Sesame Street Gets HBO Debut Date, Updated Theme and Other Changes

Sesame Street HBO

Sesame Street Season 46 will premiere Saturday, Jan. 16 on HBO, the children’s series’ new home for original episodes. And that’s far from the only change on tap for Elmo, Cookie Monster et al.

The new batch of episodes, as previously reported, will run a “dynamic” 30 minutes (versus an hour), beginning with a double pump on Jan. 16 (starting at 9 am ET). From there on, a new original will air every Saturday at 9, followed by a repeat.

Also new: the show’s theme song is getting an “upbeat update” but still have a “familiar melody”; Cookie Monster has a new segment titled “Smart Cookies” (in which he and fellow crime fighters battle a villain dubbed The Crumb); and Suki Lopez joins the cast as Nina, a young bilingual Hispanic woman with a “natural curiosity.”

HBO’s press release also touts a “reimagined and visually vibrant new set,” where Elmo now has a room in the iconic 123 brownstone, Cookie lives above Hooper’s Store, Big Bird has built a new nest and Oscar will occupy “a more central location.”

Celeb visitors on tap for Season 46 include Gwen Stefani, Pharrell, Nick Jonas, Sara Bareilles, Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish) and Gina Rodriguez (Jane the… something).

As originally reported, new episodes will premiere on HBO (and en Espanol on HBO Latino), then become available to PBS next fall. Additionally, five years’ worth of “library episodes” can be streamed via HBO Now and HBO Go.

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