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Apple enters original kids programming with Sesame

The iPhone maker's first foray into original kids content will feature live-action, animated and puppet series produced by Sesame Workshop.
June 21, 2018

Apple has secured a partnership with the makers of Sesame Street for a slate of children’s programs, marking the California tech giant’s first push into original video content for kids.

The content will include a live-action series and an animated series, while a series based on puppets is in development. While no further details about the multi-series order have been announced, Apple has reported that Sesame Street, which broadcasts daily on HBO in the US and continues to air on PBS after debuting 50 years ago, is not part of the deal.

Sesame Street does, however, have a strong existing presence on Apple in the form of eBooks, apps and video content. How Apple will make its new original programs available to viewers, or whether it plans to launch its own streaming service à la Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, remains unclear.

The company’s deal with Sesame Workshop follows its appointment of former Amazon Studios kids programming chief Tara Sorensen to the position of head of creative development, children’s.

Under global video heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, Apple has previously announced a number of original program deals, including a multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, a deal with Steven Spielberg to revive his ’80s anthology series Amazing Stories, and an untitled morning show produced by Reese Witherspoon’s film studio Hello Sunshine.

While its deal with Sesame includes animated series, Apple announced in March that its first original animated show will be Central Park, a musical comedy from 20th Century Fox Television written by Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, alongside Frozen’s Josh Gad and Emmy-winning Bob’s Burgers alum Nora Smith.

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.

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