Documentary Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street premieres on HBO December 13. Inspired by the book Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street, by Michael Davis, the film is directed by Marilyn Agrelo.
HBO calls Street Gang “a rare window into the early days of Sesame Street, revealing the creators, artists, writers and educators who together established one of the most influential and enduring children’s programs in television history. The documentary focuses on the first two experimental and groundbreaking decades of Sesame Street, highlighting this visionary ‘gang’ that audaciously interpreted radical changes in society and engaged children in ways that entertained and educated in new and innovative ways.”
HBO Max will stream the movie.
In the late 1960s, television executive Joan Ganz Cooney reached out to Muppets creator Jim Henson and children’s television writer/director Jon Stone to craft Sesame Street. “The creative team knew their bold vision would only move the needle if it appealed to both children and their parents. Inspired by the civil rights movement, Cooney took this one step further, envisioning a program that would not only entertain and educate children, but specifically reach urban communities with less advantaged children with low socioeconomic status, in an effort to fight the educational gap that racism and poverty created,” said HBO.
The film features over 20 original cast and creator interviews.
Trevor Crafts, Ellen Scherer Crafts and Lisa Diamond produce Street Gang while Brian O’Shea, Nat McCormick, Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor, Mark Myers and Heather Kenyon executive produce. Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller exec produce for HBO.
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.
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