HBO Max Sesame Street Deal

HBO Max just found the way to Sesame Street, and they’re going to be very comfortable there for at least a few years.

Today, HBO Max and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit media and educational organization behind the long-running children’s program Sesame Street, announced a new deal that will bring the program to the forthcoming streaming service for five new seasons. But that’s just the beginning of this new collaboration arriving just in time for Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary. Find out more about the HBO Max Sesame Street deal below.

A press release from HBO Max has announced that Sesame Street will be shifting from the HBO cable network (where new episodes have premiered for a little while now) to the HBO Max streaming service slated to launch in the spring of 2020. HBO Max has ordered five new seasons of the show, each comprised of 35 new episodes. Beginning with season 51, Sesame Street will premiere first on HBO Max, but it will still continue to air for free on PBS KIDS afterwards.

On top of five new seasons, each year will see an annual Sesame Street special, kicking off with The Monster at the End of This Show, an animated take on The Monster at the End of This Book, a popular Sesame Street title featuring the blue monster Grover.

There will also be brand new Sesame Street programming coming to HBO Max exclusively as well. Four spin-off shows are part of this new deal, including a live-action spin on the late night talk show called The Not Too Late Show with Elmo. The titular red monster will interview a bunch of the celebrity guests that often stop by Sesame Street.

Two of the four new Sesame Street spin-offs will be animated shows. One is Mecha Builders, which is only the working title of the show for now, featuring the characters from Sesame Street in a robot-animation style (whatever that means). HBO Max wasn’t ready to reveal what the second animated show would be though. Joining them will be the animated series Esme & Roy from Sesame Workshop, which will include both a new season of the show and the previous season that’s already available.

Finally, the fourth spin-off series will be a documentary series focusing on key issues for kids and families. The show is said to  be “building off Sesame Workshop’s expertise in tackling difficult issues from a child’s perspective.” And considering all the bullshit that’s happening in the world today, that’s something kids definitely need right now.

And to put a cherry on this Sesame Street sundae, HBO Max will have a special Sesame Street hub that will be full of on-demand Sesame Street content, including new stuff and episodes and segments from the show’s 50-year history. Here’s what HBO Max says their Sesame Street hub will include:

  • Character-driven short-form collections so young viewers can easily access their favorite content
  • A broad collection of Sesame Street episodes selected from the past 50 years – many available to the public on-demand for the first time ever
  • The Sesame Street spinoff, The Furchester Hotel

As someone who grew up on Sesame Street but doesn’t have kids of my own yet, I’m actually interested in going back and watching some of the segments that used to captivate me as a child. It’s nice to see that they’re digging into that big library of content and bringing some of the classic bits back from years before. This one in particular was one of my favorites:

As of now, this partnership is only currently set for the domestic side of HBO Max. But Sesame Workshop and WarnerMedia will be looking into possible international expansion after the streaming service launches. Now if we could get WarnerMedia to announce that the entire library of Looney Tunes shorts will be included on HBO Max, that would be great.

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