HBO Max Orders 5 New ‘Sesame Street’ Seasons and 4 Spinoffs, Including an Elmo Talk Show

Annual specials and legendary preschool program’s 50-year library also head to WarnerMedia streaming service

Sesame Street
Sesame Workshop

No one needs to tell WarnerMedia and HBO Max bosses Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly how to get to Sesame Street.

The upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service is taking “Sesame Street” from HBO under an expanded relationship with Sesame Workshop. The new agreement will bring five more seasons of “Sesame Street” and four spinoffs to HBO Max, as well as annual specials and the legendary preschool program’s 50-year library.

Sunny days, indeed.

The deal is currently just for the United States, though the parties are looking towards expanding globally as HBO Max does. HBO Max is set to launch here in Spring 2020.

Seasons 51-55 of “Sesame Street” will each feature 35 new episodes. After the seasons and episodes premiere on HBO Max, they will become available for free on PBS Kids about nine months after they debut on the SVOD service.

This latest batch of spinoffs includes a “family centric live-action take on a late night talk show,” according to HBO Max and Sesame Workshop, “The Not Too Late Show With Elmo.” That one will feature “Sesame Street’s” “celebrity friends,” of which any parent of an infant or toddler will tell you is no short list.

There will be two new animated series. The first is a direct spinoff of “Sesame Street” tentatively titled “Meccha Builders.” That one will feature “favorite ‘Sesame Street’ characters as heroes in a robot-animation style,” according to HBO Max and Sesame Workshop. Details on the second cartoon will be announced at a later date.

This deal also includes a new docuseries that “will explore key issues for kids and families, building off Sesame Workshop’s expertise in tackling difficult issues from a child’s perspective,” the companies said in Thursday’s announcement.

The specials will start with “The Monster at the End of This Show,” an animated version of “The Monster at the End of This Book.”

Finally, HBO Max has ordered a new season of “Esme & Roy,” and its “Sesame Street” hub will also absorb previous spinoff, “The Furchester Hotel.”

“‘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,” said Greenblatt, who is chairman of WarnerMedia entertainment and direct-to-consumer. “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.” 

“The scope of our partnership with Sesame Workshop is unprecedented,” added Reilly, the chief content officer of HBO Max and president of TBS, TNT, and truTV. “The beloved ‘Sesame Street’ characters and these incredible new shows will be ambassadors for our service and the cornerstone of HBO Max’s extensive kids’ offering.”

“As we celebrate 50 years of ‘Sesame Street’ and look to the future, we are thrilled to enter into this powerful partnership with HBO Max and their growing offering of best-in-class content,” said Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s president of media and education and chief operating officer. “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.”