'Sesame Street' Doc Lands Show Creator, Big Bird Puppeteer (Exclusive)

Sesame Street - H 2016
Courtesy of HBO

The film is based partly on Michael Davis' best-selling book and being introduced to buyers at AFM by The Exchange.

Joan Ganz Cooney, the children’s TV icon and co-creator of Sesame Street, is set to participate in Street Gang, a documentary about the groundbreaking show.

Also lined up to appear in the film — based partly on Michael Davis’ best-selling book and being introduced to buyers at AFM by The Exchange — are fellow co-creator Lloyd Morrisett; several original castmembers and puppeteers, including Caroll Spinney (Big Bird, Oscar) and Fran Brill (Prairie Dawn); composer Chris Cerf; and original head writer Norman Stiles. Spinney, 84, announced recently that he was retiring after doing Big Bird for nearly 50 years.

Marilyn Agrelo is directing the documentary, which will include never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage and explore Sesame Street’s most experimental period.

“We are incredibly lucky to have so much of the talent behind the original show,” said The Exchange CEO Brian O’Shea. “Those were groundbreaking years for children’s television, and these were the folks at the forefront of that movement.” 

This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter's Nov. 1 daily issue at the American Film Market.