Big Bird, Oscar and Cookie Monster are heading to HBO.
Sesame Workshop has signed an exclusive deal that will bring the next five seasons of "Sesame Street" to the premium cable network and its streaming outlets, beginning this fall. After a nine-month window, the episodes will be available for free on PBS, the home of the beloved children's series for the past 45 years.
Under the agreement, Sesame Workshop will produce 35 episodes this season -- up from the usual 18 -- and develop a spinoff series.
PBS won't be left completely without "Sesame Street" this fall; episodes from recent seasons will be re-edited and presented in a new way.
“Our new partnership with HBO represents a true winning public-private partnership model,” Jeffrey D. Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s CEO, said in a statement. “It 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; it gives HBO exclusive pay cable and SVOD access to the nation’s most important and historic educational programming; and it allows Sesame Street to continue to air on PBS and reach all children, as it has for the past 45 years.”