Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank under CC license
Are Sesame Street's days numbered?
The past few weeks in Muppetdom have been right strange. First, Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog announced that they have parted ways — amicably the press release says. And now, HBO has announced they have the first-run rights to the next five season of the celebrated PBS series "Sesame Street."
Most Hollywood insiders believe that the Kermie and Piggy split is merely a ploy to boost interest in their forthcoming prime-time variety series, a revamped "Muppet Show," this fall. As for HBO's pre-school power grab, I dare say that the cable giant's move is at best disconcerting and at worst truly frightening.
For years, "Sesame Street" has been an invaluable teacher to children of all races, ethnic groups, and income levels. By moving episodes to a pay network, millions of children whose parents cannot afford premium cable programming will be left out.
But as bad as that is, it's nowhere near as bad as the plans that HBO has for our fine muppet friends.
According to a top-secret memo that has only been circulated among top HBO execs, "Sesame Street" is about to get a lot more adult-oriented. Here's what you and yours can expect:
1."Real Sex with Elmo." Each week America's most beloved red little monster will meet with our nation's most perverted perverts and coax them to tickle him in increasingly strange and uncomfortable ways, all while trying to convince Middle America that, you know, shoving Dorothy the Fish up your ass is perfectly A-OK.
2. "Game of Grovers." You want to know why George R.R. Martin hasn't finished the final two books in the Song of Fire and Ice series? Well, it's because he's been working on this fantasy epic featuring Grover as our hero Ded Stark, the patriarch of a clan of noble men and women who is enlisted in the tough task of finding the killer of one of the king's top aides. Needless to say, this series will shock children like no other. Let's just say that Super Grover's helmet balances quiet nicely on the end of a pike. To make matters worse, this show is brought to you by the letters "T and A" and just a little bit of "P."
3. "The Swamp." Penned by former Baltimore Sun
reporter David Simon, this hard-hitting police drama features Kermit the Frog as a down-on-his-luck, alcoholic cop who attempts to take down the biggest — and best organized — street-level crime syndicate in the Swamp, headed by none other than the mysterious Snuffleupagus and his second in command, Stringer Bird.
4. "Curb Your Trash." Our favorite trash can dweller Oscar the Grouch shows off his comedic chops in this largely improvised series about a curmudgeonly sitcom writer who, week after week, pisses off everyone he comes in contact with, in the most humorous manner of course. The surprise of this series is the star-making turn by Zoe as Oscar's wife, an activist with a heart of gold who lives in a state of perpetual exasperation thanks to her neurotic husband.
5. "Last Week Tonight with The Count." Each Sunday, The Count will count down the biggest stories of the week in a way that only a Romanian vampire can, with bared teeth.
6. "True Roommates." In this pot-boiler, two detectives, Bert and Ernie, delve into the most twisted case to ever hit "Sesame Street," the ritualistic murder of Abby Cadabby, an investigation that leads them to a mysterious, cult-like organization "The Flying Fairy School" and the ominous individual known only as the Cookie King.