Sesame Street is on the move again—this time to a streaming service.
The iconic children’s television series, which relocated to HBO in 2015, is now headed for WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, HBO Max.
The move is part of a new content partnership deal with Sesame Workshop, covering five new seasons of Sesame Street, four new series, annual series and Sesame Street’s 50-year library.
Starting with Season 51, Sesame Street will debut on HBO Max and will be available on PBS approximately nine months later. The new series that premiere on HBO Max will also eventually be available on PBS.
HBO will air Sesame Street through the upcoming Season 50, at which point the series will migrate to its sibling streaming service, which is scheduled to debut next year.
The deal includes five new 35-episode seasons of Sesame Street and annual Sesame Street specials. First up: The Monster at the End of This Show, an animated version of the kids book The Monster at the End of This Book.
HBO Max will also debut four new shows, including a Sesame Street, family-centric version of a late-night talk show, called The Not Too Late Show With Elmo. Also on tap: an animated spinoff called Mecha Builders, featuring Sesame Street characters in a robot-animation style, and a second animated series to be announced later. A new docuseries will tackle important issues for kids and families.
Additionally, HBO Max will feature a Sesame Street hub, with a collection of Sesame Street episodes from the past 50 years, short-form collections around specific characters and Sesame Street spinoff The Furchester Hotel.
Increasingly, kids programs have become the secret weapon of streaming services as they look to keep subscribers, especially with the upcoming streaming wars.
“Sesame Street is, and always has been, the gold standard for children’s programming, and we’re thrilled that Sesame Workshop chose HBO Max as its new partner,” wrote Robert Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia entertainment and direct-to-consumer, in a statement. “This brand is synonymous with quality and integrity, not to mention that nothing is more important than educating young new minds. This landmark deal perfectly illustrates the type of quality programming HBO Max will offer across every demographic.”
Added Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s president of media and education and COO, in a statement, “Producing this broad slate will help us deliver on our mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder. We are also excited about partnering with WarnerMedia and AT&T as we seek ways to expand Sesame Workshop’s impact around the world.”
The deal is U.S. only, but Sesame Workshop and WarnerMedia said they will explore expanding globally as HBO Max grows.
In 2015, Sesame Street and HBO signed a five-year partnership, calling for all new episodes of the long-running series to first air on HBO and its multiple channels. After a nine-month window, those episodes were then made available to PBS, which has been the show’s home since it debuted in 1969.