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Sesame Street Season 39 begins August 11

Season 39 highlights include "Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures", "Murray Has a Little Lamb" and new Muppet parodies ("30 Rocks" and "Pre-School Musical")

Courtesy of Sesame Workshop
August 1, 2008

Sesame Street, now in hi-definition for the first time, will premiere August 11 on PBS KIDS (check your local listings), the new season of the critically-acclaimed preschool series will merge two crucial areas: mathematics and literacy.

The Sesame Street Muppets
The featured Sesame Street Muppets of Season 39.

Research shows that while all young children have knowledge about everyday arithmetic, language skills can be a barrier for them to explain their mathematical thinking. This language deficit may be one reason why low-income children generally perform lower on tests of mathematical abilities than middle-income children. To address this gap, the 39th season of Sesame Street will put mathematical reasoning into words across the different formats of the hour (street stories, live action films, and animation).

"The amount of 'math talk' children are exposed to during the preschool years directly correlates with their future understanding of mathematical language and concepts," comments Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President of Education and Research, Sesame Workshop. "This season's curricular focus is designed to help children put their mathematical thinking into words and talk about how they solve problems."

Telly and Murray in "The Golden Triangle of Destiny".
Telly and Murray in "The Golden Triangle of Destiny".

This season will feature new "street" scenes to expand a child's math vocabulary. For example: Max the Magician (played by Will Arnett) performs tricks for Rosita, Elmo, Big Bird and Chris. Max's friends are amazed yet he cannot reveal his techniques because of the Magicians Code of Honor. In the end, Chris reveals that it's not magic that he's performing, but it's all math!

Other new episodes include: Legend has it that the Golden Triangle of Destiny is on Sesame Street and Minnesota Mel (a parody of Indiana Jones) is there on an adventure to find it. It is the rarest, most beautiful triangle in the whole world. Unfortunately, Minnesota Mel is unable to finish his search, but since Telly Monster is a triangle lover, he will try to find it in a series of wacky adventures.

Elmo wants to be like Gordon.
Elmo wants to be like Gordon.

Chris is doing his laundry at the Sesame Street Laundromat. While he is folding his clothes, he discovers that a sock is missing. All socks come in pairs so he needs to find the matching sock, but when Abby appears and performs her new "two trick," sock chaos ensues in the Laundromat!

"Sesame Street has been helping children learn to count from day one, but this year we delve deeper into math principles. Of course we do it the Sesame way, with humor and references to pop culture," add Carol Lynn Parente, Executive Producer. "We have exciting new additions to the show that begin with an updated set, the Sesame Street neighborhood now boasts a new and improved Hooper's store as well as the addition of a Laundromat. We also have two brand new formats, "Murray Has a Little Lamb," shot all on location and "Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures," done entirely in claymation."

Season 39 will also include:

  • A new cast member, "Leela," a young Indian-American who embraces her heritage and culture as she begins her life on Sesame Street. Leela has taken a job in the new Laundromat next to Hooper's Store and enjoys singing, dancing and helping her friends on Sesame Street.

  • Murray will be seen in a new regular segment, Murray Has a Little Lamb. This interactive-bilingual segment encourages cognitive thinking skills and exposes children to Spanish as viewers follow Murray on a journey to discover what kind of school, such as karate, cooking, or dance, his lamb friend, Ovejita ("little lamb" in Spanish), is taking him to visit. As all of Ovejita's clues are in Spanish, she leads Murray all over the city in search of visual hints which are hidden via hot dog carts, magical trees, moving statues, and other unlikely places!
Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures

  • Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures, animated by award-winning company, Misseri Studio, in Italy. Each episode begins with Bert's bed tappin' to the rhythm of the opening theme song which transports the pair into a world of adventure with fantastical environments. These best friends might not always agree, but through their creative imaginations and humorous stories they will show children how to take on other's perspectives, cope with emotions, resolve conflicts, and most of all, how to be a friend.

Based on the popularity of last season's "Word on the Street" segments, season 39 will feature additional "Word on the Street" installments to help enhance vocabulary. Each episode begins with Murray interacting with people on the street and introducing new words such as "octagon," "scrumptious," "persistence," "insect" and "compliment." The 26 new words are repeated later as part of the "street" story and in a series of hilarious celebrity segments further defining the meaning of the day's word.

Molly Shannon visits Sesame Street.
Molly Shannon visits Sesame Street.

Parents and caregivers will be laughing along with their children as the new season features hilarious segments with A-list celebrities including Will Arnett, Feist, Jessica Alba, David Beckham, Heidi Klum, Brian Williams, Neil Patrick Harris, Sandra Oh, Jack Black, Jenny McCarthy, Feijoo Sisters and Jason Taylor. Sesame Street continues in its play on pop culture with all new parodies including: "30 Rocks," "Pre-School Musical" and "Are You Smarter Than an Egg Layer."

Later this fall, www.pbskids.org will be updating its virtual Sesame Street neighborhood at www.pbskids.org/sesame. Children will find a more immersive Sesame Street feel, more character games, "Word on the Street" clips and other new content to extend the learning experience.

Sandra Oh as the Fairy Cookie Person.
Sandra Oh as the Fairy Cookie Person.

Season 39 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 McDonald's Corporation, Beaches Family Resorts, Earth's Best, New Balance and American Greetings.

Furthermore, after two years of extensive research and development, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization, will be launching an all new totally re-designed web site, www.sesamestreet.org, August 11th. With more preschoolers going on line, and in an effort to make sure that the internet and other media platforms are reliable for children, Sesame Workshop has created a media experience designed to engage and educate children and their caregivers.

Sesame Street Season 39

  1. Episode 4161: The Golden Triangle of Destiny
  2. Episode 4162: Telly's New Shoes
  3. Episode 4163: Sock Chaos at the Laundromat
  4. Episode 4164: Leela's Sesame Street Video
  5. Episode 4165: Firefly Show
  6. Episode 4166: Max the Magician
  7. Episode 4167: Annual Triangle Toss
  8. Episode 4168: Elmo and Zoe's Hat Contest
  9. Episode 4169: Telly the Tiebreaker
  10. Episode 4170: Curly Bear Chases Birthday Cake
  11. Episode 4171: Big Bird and Snuffy Talent Show
  12. Episode 4172: Number 6 Games
  13. Episode 4173: Abby Thinks Oscar is a Prince
  14. Episode 4174: Big Bird's Nest Sale
  15. Episode 4175: Slimey Adopts a Pet Bug
  16. Episode 4176: Elmo Steps in for Super Grover
  17. Episode 4177: Abby's First Sleepover
  18. Episode 4178: Three Cheers for Us
  19. Episode 4179: Sesame Street Bird Games
  20. Episode 4180: Elmo wants to be like Gordon
  21. Episode 4181: Mine-itis on Sesame Street
  22. Episode 4182: Hurry Up You're Running Out of Time
  23. Episode 4183: Maria the Cowgirl
  24. Episode 4184: The Cookie Touch
  25. Episode 4185: The Help-O-Bots
  26. Episode 4186: Baby Bear's New Baby Sitter
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