The newest generation will have to update their parents on how to get to Sesame Street. Begining as early as Fall 2015, the award winning and long running children’s show will now be airing all of it’s new episodes on HBO. The next 5 seasons will air on HBO first, but rest assured, the show will still be a fixture on PBS.
As part of the deal, the newest episodes will air on PBS 9 months after their original air date. This is similar to the way we all watch Downton Abbey. In case you didn’t know, those episodes air on the BBC in the UK first and we see them about 6 months later. Or, as die hard fans see it, an eternity!!!
Additionally, the best news of all is that the episodes will now be free to PBS. If you remember back to the 2012 presidential campaign, you can’t defund Big Bird. PBS currently pays Sesame Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, $4 million annually. While that is a drop in the bucket to a company earning handsomly on royalties and licensing, it is a lot for a non-profit public television network.
HBO is truly home to most of the show we watch. Our favorite comedy is Veep (which makes us laugh every time), the belief that John Snow is alive will bring us back to GOT, and they have adopted our favorite correspondent, John Oliver. I’ve heard time and time again that a partnership with HBO production has strengthened and freed writers/comedians. Sesame Street has long been known for their excellent programming and surprise celeb appearances. I think it is possible that a partnership with HBO could strengthen the show even further for our children.
So, PBS will continue to air new and old episodes of Sesame Street, HBO will expand funding leading to an increase in production quantity (and most likey quality), and the show is now secure for another generation. I would also add that, as a traveling family, the prospect of Sesame Street on demand through an app I already use, is a major perk!