Arkansas PBS > Engage > Pressroom > AETN CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF SESAME STREET Season premiere Nov. 10 features First Lady Michelle Obama, nature curriculum and block format

AETN CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF SESAME STREET Season premiere Nov. 10 features First Lady Michelle Obama, nature curriculum and block format

Posted 09 Nov 2009

While continuing to offer standby favorites such as Elmo and Big Bird, season 40 of Sesame Street will also introduce a new block format, nature curriculum and show open.

Sesame Streets new nature curriculum features My World is Green & Growing, a two-year science initiative designed to emphasis positive attitudes towards nature, deepen childrens knowledge about the natural world and encourage behavior that shows respect and care for the environment. First Lady Michelle Obama appears in the first episode of Sesame Streets 40th season and teaches the streets residents about the many benefits of planting a garden and healthy eating as part of Sesame Streets ongoing Healthy Habits for Life initiative. 

It is truly an honor to have Mrs. Obama join us in our premiere show on this landmark fortieth anniversary season, said Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer of Sesame Street.

 I feel extremely privileged to produce the gold standard of childrens television, serving up our well-known favorite characters and parodies, while striving to create innovative stories and formats using the latest technologies. This is what keeps the show fresh, exciting and relevant to the needs of todays children.

The block format is designed to resemble a typical broadcasting block and will feature Murray the Monster Muppet™ hosting each episode from different locations linking four longer segments with interstitials throughout the hour. The block format begins and ends with a brand new show open and close, integrating chalk-art animation with Sesame Street Muppets™, set to a more modern-sounding version of Sunny Days.

Celebrity guests include: Kobe Bryant, Greg Kinnear, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cameron Diaz, Hugh Jackman, Debra Messing, Eva Longoria, Adrian Grenier, Julianna Marguiles, Judah Freidlander, Sarah Jessica Parker, Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, Jenny Garth, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, Patricia Arquette, Brendan Fraser, Matthew Fox, Christina Applegate, Debi Mazar and Cedric the Entertainer, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Ziggy Marley, Jason Mraz, Jeff Gordon, Tiki Barber, Meredith Vieira, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Nancy ODell.

Sesame Street has won nine Grammy Awards, 122 Emmy awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award, making it the highest acclaimed childrens television show in history. Approximately eight million viewers watch Sesame Street each week. 

Season 40 of Sesame Street is funded in part by a grant through the Public Broadcasting Service and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.  Sesame Street is underwritten in part by the Beaches Family Resorts, McDonald's Corporation, Earth's Best, PNC and The Good Egg Project.  

The Arkansas Educational Television Network ( provides lifelong learning opportunities, improves and enhances Arkansans lives and celebrates the unique culture of Arkansas through its programming and services. AETNs digital transmitters and numerous cable system connections give it statewide reach.