‘Sesame Street’ Is Kicking Off Its Landmark 50th Season With All-New Episodes This Week

It’s time for the 50th season of Sesame Street! Get back to everyone’s favorite street with Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Grover, and the whole gang. The legendary children’s program kicks off season 50 with all-new episodes on Saturday, Nov. 16 on HBO.

The cast of 'Sesame Street'
The cast of ‘Sesame Street’ | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for HBO

“This is a remarkable milestone for kids, for education and for television. Sesame Street has now brought the life-changing benefits of early learning to children around the globe for 50 years,” said Jeffrey D. Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s Chief Executive Officer.

“Our mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder knows no geographic boundaries. We’re everywhere families are and we never stop innovating and growing. That’s what keeps us timeless.”

How ‘Sesame Street’ defined children’s television

The revolutionary kids’ show about life on an inner-city street changed the way children learn and relate to their environments. Using relatable characters and teaching through song, Sesame Street set the bar for how children’s programming should be done.

“In 1969, Sesame Workshop’s founders asked a single bold question,” the Sesame Workshop states on its website. “Could television—then an emerging technology—be used to educate kids? With a diverse cast, a research-based curriculum, and some instantly-iconic characters, Sesame Street sought to answer that question—and it changed children’s television forever.”

(L-R) Daniel Seagren holding and Jim Henson working Ernie and Frank Oz with Bert rehearse for an episode of Sesame Street at Reeves TeleTape Studio in March, 1970 in New York City, New York | David Attie/Getty Images

“Fifty years after the start of our daring experiment, we have more original shows in production than ever before. An acknowledged industry leader, the Workshop has produced award-winning educational entertainment for generations of kids and families.”

‘Sesame Street’ celebrated its 50th season right

The new season began with Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, a primetime special that looked at fifty years on ‘the Street.’ The special included performances of classic songs like People in Your Neighborhood and It’s Not Easy Being Green. As well, celebrities stopped by the party, including Whoopi Goldberg, Patti LaBelle, Elvis Costello, Meghan Trainor, Sterling K. Brown, Norah Jones, Nile Rodgers, and Itzhak Perlman.

It was also a kind of reunion of the humans that have been on the kids’ show in the last half-century, including Bob McGrath, who played Bob, Sonia Manzano who portrayed Maria, Emilio Delgado in the role of Luis, Loretta Long who played Susan, Roscoe Orman in the role of Gordon, and Olamide Faison who played Miles.

If you missed Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration the first time around, you can catch it this Sunday, Nov. 17 at 7:00 PM EST on PBS stations and on the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel.

What’s New in the 50th season of ‘Sesame Street’?

So what’s new about the 50th season of the beloved and universally known children’s program? In addition to its dependable programming of the ABCs, the 50th season is introducing Big Bird’s Road Trip, a new segment that travels around the United States and beyond to discover what kids have to say about their communities. In each segment, Big Bird meets a new friend and video chats with Elmo back on Sesame Street about his findings.

Plus, the new season adds a curriculum focus called Oops and Aha!: Embracing the Power of Possibilities that addresses the stress children deal with in facing academic and social-emotional benchmarks.

Don’t forget to catch new episodes of Sesame Street starting this Saturday, Nov. 16 at 9:00 AM on HBO!

Read more: How Much Did Caroll Spinney Get Paid to Play Big Bird, and Why Is He Retiring from ‘Sesame Street’?