Does this mean “Sesame Street” is going highbrow?
The PBS staple is coming to HBO under a new partnership that will show new episodes on the premium cable network and its streaming outlets starting this fall, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the show, announced on Thursday.
Under the reported terms of the deal, there will be 35 new episodes of “Sesame Street” a year (up from 18 currently), and a spinoff series based on the Muppets will also come to HBO.
“Sesame Street” is not done with PBS, though. After nine months of programming shown exclusively on HBO, “Sesame Street” will be available free on PBS. “Sesame Street” will still be shown on PBS this fall, with edited episodes from the past few seasons.
Although “Sesame Street” has historically been associated with the public broadcaster, less than 10 percent of its funding coming from PBS. About two-thirds of children now watch “Sesame Street” on demand, according to The New York Times.
“This partnership is really a great thing for kids,” Jeffrey Dunn, the chief executive of Sesame Workshop, told The Times.