Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster are headed to Ellenton.
Feld Entertainment will begin producing live Sesame Street productions in October 2017, company officials announced from Feld’s Ellenton headquarters on Thursday. Feld wrestled the exclusive rights to the long-running PBS show away from VStar Entertainment Group, a company created following the sale of VEE Corp by founder Vince Egan in 2015 to Blue Star Media, which eventually became VStar, led by CEO Eric Grilly, a former Comcast Sports Group executive.
VEE Corp had produced the live show for 35 years, but that run will come to an end in June 2017 when Vstar hosts its last Sesame Street show and Feld takes over the live production rights for a new October tour.
Under the multi-year agreement, Feld Entertainment will produce and tour live Sesame Street productions in the United States. The first production under the new deal is slated to launch in October 2017. The current Vstar-produced Sesame Street Live! tour will continue through July 2017.
Feld’s new partnership with Sesame Workshop makes the entertainment giant’s market share of touring family shows even bigger. The company will build and rehearse Sesame Street shows at Feld Entertainment Studios, “the largest and most innovative facility of its kind, with 50,000 square feet of rehearsal space and on-site design and fabrication,” according to a release. “Feld’s extensive team will execute local marketing and sales plans to expand the Sesame Street brand and leverage widespread arena and theater relationships to increase the Sesame Street footprint throughout North America.” Additionally, Feld will develop a new line of merchandise for Sesame Street’s touring shows.
“We are excited to partner with a company as dedicated to children’s learning as Sesame Workshop and to join their mission to help kids grow smarter, stronger, and kinder,” said Alana Feld, Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment. “Bringing the iconic Sesame Street brand to life allows us to extend the love that families have for these beloved characters through the live entertainment experience in a way only Feld Entertainment can.”
“Feld Entertainment has a long-standing tradition of creating spectacular live experiences for audiences around the globe,” said Scott Chambers, Senior Vice President and General Manager, North America Media and Licensing, Sesame Workshop. “We’re thrilled to collaborate on bringing the laughter and learning of Sesame Street to kids and their families in a brand new way.”