'Sesame Street' Readies to Ring in Chinese New Year

Part of an annual tradition between Sesame Workshop and CCTV, segments of the 2018 Chinese New Year Special will be shot on the famed ‘Sesame Street’ NY set for the first time.

ASIA–Building on a relationship that began 35 years ago with the televised “Big Bird in China” special, China’s national broadcaster China Central Television Children’s Channel and Sesame Workshop will co-produce segments for CCTV’s annual Spring Festival special.

For the first time, CCTV will be on the iconic “Sesame Street” set in New York to shoot segments showcasing Chinese New Year traditions, customs, and legendary stories.

Since 2014, “Sesame Street’s” Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Lily have joined CCTV children’s hosts to learn about what makes Chinese New Year unique. Last year, the furry friends visited Singapore to learn about Spring Festival celebrations outside of China.

“What began as a small step for one big yellow bird has turned into a 35-year adventure between two organizations half a world apart,” says Xu Bin, deputy controller, CCTV Children’s Channel.  “We are excited to be shooting on the ‘Sesame Street’ set and cannot wait to share the new show with our viewers in China.”

Next year’s special will feature Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and CCTV children’s hosts Ju Ping, Dong Hoa and will premiere on Chinese New Year’s Eve, Feb. 16, 2018. Chinese New Year takes place on February 17, 2018.

Sesame Workshop opened its China office in 2013 and has built brand awareness through content syndication and Chinese New Year special co-productions. “Sesame Street” programming is available on China’s top online video platforms and boasts more than 37 million viewers and has rapidly expanded in the areas of location-based entertainment, educational products, and live shows.

“We are thrilled to work with CCTV to create engaging educational programs for the children of China,” says Steve Youngwood, chief operating officer, Sesame Workshop. “This partnership reflects a successful cultural exchange that we value deeply, and our co-produced programming demonstrates a powerful appreciation of each other’s differences and similarities. We warmly welcome CCTV to ‘Sesame Street’ in New York.”

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