For almost five decades, SESAME STREET has been helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. This November, the groundbreaking show kicks off its 48th season with the evening presentation THE MAGICAL WAND CHASE: A SESAME STREET SPECIAL, debuting SATURDAY, NOV. 11 (7:00-7:45 p.m. ET/PT), followed by new weekly episodes starting SATURDAY, NOV. 18 (9:00-9:30 a.m.).

In THE MAGICAL WAND CHASE: A SESAME STREET SPECIAL, Abby takes the SESAME STREET gang on a magical hot air balloon ride high above the city. The characters take time to marvel at the sights, but as they prepare to return home, a bird nabs Abby's wand, leaving the group unable to find its way back to their street. While making daring attempts to retrieve the wand and trying to chase the plucky bird in a thrilling series of scenes, Abby and the gang find new neighborhoods, each with its own foods, music and languages. THE BRAVE adventurers meet new friends in every neighborhood who unite to track the bird, return the wand to Abby and finally make their way back home.

Season 48 of SESAME STREET features the new segment "Cookie Monster's Foodie Truck." In each five-minute installment, Cookie Monster and his new pal, Gonger, receive a video call from a child who orders something special from their food truck. Partway through each recipe, Cookie and Gonger jump behind the wheel to gather a key ingredient straight from the source, visiting a cranberry bog, a pasta factory, an avocado farm and more. Farmers and artisans show Cookie and Gonger how their star ingredient is grown or produced before restocking the truck and sending the chefs home to get cooking. It's an engaging way for kids to learn where food comes from.

Continuing Sesame Workshop's acclaimed kindness curriculum, the new season of SESAME STREET also focuses on respect and understanding, helping kids recognize similarities and celebrate differences - particularly involving race, ethnicity and socioeconomic class. With its diverse cast of humans and lovable monsters living side-by-side, the show has long helped kids and families navigate this complicated space. Throughout the season, it portrays Sesame characters respecting and appreciating their friends' unique cultures, contributions and points of view.

As always, this season of SESAME STREET features a lineup of top celebrities, including: actress Elizabeth Banks, guest starring in THE MAGICAL WAND CHASE: A SESAME STREET SPECIAL; Leon Bridges, performing a new Thanksgiving song; Alessia Cara, singing the new song "So Much Alike"; singer Ellie Goulding, learning all about clouds; Tony Award winner Josh Groban, singing the new song "Hey Friend"; Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, telling kids about the letter C, for "counting"; Padma Lakshmi ("Top Chef"), visiting an international street food fair; John Legend, singing the new song "Come Together"; Lucy Liu as a reluctant Cinderella who wants to ditch her glass slippers; and Kate McKinnon as Mother Goose, helping the friends create a new rhyme about Elmo.

November's shows:

Season 48, Episode 1: "A SESAME STREET Thanksgiving"

Debut: SATURDAY, NOV. 18 (9:00-9:30 a.m.)

Elmo, Big Bird, Rosita, Alan, Julia, Nina and the rest of the neighborhood gather to appreciate all the traditions, cultures, and delicious foods their community has to offer. Guest star: Leon Bridges.

Season 48, Episode 2: "Hair Training"

Debut: SATURDAY, NOV. 25 (9:00-9:30 a.m.)

Friends learn that even though their hair (and feathers, and fur!) moves in unique ways, they all have something fun to add to a group dance.

SESAME STREET is also available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.

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