginning with season 51, Sesame Street will premiere on HBO Max and then air for free on PBS Kids. HBO will continue to air Sesame Street through season 50.
The five seasons will have 35 episodes apiece. A live-action take on a late-night talk show will be titled The Not Too Late Show with Elmo. Elmo hosts.
The deal includes a new season of Esme & Roy and two new animated series, including Mecha Builders (working title), which HBO Max describes as featuring Sesame Street characters “as heroes in a robot-animation style.” The second one has not yet been announced.
Specials will include The Monster at the End of This Show. A new docuseries will explore key issues for kids and families.
“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,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer. “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.”
After a long run on PBS, Sesame Street moved to HBO in 2016. HBO Max stressed that Sesame Street will continue to be available for free on PBS Kids.
“The scope of our partnership with Sesame Workshop is unprecedented,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max, and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV. “The beloved Sesame Street characters and these incredible new shows will be ambassadors for our service and the cornerstone of HBO Max’s extensive kids’ offering.”
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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.