Sesame heads to HBO Max

Ahead of the SVOD's launch, WarnerMedia also bolstered its kids and family team with two new hires.
October 3, 2019

HBO Max and Sesame Workshop signed a deal to premiere new seasons of Sesame Street starting in 2020, in addition to a new Elmo-hosted talk show, spin-offs, and more.

The agreement for WarnerMedia’s upcoming SVOD service HBO Max includes five new 35-episode seasons of Sesame Street, new series The Not Too Late Show with Elmo, a Sesame Street-spin off Mecha Builders (working title), another new series to be announced at a later date, and a docuseries that will explore key issues for kids and families.

In addition, new annual specials will kick off with The Monster at the End of This Show, and a new season of Esme & Roy.

Season 51 of Sesame Street will premiere on HBO Max and then air for free on PBS Kids, as will all newly commissioned HBO content after its first-run. A Sesame Street hub will feature short-form collections, The Furchester Hotel, and will include many Sesame Street episodes from its 50-year library, which will be the first time they are available on SVOD.

This new pact is domestic only, with Sesame Workshop and WarnerMedia to explore global extensions as HBO Max grows. The new streamer has bolstered its kids and family slate, and recently announced an animated Gremlins show and its Ellen DeGeneres’s animated children’s show.

HBO and Sesame Street signed an exclusive five-year deal four years ago. Sesame has since explored other partnerships with SVODs, including most recently with Apple for new content for the techco’s new streaming service.

In other HBO Max news, the SVOD platform has made its first big kids and family team addition, with two new executives.

Billy Wee (left) and Nikki Reid

Nikki Reed (pictured, right) has been tapped as VP, kids and family scripted originals. She was most recently the VP of original series development for Nickelodeon, and prior to that, oversaw Disney Channel and Disney XD, and was responsible for developing live-action series. She’s also developed feature films including National Treasure, Invincible, and The Kid.

Billy Wee has been named SVP of original animation, and will oversee all original animated programming, including adult animation, kids and family, and anime. Previously, as the VP of original programming at TBS he developed both live-action and animated shows, and has also served as producer at DreamWorks TV and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison.

Both will report to Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of original non-fiction and kids, with Wee additionally reporting to Suzanna Makkos, EVP of original comedy and animation.


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