HBO is ready to unveil its version of the long-running children’s show “Sesame Street” on Jan. 16, and Reuters reports that the new series will include some major changes from the PBS version — including a new Latina character, different sets, shorter episodes and an updated theme song.
“HBO and show producers said on Tuesday that Muppets Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird will be joined by real-life character Nina — a young, bilingual Latina who works at the laundromat and bike store — when the educational series arrives at its new home,” Reuters reports.
In a statement, producers indicated the episodes will be cut to 30 minutes each, the theme song has received a “new upbeat update” and the set has been “reimagined.”
Brown Johnson, creative director of Sesame Workshop, said: “Families will see fun and fresh changes to ‘Sesame Street’ and can depend on their favorite Muppet friends to provide them with engaging and educational content.”
Reuters adds: “In the new season, Big Bird has a new nest, Cookie Monster has moved above Hooper’s Store, and Elmo has moved into the 123 Sesame Street brownstone house.”
Celebrity cameos, a mainstay of the older version of the show, will continue. Among the visitors lined up for the new season are Gwen Stefani, Pharrell, Nick Jonas and Sara Bareilles.