Thursday, April 9, 2020

Sesame Street's Elmo to host a virtual playdate with Tracee Ellis Ross, Lin Manuel Miranda and more to comfort kids during Coronavirus pandemic

Sunny days have been sweeping clouds away for over 50 years on Sesame Street as our favorite furry lil' monsters Elmo, Grover, Abby, Cookie and the gang entertain & educate kids of all ages on the small screen. Now more than ever, families are looking for ways to help their little ones cope with the challenges being faced globally in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.  Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, has announced a simulcast special " Sesame Street: Elmo's Playdate" to help kids and families around the world feel connected in this time of uncertainty.

By now most of us grown-ups have had our fair share of zoom meetings and virtual celebrations for holidays and birthdays and many students have even had their classes hosted virtually as a way to stay connected but what about our younger kids? 

As an extension of the Caring for Each Other initiative that the organization launched last month, the 30 minute special will feature Sesame Street friends along with celebrity guests Anne Hathaway, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Tracee Ellis Ross. The program will air on Warnermedia networks: HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and truTV - and PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and streaming platforms on Tuesday, April 14th at 7:00PM ET/6:00PM CT. PBS stations will re-air the special throughout the month. 

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 everyone from the EMTs, doctors, and other everyday heroes who are helping families through the health crisis as well as things like 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.

"We hope Sesame StreetElmo’s Playdate will entertain and inspire families at a moment when so many are feeling isolated and overwhelmed by current events," said Steve Youngwood, Sesame Workshop’s President, Media & Education and Chief Operating Officer. "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."

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.

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