Is ‘Sesame Street’ reversing decision to cut longtime cast members?
Two New Jersey natives may continue to be a part of the "Sesame Street" neighborhood after all.
Bob McGrath, of Teaneck ("Bob"), told fans earlier this month that he, Roscoe Orman, of Montclair ("Gordon"), and Emilio Delgado ("Luis"), had been let go from the popular children's program setting off an Internet backlash.
But Delgado told Fox News Latino on Friday that Sesame Street appears to have changes its mind.
"Due to your overwhelming reaction regarding the status of myself and others on the show, the new producers of 'Sesame Street' have reached out to us with an expressed desire to continue our longstanding relationship, to be initiated with a meeting in September," Delgado said in a statement to Fox News Latino. "Hopefully, this will result in the inclusion of veteran cast members in upcoming productions. I look forward to sharing with you at such time, the results of that conversation. Thanks again for your loving support and devotion to 'Sesame Street' and to what it has meant to the children of the world."
Delgado, 76, joined the cast in 1971. He portrayed Luis the handyman and his on-set wife was Sonia Manzano ("Maria"), who retired last year.
Orman, 72, became part of the cast in 1974. McGrath, 84, is the longest running of the three, joining the show at its debut in 1969. He is perhaps best known for singing the iconic “The People in Your Neighborhood,” long a staple of the show.
McGrath had told an audience at the FloridaCon this month that the show's 45th season was his last.
“The show has gone under a major turnaround, going from an hour to a half hour. HBO has gotten involved also. And they let all of the original cast members go,” he said.
McGrath's announcement garnered widespread media attention and led to backlash on social media against Sesame Workshop, the show's production company, and HBO, which signed a deal to air five seasons of the production last year. The shift to the premium cable channel has brought about several changes, including a new set and a shift from a one-hour format to a half-hour program. Sesame Street will still be broadcast on PBS, but new shows will air first on HBO.