"Sesame Street" made its debut on HBO on Saturday, ushering in a new, fancier era for the iconic children's program.
The show posted the first two episodes of its 46th season on YouTube.
The show's parent company, the Sesame Workshop, announced in August that it was partnering with HBO in order to stave off financial doom. From now on, new episodes of "Sesame Street" will premiere first on HBO. Kids who don't get the channel will have to wait nine months to watch new material on the show's old home, PBS. Many worried about the symbolism of one of public television's crown jewels being forced to go behind a premium cable paywall. Defenders of the deal said it was the only way to ensure the future of "Sesame Street."
Over the past week, several articles have noted that the HBO version of "Sesame Street" appears to have gentrified the titular block. From the New York Times:
Big Bird’s nest has moved to a tree. Elmo has moved from an apartment into a brownstone. His best friend, Abby Cadabby, loves her new community garden. And while Oscar the Grouch still makes a trash can his home, he now pops up through an underground tunnel of connecting recycling and compost bins.
There will also be other alterations, such as a focus on a pared-down cast of characters and a reduced emphasis on the celebrity cameos and parody sketches that have been prominent in recent years.
Of course, while this is one of the biggest changes in the history of "Sesame Street," the show is always evolving. Just compare the opening credit sequence from the first season of "Sesame Street," way back in 1969, with the newest one. You wouldn't even know you were looking at the same show.