The iconic Sesame Street, which has aired on PBS for 45 years, is moving to HBO.
Don't worry – you won't have to subscribe to HBO to watch Sesame Street. But HBO will be the first place it airs, and the broadcasting company gets a nine-month window.
HBO and Sesame Workshop have just announced a five-year deal that will give HBO first-run rights to Sesame Street – meaning the show will appear on HBO and its streaming platforms (HBO GO and HBO NOW) well before it hits PBS.
“We are absolutely thrilled to help secure the future of Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop’s mission for the nation’s kids and families,” said Richard Plepler, Chairman and CEO of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, President, HBO Programming. “Home Box Office is committed to bringing the most groundbreaking and creative shows to its audience. Sesame Street is the most important preschool education program in the history of television. We are delighted to be a home for this extraordinary show, helping Sesame Street expand and build its franchise.”
The new episodes will hit HBO as early at late fall of this year, says the company.
The deal also gives HBO over 150 library episodes of Sesame Street, as well as past episodes of other Sesame Workshop shows like Pinky Dinky Doo and The Electric Company.
For Sesame Workshop, the deal allows for a giant boost in production. The partnership lets it produce 35 new episodes of Sesame Street a year – up from 18. And "for the first time ever, make the show available free of charge to PBS and its member stations."
“Our new partnership with HBO represents a true winning public-private partnership model,” said Jeffrey D. Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s CEO. “It provides Sesame Workshop with the critical funding it needs to be able to continue production of Sesame Street and secure its nonprofit mission of helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder; it gives HBO exclusive pay cable and SVOD access to the nation’s most important and historic educational programming; and it allows Sesame Street to continue to air on PBS and reach all children, as it has for the past 45 years.”