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Apple links up with Sesame Workshop

Apple is partnering with Sesame Street producer Sesame Workshop on a slate of original programming marking its first commissions for children.

Sesame Workshop will develop new live-action and animated series, as well as an Apple-exclusive puppet series, for the tech giant under the multi-series deal.

However, Sesame Street is not included in the deal due to the agreement between Sesame and HBO that sees the long-running programme tied to the US premium cablenet, as well as public broadcaster PBS, until at least 2020.

Apple, which has pledged to invest more than US$1bn in programming for its forthcoming video platform, hired Amazon Studios’ head of children’s programming Tara Sorensen to oversee its kids’ series late last year.

The tech giant’s recent commissions include a drama based on the real-life story of a pre-teen news reporter and an adaptation of Gregory David Roberts’ bestselling novel Shantaram with American Hustle’s Eric Warren Singer.

It has also ordered shows including Are You Sleeping from Reese Witherspoon’s prodco Hello Sunshine and Amazing Stories from Steven Spielberg, while it recently agreed a multi-year partnership with Oprah Winfrey as it taps into high-profile entertainment talent.

Apple also hired a development exec from rival streamer Netflix last week as it continues to build its global video team.

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