Does ‘Sesame Street’ Airing on HBO Even Matter When It’s Free on YouTube?

There are plenty of changes on “Sesame Street” this week, and we’re not talking about Oscar the Grouch finally trading that garbage can for a swanky new condo. Or are we? Just today, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit operation behind the award-winning children’s television show, announced a five-year deal with HBO.

That’s right, the same folks that bring you “Game of Thrones” and “True Detective” will now be the guys sweeping the clouds away. And some folks are NOT happy about this. But really, what’s the big deal? Netflix has “Jack and the Neverland Pirates” and “Orange Is the New Black.” And if you don’t have HBO, the show will still be available for free on PBS (and helloYouTube).

READ: My Kids Do Watch a Teensy Bit of TV

Now, in its 46th year, Sesame Street’s next five seasons will be available to HBO and its streaming outlets starting this fall.  Despite all the backlash today, the real news, in my humble opinion, came Wednesday with PBS’s statement  that it will discontinue the hour-long weekday specials and replace them instead with 30 minute episodes. Really?

It’s not that I think kids should be sitting in front of their televisions–er…their parent’s laptops and iPads–longer, but the former teacher in me finds it horrifying that they’re not able to sit there for the full hour like we did. It’s a rite of passage!

Now, let me interrupt this Public Service Announcement with a few of my favorite Sesame Street clips:

Joanna Valente

Joanna Valente (Editorial Assistant) is the author of Sirs & Madams and The Gods Are Dead and received her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. Her full-length collection Marys of the Sea is forthcoming from ELJ Publications in 2016. In her free time, she is also the editor of Yes Poetry & Luna Luna Magazine. You can follow her @joannasaid and reach her at

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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