“Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate” Offers Families Connection in Challenging Times
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, recently announced a special simulcast to help kids and families around the world feel connected in this time of uncertainty — an extension of the Caring for Each Other initiative that the organization launched last month.
Featuring everyone’s favorite Sesame Street friends with celebrity guests Anne Hathaway, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Tracee Ellis Ross, Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate will air on WarnerMedia networks — HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and truTV — and PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and streaming platforms throughout the month of April. Beginning April 15, the special will also air in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Singapore and Canada.
“We hope Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate will entertain and inspire families at a moment when so many are feeling isolated and overwhelmed by current events,” said Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s president, media & education, and COO. “With help from our distribution partners around the world, this special will encourage parents and kids to gather and relax as a family, in a way that only the Sesame Street Muppets can.”
The half-hour special follows Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and a few famous friends as they find new ways to play and learn together. Celebrating everyone from the EMTs, doctors, and other everyday heroes who are helping families through the health crisis as well as things like the simple pleasures of baking cookies at home, the playdate takes the form of a cozy video conference that will feel very familiar to today’s viewers.
Celebrities and Sesame Street friends will sing songs, play games, and take silly dance breaks. Tracee Ellis Ross plays a game of “Elmo Says,” Lin-Manuel Miranda pops in for a few rounds of “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” Anne Hathaway and Elmo get moving with “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” and more. Kids will love getting a visit from their Sesame Street friends, and caregivers will appreciate how the special models playful learning opportunities they can use at home.
“WarnerMedia recognizes how difficult these isolation efforts are for families, especially ones with children,” said Bob Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer. “With Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate airing simultaneously across our networks, we are confident that this special will bring family members together for a unique in-home viewing experience that will provide laughter, joy, and relief during this challenging time.”
Sesame Workshop is committed to supporting families through this unprecedented time of uncertainty with the new Caring for Each Other initiative. As the situation evolves, SesameStreet.org/caring will be updated to meet the changing needs of caregivers and young children. The Caring for Each Other resources are designed to help parents: provide comfort and manage anxiety; create routines; foster playful learning at home; and keep kids physically and mentally healthy.
Families can find Sesame Street on HBO, PBS stations, and the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel, with an expanded offering of free on-demand episodes on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app, available for mobile and connected TV devices. Additionally, over 110 Sesame Street ebooks are available for free on all major ebook platforms.
“PBS KIDS is proud to offer Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate to every family across America on air and streaming platforms,” said Lesli Rotenberg, chief programming executive and general manager, children’s media and education, PBS. “With member stations in every community, PBS is committed to using the power of media to support families – especially those who don’t have access to broadband, cable or satellite – every day, and particularly during this challenging time.”