Brow Beat

Sesame Street Will Now Air on HBO. It Also Has a Lively History of Spoofing HBO.

GrouchBO, coming soon to HBO.  

Sesame Street

Sesame Street, the beloved children’s show that has spent the past 45 seasons on PBS, will air its next five seasons on HBO, the New York Times reported Thursday. The new partnership will result in an increase in episodes—an estimated 35 a season—and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind the show, will create a spinoff series as well as another educational show for children. After nine months, the episodes will be made available on PBS. (Old episodes of the show “edited in new ways” will continue to run on PBS, starting this fall.) 

The move will likely help the show, which currently gets less than 10 percent of its funding from PBS, reach new viewers. As Forrest Wickman explained in 2012, Sesame Street does in fact lose money, not making nearly enough in product licensing to cover expenses.

Although the Times reports that about two-thirds of children watch the show via streaming sites, thus already forgoing PBS, many on Twitter have blamed the move on the show’s gentrification.

But Sesame Street has always had eyes for HBO. Known as of late for its parodies and spoofs aimed at parents, the show has long tried to make HBO programming accessible to a younger population.

The first in a stream of HBO parodies was Birdwalk Empire, Sesame Street’s take on Boardwalk Empire in 2012.

In June 2014, “GrouchBO” introduced the “yuckiest show on telelvision”: True Mud, a dirty, and hilarious take on True Blood before its series finale.

And, an all-time favorite, before the Season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones, Sesame Street introduced the decidedly less deadly Game of Chairs.