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08/14/15

Street crime: Sesame Street heads to HBO, but does it belong there?

How do you get to "Sesame Street?" Well, apparently by flipping the channel to HBO.
The long running kids show, which has aired on PBS for more than 40 years, still is going to stay put on PBS with older shows, but for the next five seasons, HBO is going to produce first run, half hour shows versus the current hour format.
In addition, HBO is going to take the Sesame Street brand and branch it out significantly with a "Sesame Workshop" and Muppet spinoff series.
HBO is set to start airing new Sesame Street this fall.
All parties involved couldn't be happier with the deal, which seems to be the next chapter in Sesame Street and could breathe some life into the iconic kids program.

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But does Sesame Street really belong next to the likes of Tony Soprano, Carrie Bradshaw and the cast of "Game of Thrones?" You could argue that Sesame Street is a kids show, and HBO is in the business of piecing together sitcoms, dramas and other first run programming that is geared more toward adults.
That mentality has some validity to it, but you would hardly believe that Big Bird or Oscar the Grouch all of a sudden is going to put a hit out on Grover any time soon as part of a new episode. So, is Sesame Street suddenly going to get edgier?
The answer: no, not even close.
This move gives Sesame Street a viable outlet that goes beyond PBS and allows HBO to work its magic and put some of its spin on a series that is beloved and is going to be around forever. That "spin" is simply giving the show another platform and putting kids' programming on a network that is equal parts popular and involved in on demand programming that parents are simply clamoring for on a daily basis. Let's not forget that the HBO Go app is going to put Sesame Street on the map as far as being able to be accessed any time and anywhere. Parents in 2015 love that idea, so they can prop up the iPad and let the kids enjoy their favorite show at a moment's notice.
HBO certainly isn't new to marketing, promotion and getting involved in kids' shows, either. They're well equipped both financially and creatively to not only air Sesame Street but take the name value and deliver spinoff series that become a perfect compliment to the original.
HBO and Sesame Street go together perfectly, and the partnership reeks of perfection and the kind of buddying up that would make Bert and Ernie feel jealous.

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