HBO has long been known as the place for adults to go for adult TV. If you want unfiltered swearing, ultra-violence and as much nudity as a soft-core porn, it’s your go-to channel.
But now HBO will be home to one of the most beloved children’s programs in history — Sesame Street.
HBO and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, announced a five-year partnership today. The new seasons of Sesame Street will premiere on HBO before being available on PBS. Viewers will also be able to access Sesame Street via HBO’s streaming channels, including HBO GO, HBO On Demand and HBO NOW.
In a release, Sesame Workshop stated that the new deal will enable them to produce “twice as much new content as previous seasons.” After a nine-month window, the new shows will then be available free of charge to PBS.
It’s an interesting model, a paid subscription channel funding shows that will eventually make their way to public television.
According to Variety, PBS only funded about 10 percent of of Sesame Street‘s production, the rest coming from its parent org, Sesame Workshop. The Workshop relied on licensing and revenues through sales of DVDs.
Obviously, we all know what’s happened to DVDs in this streaming world of ours.
“Over the past decade, both the way in which children are consuming video and the economics of the children’s television production business have changed dramatically,” said Joan Ganz Cooney, co-founder of Sesame Street, in a prepared statement via Variety. “In order to fund our nonprofit mission with a sustainable business model, Sesame Workshop must recognize these changes and adapt to the times.”
Additionally, HBO and Sesame Workshop announced a spinoff series about the Sesame Street muppets and another new educational series for kids as yet to be named. HBO has also licensed more than 150 past episodes of the original show.
HBO also announced that it will license about 50 past episodes of two other popular children’s programs, Pinky Dinky Doo, an animated series for preschoolers that focuses on early literacy, and The Electric Company.
New Sesame Street episodes might start airing as early as this fall. Just make sure to monitor the remote. The last thing you need is to explain Game of Thrones to your kids.