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‘Sesame Street’ Cast Members Let Go, But Not Because of HBO; Sesame Workshop Plan, Season 47 Release Date

( [email protected] ) Jul 28, 2016 09:43 PM EDT
It's hard to believe that Sesame Street has been on for over 45 years, but the Muppets teaching educational lessons is still apparently relevant.  Last year, there was a controversy with the show switching from its longtime PBS affiliate to that of HBO.  Not only that, the format switched to that of an hour-long show to a half-hour in length per episode.  Now there is an announcement that some of the cast, the ones that are humans and not puppets, will be let go.  This is what is known about the Sesame Street cast members being let go, and the future of Sesame Workshop and Season 47 Release Date.
Sesame Street lays off human cast members, what is in store for Season 47? Sesame Workshop/AV Club

It's hard to believe that Sesame Street has been on for over 45 years, but the Muppets teaching educational lessons is still apparently relevant.  Last year, there was a controversy with the show switching from its longtime PBS affiliate to that of HBO.  Not only that, the format switched to that of an hour-long show to a half-hour in length per episode.  Now there is an announcement that some of the cast, the ones that are humans and not puppets, will be let go.  This is what is known about the Sesame Street cast members being let go, and the future of Sesame Workshop and Season 47 Release Date. 

The Muppet Cast reports that original cast member Bob McGrath (who plays "Bob" on the show) said at Florida Supercon that he and his fellow cast-mates of Emilio Delgado ("Luis") as well as Roscoe Orman ("Gordon") are leaving Sesame Street.  McGrath said that all of the original cast members have been let go, except for Alan Muraoka and Chris Knowings, who are younger in comparison to the other cast members.  In addition to lost cast members this year, another long-time cast member Sonia Manzano ("Maria") also left the show as of last year. 

Sesame Street's Twitter account states:  "To us, and for millions of people worldwide, they are a treasured part of Sesame Street.  Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of children.  As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years, though you can still expect to see many of them in upcoming productions.  As we've stated previously, Sesame Workshop retains sole creative control over the show.  HBO does not oversee the production."

So, what is the future of Sesame Street?  It is odd that the show transferred over to HBO, where those who aren't subscribers can't watch it right away.  Granted, the episodes will come to PBS nine months later, and kids probably don't know the difference between a new or old episode. 

According to Muppet Wikia, the goal of Season 46 on HBO is to demonstrate kindness, and convey lessons through new themes relevant to the lives and interest of a typical preschool child.  There is a decrease of the parody sketches that have an adult appeal, as apparently it was discovered that most parents are not watching the show with their children. 

That seems a missed opportunity as far as Sesame Street is concerned.  I have seen some of the Sesame Street parody sketches of The Hunger Games, Star Wars, and even HBO's Game of Thrones.  They are actually funnier than what most adults watch on TV, really.  If Sesame Street wanted to, it could easily retool its show into something that both adults and kids can appreciate. 

In other words, Sesame Workshop could easily make the show into something more like The Muppet Show, which has a kid and adult appeal, rather than the failed project of last season's The Muppets, which was horribly aimed at an adult audience. 

In the meantime, Season 46 of Sesame Street will be airing new episodes until early September.  If HBO is following the pattern for the last season of Sesame Street, you can expect to see Season 47 sometime in January of 2017.