For five decades, Sesame Street has been helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. This November, the groundbreaking show launches its 50th season with a special evening presentation of the Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, debuting Saturday, Nov. 9 (7:00-7:45 p.m. ET/PT), followed by new weekly episodes starting Saturday, Nov. 16 (9:00-9:30 a.m.).
The new season begins with Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, a star-studded primetime special that offers a sweeping look at fifty years on the Street. Hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the special reimagines classic segments and songs like “People in Your Neighborhood” and “It’s Not Easy Being Green” as the Sesame Street gang gets ready for a big celebration. The special includes cameos from rarely seen characters like Roosevelt Franklin and Kermit the Frog, and visits from celebrity guests Whoopi Goldberg, Patti LaBelle, Elvis Costello, Meghan Trainor, Sterling K. Brown, Norah Jones, Nile Rodgers, and Itzhak Perlman. Human cast members returning for the special include Bob McGrath (Bob), Sonia Manzano (Maria), Emilio Delgado (Luis), Loretta Long (Susan), Roscoe Orman (Gordon), Linda Bove (Linda), Alison Bartlett (Gina), Nitya Vidyasagar (Leela), and Olamide Faison (Miles).
Season 50 of Sesame Street also features “Big Bird’s Road Trip,” a special segment that tours the United States and beyond to find out what kids love about their communities. In each installment, Big Bird meets a new friend and video chats Elmo back on Sesame Street, sharing what’s special about their families, interests and neighborhoods.
This season, the iconic children’s curriculum focus “Oops and Aha!: Embracing the Power of Possibilities” addresses a pervasive issue facing young children. Today’s preschool kids are under an unprecedented amount of stress and pressure to meet certain academic and social-emotional benchmarks, often before they’re developmentally ready. That result-oriented mindset can make kids afraid to take even the safest risks, like coloring outside the lines or asking “silly” questions.
Individual episodes throughout the season show how caring adults can help relieve that pressure by giving kids room to make mistakes and tools to persevere afterwards. In one episode, for example, Abby Cadabby’s brother Rudy feels upset when he “ruins” a drawing; Alan encourages him to keep trying, and Rudy eventually creates a new picture inspired by his mistake.
Sesame Street is also currently available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand partners’ streaming platforms. Starting with season 51, HBO Max will be the streaming home of Sesame Street with premiere episodes and exclusive access to the entire 50-year Sesame Street library. Sesame Street content continues to be available to PBS KIDS viewers.