The rest of PBS should follow the lead of Sesame Street
Big Bird, like the dodo, doesn’t fly. But he may now fair better than the ungainly fowl last seen in Mauritius in the 1600s. That’s because Big Bird has migrated to HBO, leaving behind the unchallenging environment of public broadcasting.
The dodo became extinct because it was flightless. It was flightless because, facing no predators or competitors for centuries on an isolated island in the Indian Ocean, it forgot how to fly. Once European explorers and their dogs showed up on Mauritius, the bird was hunted down mercilessly.
To avoid this fate, Sesame Workshop, which produces Big Bird and all of the Muppets on Sesame Street, struck a five-year deal that will make the children’s program available first on HBO, injecting an undisclosed amount of cash into Sesame Workshop. The episodes will still air on PBS several months later.
- This piece originally appeared in TIME and can be viewed in full at http://time.com/4005568/sesame-street-public-broadcasting/.