Sesame Street has been on the air for a staggering 46 seasons, beating even The Simpsons’ 28-season (and counting) run. But, a lot about it has changed, including its move to HBO from PBS, and Sonia Manzano (who played Maria) retiring from the show after 44 years. Now, three other long-time cast members are being cut from the show.
Bob McGrath the music teacher (played by himself), Gordon the science teacher (played by Roscoe Orman) and Luis (played by Emilio Delgado) the “Mr. Fix-It” have been booted from Sesame Street, according to the New York Daily News.
“As of this season, I completed my 45th season this year,” said McGrath at Florida Supercon to Vanity Fair. “And the show has done a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half hour. HBO has been involved also. And so they let all of the original cast members go, with the exception of Alan Muraoka—who is still on the show, he is probably 20 years younger than the rest of us—and Chris Knowings, who is also young.”
Sesame Street Workshop, the company that produces the show, still has creative control over the show, meaning that neither HBO nor PBS were involved in making this decision.
“Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of children,” said a Sesame Street rep in a statement (included below). “As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years, though you can still expect to see many of them in upcoming productions.”
Other changes to Sesame Street when it airs on HBO are that its hour-long episodes will be cut to thirty minutes, more technology and references to iPads will be included, and each episode will focus on one topic.