The NY Times reports ‘Sesame Street’ to Air First on HBO for Next 5 Seasons
The next five seasons of Sesame Street will air on HBO first and then after 9 months on PBS. They'll up their season from 18 to 35 episodes.
"Sesame’s partnership with HBO comes at a critical time for the children’s television group. Historically, less than 10 percent of the funding for ‘Sesame Street’ episodes came from PBS, with the rest financed through licensing revenue, such as DVD sales. Sesame’s business has struggled in recent years because of the rapid rise of streaming and on-demand viewing and the sharp decline in licensing income. About two-thirds of children now watch ‘Sesame Street’ on demand and do not tune in to PBS to watch the show."
When Republicans wanted to kill funding for PBS the cry was to "save Sesame Street". As a few suggested then, Sesame Street wasn't really in danger, someone would come to their rescue. Other programs will have a much harder time. But between this and the Deadwood announcement I can't think of two more distant kinds of programs to be on the same network.