"Sesame Street" (Credit: HBO)

‘Sesame Street’ Kicks Off Season 48 With Evening Special on HBO

Kate McKinnon, Lucy Liu, Josh Groban guest star in new season

The 48th season of Sesame Street starts with an evening special on HBO Saturday, Nov. 11, before weekly episodes begin the following Saturday.

The special, titled The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special, airs 7-7:45 p.m. on Nov. 11. It sees the Sesame Street gang on a hot air balloon ride high above the city. The characters marvel at the sights, but as they prepare to return home, a bird steals Abby’s wand, leaving the group unable to find its way back to their street. The gang finds new neighborhoods, each with its own foods, music and languages. The adventurers meet new friends in every neighborhood who unite to track the bird, return the wand to Abby and finally get back home.

The weekly daytime episodes kicking off a week later air at 9 a.m.

Sesame Street inked its deal with HBO in 2015. Longtime home PBS airs the episodes nine months after they debut on HBO.

The season features new segment “Cookie Monster’s Foodie Truck.” Running for five minutes, the segments see a call from a child who orders something to eat. Cookie and his pal Gonger steer their food truck to gather an ingredient straight from the source, such as a cranberry bog or avocado farm.

Continuing Sesame Workshop’s kindness curriculum, the new season also focuses on respect and understanding, helping kids recognize similarities and celebrate differences–particularly involving race, ethnicity and socioeconomic class.

Guests for the new season include Elizabeth Banks, Kate McKinnon, Lucy Liu, Josh Groban and Ellie Goulding.