SEASON 40 PRESS KIT:NEWS
PRESS RELEASE
Download PDF

FURRY, FEATHERY, FUNNY AND NOW...

SESAME STREET
CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF MAKING THE WORLD A LITTLE BRIGHTER WITH DEBUT OF NEW SEASON NOVEMBER 10, 2009 ON PBS KIDS®
Brought to You by the Letter N:
NEW Show Format, NEW Show Open, NEW Nature Curriculum,
NEW Abby Cadabby CGI Animation

and

NEW FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New York)Sesame Street, the world’s largest informal children’s educator, celebrates its 40th birthday on November 10, 2009, the exact day the series debuted on television four decades ago, with everything you love about Sesame Street and more: new block format, new show open, new nature curriculum and our new First Lady Michelle Obama!

NEW NATURE CURRICULUM
While maintaining an emphasis on the importance of literacy and numeracy, the new season kicks-off “My World is Green & Growing,” a two-year science initiative designed to increase positive attitudes towards nature, deepen children’s knowledge about the natural world and encourage behavior that shows respect and care for the environment. First Lady Michelle Obama appears in the first episode of Sesame Street’s 40th season and teaches “the street’s” residents about the many benefits of planting a garden and healthy eating as part of Sesame Street’s ongoing “Healthy Habits for Life” initiative.

Surrounded by children and preparing to plant tomato, cucumber and lettuce seeds, Mrs. Obama explains, “All these seeds need to grow are sun, soil and water. If you eat these healthy foods, you’re going to grow up to be big and strong, like me.” Mrs. Obama continues, “I know you’re going to like these vegetables, because in addition to being healthy, they really taste great!”

“It is truly an honor to have Mrs. Obama join us in our premiere show on this landmark 40th anniversary season,” said Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer of Sesame Street. “I feel extremely privileged to produce the gold standard of children’s television, serving up our well-known favorite characters and parodies, while striving to create innovative stories and formats using the latest technologies. This is what keeps the show fresh, exciting and relevant to the needs of today’s children.”

Original songs, storylines and animations such as “Murray had a Little Lamb,” “Word on the Street” and “Elmo’s World” will continue to stimulate the preschool viewers’ awareness and excitement about the environment. Additionally, new words will be introduced at the beginning of each episode by Murray as he interacts with people on the street. In a series of 26 hilarious celebrity segments, words such as “habitat,” “metamorphosis,” “camouflage,” “hibernate” and “garden” are introduced to enhance vocabulary and further highlight the wonders of nature.

“Research shows that introducing young children to the natural world is the first step towards helping them develop a caring attitude towards the environment,” comments Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President of Education and Research, Sesame Workshop. “Environmental education for preschoolers, through the lens of exploration, provides children with the opportunity to feel a part of nature as they discover and make connections about the natural world around them.”

NEW BLOCK FORMAT
With over 21 million minutes (and counting) since Count von Count’s first “ah ah ah,” the groundbreaking children’s program that began as an experiment has evolved and continues to grow with children and their changing needs. As preschoolers today have different viewing habits, the 40th season has been reformatted to resemble a typical broadcasting block. Murray the Monster Muppet™ hosts each episode from different locations linking four longer segments with fun-filled interstitials throughout the hour. The block format begins and ends with a brand new show open and close, integrating colorful chalk-art animation with the Muppets™ of Sesame Street, set to the re-versioned classic “Sunny Days.”

NEW ABBY CADABBY CGI ANIMATION SEGMENT
This season, the “new” continues with the introduction of “Abby’s Flying Fairy School,” marking the first time a Sesame Street character has been transformed into CGI animation. The original segment, featuring the beloved fairy-in-training with a new 3-D look, has characters created by Peter De Séve, the designer for the film Ice Age. Each segment, which models preschoolers working together to solve problems using critical thinking skills, follows Abby Cadabby with an eclectic gang of new friends - fairies, trolls and a gerbilcorn called Niblet – as they attend Fairy School with Ms. Sparklenose. Together, Abby and her friends, Blögg and Gonnigan, learn that it takes rhyming, twinkle thinking and a helping hand (or wand) from viewers at home to resolve dilemmas. Abby’s adventures continue online at www.sesameworkshop.org where preschoolers may engage in telling a story, making choices as it unfolds and using their mouse as a magic wand.

NEW CELEBRITIES
As always, Sesame Street remains the “must do” for celebrities and icons. Parents and caregivers are sure to laugh alongside their children, as the new season features: NBA MVP Kobe Bryant; actors Greg Kinnear, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cameron Diaz, Hugh Jackman, Debra Messing, Eva Longoria, Adrian Grenier, Julianna Marguiles, Judah Freidlander, Sarah Jessica Parker, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, Jennie Garth, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, Patricia Arquette, Brendan Fraser, Matthew Fox, Christina Applegate, Debi Mazar and Cedric the Entertainer; The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck; Grammy Award winner Ziggy Marley; Grammy Award nominee Jason Mraz; NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon; NFL Star and Today Show correspondent Tiki Barber; Today Show co-host Meredith Vieira; Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda; and Access Hollywood host Nancy O’Dell.

NEW 40th ANNIVERSARY DVD AND BOOK
The fun doesn’t stop with the new season’s launch! More firsts on this memorable date include the launch of a commemorative DVD release marking four decades of the landmark show, Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days. The two-disc compilation features fan favorites including classic stories, songs, monsters and celebrity segments! Additionally, a new, comprehensive, fully-illustrated behind-the-scenes, coffee-table book, A Celebration: 40 Years of Life on the Street (Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers), becomes available for nostalgic adults to look back at 40 years of the people, puppets, songs and scripts of Sesame Street.

Season 40 of Sesame Street is funded in part by a grant through the Public Broadcasting Service and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers. Sesame Street is underwritten in part by the Beaches Family Resorts, McDonald's Corporation, Earth's Best, PNC and The Good Egg Project.

Visit Sesame Street at:
www.sesamestreet.org

The Sesame Street YouTube Channel



About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization that revolutionized children’s television programming with the landmark Sesame Street. The Workshop produces local Sesame Street programs, seen in over 140 countries, and other acclaimed shows to help bridge the literacy gap including The Electric Company and Pinky Dinky Doo. Beyond television, the Workshop produces content for multiple media platforms on a wide range of issues including literacy, health and military deployment. Initiatives meet specific needs to help young children and families develop critical skills, acquire healthy habits and build emotional strength to prepare them for lifelong learning. Learn more at www.sesamestreet.org.

About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, PBS’s children’s media and family and educator resources - including PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, PBSKIDS.org, PBSKIDSGO.org, PBS Parents (PBSPARENTS.org), PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. In September 2008, PBS KIDS GO! launched its video player (PBSKIDSGO.org/video), featuring hundreds of video clips and dozens of full-length episodes. Since launch, the site is averaging 1.3 million streams per week. PBSKIDS.org averages 9 million unique visitors a month. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math, and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.

Press Contacts
Ellen Lewis/Alicia Durand/Phil Toscano
Sesame Workshop
212-875-6396/212-875-6223/212-875-6687
Ellen.lewis@sesameworkshop.org
Alicia.durand@sesameworkshop.org

Stephanie Baumoel/Cynthia Arntzen
FerenComm for Sesame Workshop
212-983-9898 
stephanieb@ferencomm.com
 
cynthiaa@ferencomm.com