Sesame Street Begins 50 years and Counting

Sesame Street Begins 50 years and Counting

Landmark anniversary to unfold throughout the year with new initiatives, community events, and a star-studded primetime special

Sesame Street 50th Anniversary

(NEW YORK, NY, February 4, 2019): It all began in 1969 on a street where colorful Muppets and humans lived—and learned—side by side.  Today, 50 years later, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, announced a yearlong anniversary celebration to mark the occasion. Throughout 2019, Sesame Workshop will bring people together around the timeless lessons that Sesame Street has always taught:  everyone, no matter who they are or where they are from, is equally deserving of respect, opportunity—and joy.

Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement and the war on poverty, Sesame Street was created to answer a simple question: could television be used to level the playing field and help prepare less advantaged children for school? The founders tapped educational advisors and researchers, entertainers and television producers, and other visionaries to create what became the longest-running children’s show in American television history.  Ever since, Sesame Street has helped children around the world to learn, feel included and respect others. With a curriculum that evolves to meet the needs of every new generation, it is now a force for good in over 70 languages and 150 countries.

“This is a remarkable milestone for kids, for education and for television. Sesame Street has now brought the life-changing benefits of early learning to children around the globe for 50 years,” said Jeffrey D. Dunn, Sesame Workshop’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder knows no geographic boundaries. We’re everywhere families are and we never stop innovating and growing. That’s what keeps us timeless.”

The anniversary will bring people together through social impact initiatives, digital campaigns, and community events that reflect Sesame Street’s unifying messages. Throughout 2019, fans and families around the world can join their favorite furry friends in celebrating Sesame Street’s past, present, and future, with:

  • A 50th television season which focuses on the power of possibilities, empowering kids to take safe risks and learn from their mistakes.
  • A nationwide road trip where Sesame Street characters and friends host community events in ten cities around the country.
  • An expansion of the growing Sesame Street in Communities initiative, addressing issues including substance abuse and foster care to better support vulnerable children and families.
  • The launch of a new local version of Sesame Street created for displaced Syrian families and their new neighbors in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, as part of a large-scale early childhood intervention in the region.
  • A signature research report that will explore an important issue facing kids and families today.
  • Celebrity- and fan-fueled social media campaigns including #ThisIsMyStreet, showcasing favorite Sesame Street memories.
  • New collaborations across fashion, lifestyle, and themed entertainment for Sesame Street fans of all ages.
  • A November star-studded prime-time special, featuring new takes on classic segments and visits from Sesame Street icons.

“We’re often asked what Sesame Street’s legacy will be,” said Joan Ganz Cooney, Co-Founder. “To me, a legacy is when something’s over…and this isn’t over.”

Sesame Street had a profound impact on children’s media, setting a template that the industry has followed for generations,” said Lloyd Morrisett, Co-founder. “Fifty years later, Sesame Workshop continues to deliver on its mission every day, across multiple platforms, on six continents. We started as an experiment - and it worked.”

Sesame Workshop will release details about upcoming events and activities throughout the year. In the meantime, Sesame friends and fans can always stay in touch on


Sesame Street Season 1
Sesame Street's Season 1 cast – © Sesame Workshop




1969 Sesame Street Sign and Cast
Sesame Street cast around the iconic street sign in 1969 – © Sesame Workshop




Sesame Street Founders
Sesame Street co-founders Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett at a meeting – © Sesame Workshop




Sesame Street Season 5
Sesame Street's Season 5 cast – © Sesame Workshop




Mr. Hooper Sesame Street
Mr. Hooper with Bert and Ernie – © Sesame Workshop




Sesame Street Season 49
Sesame Street's Season 49 cast at a holiday table – © Sesame Workshop


Sesame Street 50th Anniversary Highlight Reel:


About Sesame Workshop

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit

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Harnessing marketplace momentum, turns Ryan’s World into a global lifestyle franchise; with categories now ranging from bedroom to backyard


LOS ANGELES, Calif., January 31, 2019 --, a new studio that specializes in entertaining and inspiring kids and families through digital-first content and lifestyle products, today announced the global expansion of its celebrated Ryan’s World brand. Anchored by new partnerships with some of the most recognizable licensees including Just Play, Jada Toys, Kids Preferred, American Greetings and Zak Designs, will extend Ryan World’s beyond toys and introduce new categories including sleep wear, backpacks, lunch kits and accessories, Halloween costumes, party goods, social expressions, hydration, furniture, and home goods, featuring the likeness of the top creator on YouTube, Ryan from Ryan ToysReview and his group of friends, turning Ryan’s World into a true global lifestyle franchise.


“Having spent the past year building the Ryan’s World lifestyle brand, we could not be prouder of the success we’ve seen thus far,” said Stone Newman, CRO of “Kids love Ryan and want him in every aspect of their lives. With our premiere creator partners and our marquee slate of licensees, is actively delivering kids and families everywhere more of what they love from this new digital world. We are incredibly excited to be working with the best of the best to change the future of retail and bring Ryan’s World to a global market across lots of new product categories.”


The expanded Ryan’s World line will kick off with toy industry titan Just Play who will produce a variety of products including toys, playsets, a range of role play/dress up clothing, musical instruments and seasonal products that include inflatables. The line kicks off with a Ryan’s World Combo Panda Feature Plush, an adorable Karate-chopping plush featuring lights, sounds, motion and fun phrases from the beloved character. More products will be available at retailers globally in fall 2019.


“We’ve been working closely with and Ryan to bring his vision of the ultimate toy experience to life with the new range of Ryan’s World toys,” said Geoffrey Greenberg, Co-President of Just Play. “The line holds tons of exciting and innovative surprises to unlock, offering a variety of ways for Ryan’s fan to play with Ryan, Combo Panda, Red Titan, as well as other characters and storylines.”


In addition to Just Play, has partnered with Jada to be its global vehicle partner. The comprehensive range will include vehicles in all sizes and scale, R/C, and die cast and will debut in time for Easter exclusively at Walmart in the U.S. The range will also include the introduction of Combo Panda Airlines, an airline set featuring Ryan and his cast of friends and a Combo Panda Skateboard Stunt R/C, featuring a 9” tall figure, that spins and pops wheelies and even rights itself when it falls over. Jada products will be available in Spring 2019, exclusively through Walmart.

“When reached out to share their vision to reshape the industry, I was an instant believer,” said Bill Simmons, CEO of Jada Toys. “Ryan’s reach is global, and YouTube’s reach is global. With’s help, content creators on the most powerful platform in the world are making the successful jump into consumer products. We are thrilled to be working alongside pioneers in the industry to introduce new products in multiple countries including USA, Germany, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Middle East, Philippines, and Indonesia this Spring.”

The Ryan’s World Toy Program will also include a partnership with Kids Preferred for the Wood Toy Category. Kids Preferred, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of plush toys and children’s gifts, will work with to bring wooden toys, trains, puzzles and more to market for kids to enjoy. The product launch is slated for Fall 2019.

“Being part of the team bringing this new and innovative approach to children, toys and play to market is one of the most exciting projects we’ve ever been involved with,” said Louis Premselaar, CEO of Kids Preferred.


Taking the brand beyond toys, will also introduce a variety of expanded category offerings. will work alongside American Greetings to expand Ryan’s World’s reach into party, social expressions and seasonal goods. The party collection will include Swirl Décor that you hang from the ceiling; Activity Kits that include stickers and characters to color, and; a 48-piece pack that has a variety of favor items included.


“The licensing business is ever changing and it’s imperative we stay in-tune with how kids are consuming content and embrace this new content for consumer products,” said Julie Deal, senior licensing director at American Greetings. “It sometimes hard to explain Ryan’s World’s appeal, but Stone and the leaders at make it seem so logical. It’s great to be partnering with such a dynamic group of people.”


Continuing to build out the Ryan’s World brand, will also partner with Zak Designs to bring a variety of Ryan’s World themed home products to market. The home line will feature dinnerware and water bottles, an assortment of fun and functional products designed to help make Ryan’s World come to life with each bite and every sip. Products are available starting Spring 2019.


“Ryan’s World is connecting with kids around the world in an unprecedented way, and Zak Designs couldn’t be more excited to partner with Ryan’s World as a way to help bring the action of Ryan and his friends’ home and make mealtime fun for kids everywhere,” said Irv Zakheim, chairman & CEO of Zak Designs.


Rounding out the program, will also work alongside Accessory Innovations, Komar Kids, High Point, Handcraft, Fun World, Sun-Staches, Idea Nuova, Far Out Toys, and Walmart, amongst others to create a comprehensive Ryan’s World apparel, Halloween, Back To School, home, accessories, seasonal toys and wheel goods. With the addition of these new licensees, Ryan’s World now fully extends from bedroom to backyard and every other part of a kid’s world.


For more about and its robust roster of licensees, please visit



About is a new studio that specializes in entertaining and inspiring kids and families through digital-first content and sparking their imaginations with lifestyle products ranging from toys to toothbrushes. The company inspires kids to seamlessly move between screen time and playtime and boasts a growing portfolio of franchises that includes some of the largest kids and family YouTube brands in the world. was founded in March 2017 by Chris M. Williams and is located in Culver City, CA where it maintains an office and studio. Its  management team is made up of studio veterans and visionaries from traditional and digital entertainment including Albie Hecht, Stone Newman, Jon Moonves and David B. Williams. Investors include Viacom, Greycroft, Third Wave Digital and United Talent Agency (UTA), as well as notable strategic angels including Robert Downey Jr. (Team Downey) and Jon Landau. For more information about, please visit


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