Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

These are the people in your Zoom chat: Sesame Street hosts a social-distancing playdate

Illustration for article titled These are the people in your Zoom chat: Sesame Street hosts a social-distancing playdate
Photo: Courtesy of WarnerMedia

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Tuesday, April 14. All times are Eastern. 


Top pick

Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate (Simulcast on HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, and truTV, and streaming on PBS Kids 24/7, 7 p.m., 30-minute special): If you have kids, this one’s for you. And you know what? If you don’t have kids, this one’s for you, too. Let’s all watch Elmo have a motherfucking playdate for half an hour.

This multi-network simulcast of a new, socially distanced Sesame Street special is designed to “to help kids and families around the world feel connected in this time of uncertainty—an extension of the Caring For Each Other initiative that [Sesame Workshop] launched last month.” It’s not just available to families who can afford cable or HBO subscriptions, either; the special will be available free through PBS Kids 24/7, will rebroadcast on individual PBS networks throughout the month, and will begin airing internationally tomorrow. Expect cuteness, lots of jokes about cookies, and appearances from Anne Hathaway, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Can you binge it? A lot of it, yes. You can find Sesame Street through HBO, but loads of Sesame Street content is out there for free at the moment. There’s an “expanded offering” of free episodes available on-demand through pbskids.org and the PBS Kids app, which is available for mobile devices and connected TV devices. There are also over 100 Sesame Street ebooks available for free through Kindle, Nook, and other major ebook platforms.

Regular coverage

On stage At home

There are many, many ways to see some world-class music, theater, and dance performances at the moment; we’re going to spotlight some of those options in What’s On Tonight as much of the world continues to shelter-in-place. Here are a few highlights.

Fleabag onstage (Amazon in the U.S., internationally via Soho Theatre On Demand): Here’s your chance to see the origins of one of the decade’s best TV shows and support health workers, artists, and others in need at the same time—100 percent of proceeds are destined for charities (details here).

Stars In The House (livestreaming, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. daily): Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley’s twice-daily livestreaming show benefits The Actors Fund, which “fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.” The first of today’s episodes features Sean Hayes; the second is a Glee reunion featuring Darren Criss, Matt Morrison, Jane Lynch, Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, and Kevin McHale.


Cirque Du Soleil (Free on YouTube, new specials weekly): Every Friday for the last three weeks, Cirque has shared a free hour-long special to its YouTube channel, compiling great moments from its biggest shows. The most recent includes excerpts from Alegria, KOOZA, and KÀ.

Wild card

The Gene: An Intimate History (PBS, 8 p.m., finale): The second half of this two-part documentary from executive producer Ken Burns airs tonight; it’s worth going back to catch the first half. The film looks at the history of the human genome from both a scientific and personal perspective, and tonight’s conclusion sees geneticists “wrestle with moral implications of new technologies that offer both promise and peril.”

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves TV, bourbon, and overanalyzing social interactions. Please buy her book, How TV Can Make You Smarter (Chronicle, 2020). It’s short!