HBO will debut its Sesame Street documentary Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, on December 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, and will also make it available to stream on HBO Max.
The previously announced feature documentary explores the first two decades of Sesame Street and the visionaries assembled to create the beloved children’s television show. It was inspired by the New York Times‘ bestseller Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis.
The film traces the genesis of the groundbreaking series to the late 1960s, when TV executive Joan Ganz Cooney and Sesame Workshop co-founder Lloyd Morrisett attempted to use the growing power of television to educate and entertain kids across America, utilizing similar techniques as the advertising industry to grab children’s attention. Cooney hired Jim Henson and TV writer and director Jon Stone to create Sesame Street, and, inspired by the civil rights movement, specifically sought to reach urban communities with less advantaged kids to try to bridge the educational gap created by racism and poverty.
Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street was directed by Marilyn Agrelo and produced by Trevor Crafts, Ellen Scherer Crafts, Lisa Diamond. Executive producers are Brian O’Shea, Nat McCormick, Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor, Mark Myers and Heather Kenyon, with Michael Davis co-executive producing and Ben Gold editing. Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller were executive producers for HBO, with Anna Klein serving as coordinating producer.