Portlandia Co-Creator Jonathan Krisel to Direct Sesame Street Movie

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Portlandia Co-Creator Jonathan Krisel to Direct Sesame Street Movie

We’ve come a long way from the dream of the ‘90s.

Portlandia director and co-creator Jonathan Krisel is set to direct a live-action musical Sesame Street movie for Warner Bros., per Variety.

The movie comes out of a five-year deal in 2015 between Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the long-running children’s program, and HBO, a Warner Bros. sister company. The movie reportedly quickly went into development after the deal went through, although producer Shawn Levy has been working on the project since 2012, when 20th Century Fox owned the rights.

Shawn is producing with Michael Aguilar, and Chris Galletta is credited with the most recent version of the script, which he is currently polishing. Sesame Workshop, which holds the show’s rights, will be involved in the development of this project.

In a controversial move, cutbacks forced Sesame Workshop to take Sesame Street to HBO in early 2016, after the show had enjoyed an exclusive home on public television provider PBS since the start of its run. The show still runs on PBS, where it’s more widely accessible, but episodes now premiere on HBO before they reach public television.

As a particularly beloved piece of intellectual property, the forthcoming Sesame Street movie seems like a surefire hit, but it’d be easier to get excited about if it didn’t come out of a move that made Sesame Street a less democratic place for children who don’t have access to HBO. One could argue that this deal actually saved the show, but if only we lived in a country where public educational television were better funded.

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