By Matt Webb Mitovich
The non-profit Sesame Workshop and HBO have struck a deal through which the next five seasons of Sesame Street will premiere on the pay cabler, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and HBO NOW.
But before anyone carps, know this: As a result of this partnership, Sesame Street will be able to produce nearly twice as much new content and, for the first time ever, make the show available for free to PBS, nine months after their HBO debut.
Also as part of the deal, Sesame Workshop will produce a Sesame Street Muppet spinoff series, as well as develop a new educational series for children. HBO has also licensed over 150 past episodes of Sesame Street and approximately 50 episodes each of Pinky Dinky Doo and The Electric Company.
“Our new partnership with HBO represents a true winning public-private partnership model,” Sesame Workshop CEO Jeffrey D. Dunn said in a statement. “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.”
New episodes of Sesame Street will make their HBO debut as early as late fall 2015.