Sesame Street meets The Wire? Not really, but the long running children’s television series is heading to HBO in the fall.
You’ll still be able to catch Oscar, Ernie, Big Bird and company on free TV, but after nine month on pay TV.
Reports thew New York Times:
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit group behind the children’s television program, has struck a deal with HBO, the premium cable network, that will bring the next five seasons of “Sesame Street” to HBO and its streaming outlets starting this fall.
The partnership will allow Sesame Workshop to significantly increase its production of “Sesame Street” episodes and other new programming. The group will produce 35 new “Sesame Street” episodes a year, up from the 18 it produces now. Sesame Workshop also will create a spinoff series based on the “Sesame Street” Muppets and another new educational series for children.
After nine months of programming exclusively on HBO, the shows also will be available free on PBS, its home for the last 45 years. “Sesame Street” will also continue its run on PBS this fall, with the season featuring a selection of episodes from the last several seasons edited in new ways.
The financials of the deal have not been revealed, but it’s a safe bet that payout is chunky.
Reportedly, Sesame has struggled financially recently due to the rise of streaming and on-demand services, which cost the licensing income. The Times reports that two-thirds of children don’t even watch Sesame Street on PBS.
HBO’s streaming service, HBO Now, just became a must have for parents, who can afford it.