HBO to air 5 seasons of ‘Sesame Street’

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2001, file photo, Muppets Bert, left, and Ernie, from the children's program "Sesame Street," are shown in New York. Under a new partnership announced Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, by Sesame Workshop and HBO, the premium cable channel will carry the next five seasons of "Sesame Street" on HBO and its related platforms. PBS, the long-time home of the children's program, will continue to air the show as well. (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) — The road to “Sesame Street” now runs through HBO.

The network announced that it will air new episodes of the long-running kids show for the next five years. Nine months after the episodes air on HBO – they will run for free on PBS

Industry analysts say this is part of HBO’s effort to boost subscriptions for their new internet streaming service. The deal will allow the Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization, to produce almost double the content of previous seasons, HBO and the workshop said.

Sesame Street’s move to HBO inspired several memes.

Including – Elmo with the cast of “Game of Thrones.”

Besides “Sesame Street,” the workshop will make a Muppets spinoff series and a new original educational series for children. HBO said it also has licensed more than 150 past episodes of “Sesame Street.”

The move by HBO reflects another reality: Fledgling TV competitors such as Amazon and Netflix are making their own forays into children’s programming as part of their streaming services.

The new episodes will begin airing as early as fall 2015, with HBO the exclusive, first-run subscription TV distribution partner for “Sesame Street” and the new series, in both English and Spanish.

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