sesame street virtual playdate

Sesame Street/WarnerMedia

Elmo will have a virtual playdate in new ‘Sesame Street’ special

The TV special is geared toward families and children in isolation during the coronavirus.


Michelle Jaworski


Published Apr 8, 2020   Updated Jan 27, 2021, 8:54 pm CST

Over the past few weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many of us moving our hangouts and happy hours online to stay connected, and even Elmo and his friends are taking their playdates to the computer screen. 

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WarnerMedia announced that it will debut a new Sesame Street special titled Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate. The 30-minute special will air on April 14 at 7 p.m. ET/PT across several of WarnerMedia’s channels: HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang, as well as PBS KIDS. (Normally, Sesame Street airs on HBO with episodes debuting on PBS nine months later.) After it airs, the special will be available on HBO’s streaming platforms.

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The special will take the form of a video conference call as Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, Abby Cadabby, and Rosita navigate social distancing. WarnerMedia revealed that Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne Hathaway, and Tracee Ellis Ross will all join in on the call to sing songs, play games, and dance. (With Cookie Monster in the mix, chances of seeing some quintessential baked goods consumption are very high.)

“WarnerMedia recognizes how difficult these isolation efforts are for families, especially ones with children,” said Bob Greenblatt, WarnerMedia’s Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman, in a statement. “With Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate airing simultaneously across our networks, we are confident that this special will bring family members together for a unique in-home viewing experience that will provide laughter, joy, and relief during this challenging time.”

Elmo’s Playdate is part of Sesame Workshop’s “Caring For Each Other” initiative, which is designed to help families cope and provide an educational structure for children during the pandemic.

“We hope Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate will entertain and delight families at a moment when so many are feeling isolated and overwhelmed by current events,” Sesame Workshop’s President of Media & Education Steve Youngwood said. “With help from our distribution partners around the world, this special will encourage parents and kids to gather and relax as a family–in a way that only the Sesame Street Muppets can.”

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*First Published: Apr 8, 2020, 12:17 pm CDT