According to Variety, about 200 episodes of Sesame Street have been taken off HBO Max, which could be devastating for children and parents. According to Variety, the number of Sesame Street episodes on the service has decreased from about 650 to 456, and many of the episodes that have been dropped are from the program's first few seasons.
HBO and Sesame Street have been partners for many years; in 2019, WarnerMedia (now Warner Bros. Discovery) signed a significant five-year deal to stream new episodes of the program exclusively, and Sesame Street debuted on HBO in 2016.
A spokesperson for HBO Max, Chris Willard, told The Verge that "Sesame Street is and has always been an important part of television culture and a crown jewel of our preschool offering." In addition to the nearly 400 episodes of the most recent and classic seasons that are still available on Cartoonito on HBO Max, which will premiere this fall, "We are committed to continuing to bring Sesame Street into families' homes.
Older Sesame Street episodes are being canceled, and Warner Bros. Discovery also intends to remove 36 titles from HBO Max, according to NPR. Along with some Sesame Street specials, the Elmo-hosted late-night program, and HBO Max Originals like Infinity Train and Summer Camp Island, this includes.
The new app that will replace HBO Max and Discovery Plus will debut in the summer of 2019. HBO Max explained the decision to pull 36 shows in a statement to Variety: "As we work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and Discovery Plus." "That will involve some content being deleted from both platforms."
Warner Bros. Discovery has been discontinuing content at an alarming rate; most recently, Batgirl was put on hold, and at least six Warner Bros. films were removed from HBO Max. Due to the Warner Bros. Discovery megamerger's overlap earlier this week, the company cut staff at HBO Max.