'Sesame Street' Is About To Begin Season 53—Here's What To Expect

A new digital series and notable names are on tap for the newest season of Sesame Street. But the iconic franchise will still focus on themes of acceptance and belonging.

Sesame Street Muppets and Cast
Photo: Sesame Street/RichardTermine

Sesame Street will be back with new episodes on November 3, Sesame Workshop announced Monday on TODAY.

The new season will be the 53rd for the iconic franchise, which debuted on public television stations on November 10, 1969 and has gone on to teach and entertain millions of preschool-aged children across generations. Season 53 will feature 35 new episodes that will be available to stream on HBO Max's Cartoonito every Thursday and will air on PBS Kids next fall.

Season 53 will emphasize self-identity, a sense of belonging, and diversity Sesame Workshop says. The hope is to help children feel more confident in themselves and more connected.

"It's so important for kids to be seen and feel reflected with the stories we tell, and our friends on the street are the perfect ones to convey a message of positive identity and belonging," executive producer Sal Perez told Parents. "And of course, there's always so much laughter and joy throughout every episode. We can't wait for the new season to debut."

The new season will give kids "a sense of connection across differences," said Amy Friedman, the head of kids and family at Warner Bros. Discovery, in a press release.

Megan Piphus will be back as the voice behind six-year-old muppet Gabrielle. Piphus made history in 2021 by becoming the first Black woman puppeteer to join the cast of Sesame Street. She made her debut as Gabrielle in 2020 and trained on muppet-style puppetry for one year before her historic promotion.

"Don't wake me up…I'm living in my dreamzzzz," Piphus wrote on Instagram underneath a photo of her with Gabrielle.

The longtime regulars will be back, too: Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Rudy, Grover, Cookie Monster, and all the other muppets your preschooler has come to know and love. And some notable faces will also figure out how to get to Sesame Street, too. Dr. Jill Biden, HAIM, Mickey Guyton, Amber Ruffin, Zazie Beetz, Samuel L. Jackson, Brett Goldstein, and Ava Duvernay will be among the guest stars.

Additionally, a new digital series will also make its debut this year. Word of the Day inspired by staple segments "Letter of the Day" and "Number of the Day," will delve into the power of language. Best-selling author and poet Amanda Gorman will appear in this series. Gorman became the youngest poet to read at a Presidential inauguration when she delivered The Hill We Climb in 2021.

And Elmo and his furry friend Tango will help young fans get into the holiday spirit when they star in their new holiday special, The Nutcracker: Starring Elmo and Tango, slated to premiere on December 1.

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