BLE 2016: Sesame Workshop’s Risa Greenbaum on why Sesame Street has had a ‘fantastic year’

What has this year been like for you guys so far?

It is a brand new day on Sesame Street. It’s been a fantastic year. We have been developing new content, partnered with HBO and are producing a new 30-minute format of Sesame Street for the US. We are growing our digital presence with Sesame Studios – a YouTube destination for kids, and have a dedicated development strategy and slate.

The show, Elmo’s World, is back, reimagined, but still true to its roots. We also have new co-productions of Sesame Street launching around the world, and in the UK specifically, we produced seasons three and four of The Furchester Hotel – 50 all new episodes scheduled to premiere this autumn. And I can’t forget to mention that we’ve had some terrific product launches with partners including Puma, Quiksilver/Roxy and Crocs.

Are there any new plans for Sesame Street to return to the UK?

Yes – we are thrilled to share that Sesame Street will premiere on Cartoonito on November 7th. The all new half hour version of Sesame Street has a new set, a new show opening, lots of fun and fresh changes, all supported by a strong marketing campaign.

Sesame Street is back with your favorite furry friends and more of what you love. And speaking of furry friends, Cookie Monster will be making a visit to the UK to help celebrate the launch.

How important is the licensing space to the Sesame Street brand?

As a non-profit organisation, Sesame Workshop relies on revenue from licensing activities as a key funding source in furthering our mission, which is to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. 

Licensing initiatives allow us to extend the Sesame Street experience for children around the world. Sesame Street is where kids are – from bathtime to bedtime.

The Furchester Hotel has proved to be a real success with new partners jumping on board. What else can we expect to see from this property?

We’re so excited about the launch of seasons three and four on CBeebies happening this autumn. The show is a staple of the Get-Set-Go schedule.

A new Furchester Hotel game will be featured in the new CBeebies Playtime Island app. Fans will also see the Furchester character walkarounds making appearances at various events including Hamley’s Christmas Parade, Alton Towers/CBeebiesLand and others.

What BLE presence will you have this year?

While we do not have a stand at BLE, our European licensing agent, CPLG, will be there in full force, with all of the markets represented. Folks should definitely stop by their booth to learn more about our brands and licensing initiatives. We are always looking for new partners and new opportunities of extending the Sesame Street and Furchester experiences. 

Anything else you’d like to add? 

Although we say that it’s a brand new day on Sesame Street, our mission remains the same – to reach and educate kids around the world at critical moments in their lives. And we’re doing that in more places than ever.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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