‘Sesame Street’ leaves US public channel PBS to sign for HBO

Deal will bring much-needed funding for future of award-winning children’s TV show

Sesame Street: US children’s programme will air on HBO in late autumn. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Sesame Street: US children’s programme will air on HBO in late autumn. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

 

The producers of long-running US children’s TV show Sesame Street have struck a five-year partnership with cable channel HBO that will bring much-needed funding for the future of the award-winning show, both companies said on Thursday.

The deal will make the next five seasons of Sesame Street available first on HBO and its on-demand and mobile services, and will allow the makers of the show to produce twice as much new content as they have done in previous seasons, the new partners said in a statement. The new episodes will start running on HBO, a unit of Time Warner Inc, in the late autumn this year.

Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organisation behind the 45-year-old show, said it will produce a Muppet spin-off series and develop a new educational series for children.

Jeffrey D Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s chief executive officer, said the partnership with HBO “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.”

Sesame Street, had previously been broadcast in the United States on publicly-funded PBS, which is free of charge to TV viewers. Under the deal, new episodes of the show will run on PBS after a nine-month window.

– (Reuters)