Welcome back to another entry of In Case You Wish You Missed It, the news you wish wouldn’t happen but, somehow, does.
Good news, everyone! Sesame Street, the beloved children’s educational show for more generations of youths than generations that grew up on color broadcast television, is returning as a Saturday morning feature. Kids will once again learn a “Letter of the Day,” how to count with a real, plush vampire, and understand race relations between humans and Muppets.
The bad news? The new TV channel address for Sesame Street is the cable television monolith HBO, who has brought you classic children’s programming such as… Game of Thrones, and… True Detective. Oh, but there was that one time when they broadcast… The Life and Times of Tim. That was animated, so it’s close to children’s programming, right? The Wire had some kids in it… Dream On had a kid, too.
But let’s not judge HBO on past programming. The broadcasting company wants to get into children’s programming, and what better way than to use the longest-running children’s television program as the flagship? I’m sure the marketing heads know that a sneak peek of Tyrion Lannister banging his latest wench probably shouldn’t be a preview to start off a viewing of Sesame Street during its broadcasting slot or On Demand, but it may be a bit tricky for parents to navigate around the channel without a child asking, “What’s The Leftovers? Is that a cooking show? I like food.”
There is also a question about the soul of Sesame Street. For decades, the show was broadcast on PBS, a channel that you could get by sticking a wire hanger into the top of your television set. This was educational programming that did not cater to any one social or economic class. It catered to children. Wide-eyed, in awe at the world, children. What will happen now that you have to pay extra for Sesame Street? Will HBO use this as tax write-off or marketing ploy by offering the show for free, either On Demand or streaming via the internet?
Take the hint, HBO.