Earlier this summer, Sesame Street announced that its next five seasons would air on HBO, after running for more than four decades on PBS. Now that first HBO season — Sesame Street's 46th — has a premiere date: January 16th, 2016. Two new 30-minute episodes will air back to back on that day, with one new episode followed by a repeat airing the following Saturdays.
This is how you get to Sesame Street
In addition to the new half-hour format (episodes used to run for a full hour on PBS), several other changes will coincide with the show's move to HBO. Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of a new cast member, Nina, a young Hispanic woman. Cookie Monster, the Clint Eastwood of Sesame Street, will get a new segment in which he fights crime with a group of cookies. And the show's guest list is as impressive as ever, with Gwen Stefani, Pharrell, Alan Cumming, Ne-Yo, and Tracee Ellis Ross all signed on to star in an episode. The HBO version of S-Street will also feature a new theme song.
HBO's increased focus on children's programming is an attempt to entice more subscribers with young children — something Netflix has excelled at recently. But PBS purists shouldn't worry too much: PBS Kids will still air reruns of Sesame Street every day of the week except Saturday, and the new season will air at the end of 2016.