A Holiday Special and a New Season Come to "Sesame Street" and HBO

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21 November 2016
Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas
Courtesy of HBO
“Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas”
Debuts Friday, November 25 at 7 PM ET/PT on HBO
“Sesame Street”
Kicks Off Season 47 Saturday, January 7 at 9 AM ET/PT on HBO
            SESAME STREET has been educating and entertaining kids, helping them grow smarter, stronger and kinder, for more than four decades. Now, just in time for the holiday season, the fun-filled extended special “ONCE UPON A SESAME CHRISTMAS” debuts FRIDAY, NOV. 25 (7:00-8:00 p.m. ET/PT), while the new season of SESAME STREET launches SATURDAY, JAN. 7 (9:00-9:30 a.m. ET/PT), on HBO.

            ONCE UPON A SESAME CHRISTMAS opens with the lyrical number “Holiday Lights,” a musical glimpse into the homes of Sesame Street families celebrating winter holidays, and unfolds into a fanciful bedtime story that brings the past alive. After a day of holiday fun, while being tucked into bed on Christmas Eve, Elmo asks, “Why do we leave cookies out for Santa?”

            As his father spins a tale about a dreary Sesame Street of yesteryear, a place so unfriendly not even Santa Claus would visit, viewers are transported to a period-perfect 19th-century city neighborhood, with characters in authentic hand-sewn costumes, but marked by unkindness and a serious lack of holiday spirit. Luckily, Elmo’s great-great-great-grandmonster moves into the neighborhood with the best of intentions and endless good will, gradually winning over the unhappy citizens and bringing kindness and cheer to Sesame Street once and for all.

          In addition to familiar Sesame Street denizens – Elmo, Grover, Big Bird, Bert, Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, Cookie Monster and The Count – ONCE UPON A SESAME CHRISTMAS features special guest appearances by Zosia Mamet (HBO’s “Girls”); six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald (HBO’s “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill”); and Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”).
Sesame Street
Courtesy of HBO
            On Saturday, Jan. 7, SESAME STREET kicks off its new season on HBO with a reimagined “Elmo’s World” segment, where lessons are taught through pre-school relevant topics, films and interactive thinking games. Kids accompany Elmo and his friend Smartie, an animated cell phone and learning tool, as Elmo uses his imagination to dive into the topic of the day. Tony winner Bill Irwin returns as Mr. Noodle, who brings along new family members, played by Tony and Grammy winner Daveed Diggs (Broadway’s “Hamilton”) and comedian Daniel Koren.

            SESAME STREET’s new kindness curriculum is woven throughout the upcoming season, with a new “kindness cam” segment, where kids point out the kindness moment from the episode, reinforcing learning. A recent study released by Sesame Workshop revealed that nearly three-quarters of parents and almost four-fifths of teachers say they “often” worry that the world is an unkind place for children, and a majority believe that people generally don’t go out of their way to help others. SESAME STREET addresses these concerns by modeling positive interactions and illustrating how to be caring and compassionate citizens. Along with lessons of kindness throughout the season, the curriculum will be the centerpiece of a multi-city pop-up kindness tour that will launch in January to engage with communities at local libraries and other regional sites.

            The new season of SESAME STREET features an array of high-profile guests, including singer-songwriter Sia; R&B singer Jason Derulo; James Corden, host of “The Late Late Show”; pop singer Tori Kelly; Anthony Mackie (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”); and the country band Little Big Town.

Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas
Courtesy of HBO
            New episodes will debut Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. (ET/PT), followed by a repeat episode at 9:30 a.m., with simultaneous presentation on HBO Latino in Spanish. New and past seasons of SESAME STREET air daily on HBO Family at 8:00 a.m., as well as on HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

            January’s episodes:
            Season 47, Episode 1: “Be Kind to Your Worm”
            Debut: SATURDAY, JAN. 7 (9:00-9:30 a.m. ET/PT)
            Oscar participates in Be Kind to Your Worm Day activities.
            Season 47, Episode 2: “The Kindness Kid”
            Debut: SATURDAY, JAN. 14 (9:00-9:30 a.m.)
            The Kindness Kid (Zachary Levi) visits Sesame Street to spread kindness.
            Season 47, Episode 3: “Abby Helps Clear Things Up”
            Debut: SATURDAY, JAN. 21 (9:00-9:30 a.m.)
            Abby helps Prince Charming calm down at the eye doctor’s office.
            Season 47, Episode 4: “Super Sitters”
            Debut: SATURDAY, JAN. 28 (9:00-9:30 a.m.)
            Grover and Cookie Monster help Chris babysit and learn how to take care of a baby.
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