Elmo is set to have a ‘virtual playdate’ and we’re all invited to watch
In a move that’s likely to both quietly break and gladden parents’ hearts, as well as comfort their children, WarnerMedia has announced a “virtual playdate” starring Elmo. Titled “Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate,” the special will air across HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network and Boomerang—all WarnerMedia outlets—as well as PBS Kids on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Sesame Workshop, the creative home of “Sesame Street,” first teamed up with HBO in 2015 for a five-year distribution deal; last fall, the partners announced a new deal that will shift the iconic children’s show from HBO to streaming platform HBO Max, set to launch next month.
As a joint statement from WarnerMedia and Sesame Workshop about “Elmo’s Playdate” explains,
The half-hour special follows Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and a few famous friends as they find new ways to play and learn together. Celebrating everything from the EMTs, doctors, and other everyday heroes who are helping families through the health crisis to the simple pleasures of baking cookies at home, the playdate takes the form of a cozy video conference that will feel very familiar to today’s viewers. Celebrities and Sesame Street friends will sing songs, play games, and take silly dance breaks. Tracee Ellis Ross plays a game of “Elmo Says,” Lin-Manuel Miranda pops in for a few rounds of “Old McDonald Had a Farm,” Anne Hathaway and Elmo get moving with “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” and more. Kids will love getting a visit from their Sesame Street friends, and caregivers will appreciate how the special models playful learning opportunities they can use at home.
The special is part of Sesame Workshop’s larger Caring for Each Other initiative, designed to help families cope with the coronavirus pandemic and shelter-in-place orders. “WarnerMedia recognizes how difficult these isolation efforts are for families, especially ones with children,” Bob Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, said in a statement, adding that the special is meant to “bring family members together for a unique in-home viewing experience that will provide laughter, joy and relief during this challenging time.”
After its initial multi-network airing, “Elmo’s Playdate” will be available via HBO’s existing VOD options—HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO On Demand—as well as HBO Max upon launch.