Long-running, American children’s show Sesame Street will cut three human characters from the roster for upcoming episodes.

Who’s leaving the show?

Bob McGrath, Roscoe Orman, and Emilio Delgado, who play the characters of Bob, Gordon, and Luis, are the one leaving the Astoria-based show, according to sources.

According to a released statement from McGrath, the change was due in part from the changes that have been implemented after HBO acquired the show, which includes cutting the show down from its traditional hour-long length to half an hour.

According to the statement, most of the original actors have left the show since the acquisition. Only two remaining human actors, Alan Muraoka and Chris Knowings, are said to be still on the show in upcoming episodes.

Sesame Workshop had announced its partnership with HBO back in August 2015, and it was believed that the move would help the show be able to double nearly its production of episodes released per year, 35 from a previous 18, in addition to helping HBO promote its live-streaming services.

McGrath was on the show since 1969

Of the three actors, McGrath, a singer who was once based in Japan, had been on the show the longest, since its first episode in 1969.

Ormanhad joined the show in 1974, where he took over the role of Gordon, who had been played by at least three other actors beforehand, whereas Delgado had joined in 1979.

Sonia Manzano, who was known for playing Maria on the show, had previously made news when she retired from playing the character in 2015.

Sesame Workshop‘s response

Sesame Workshophad also taken to social media to explain the decision to retire the characters, as seen below, citing the show’s “evolving” nature as the reason behind the need to change cast members, although suggested that the actors may still make appearances in “upcoming productions.”

That said, while McGrath suggested that HBO’s decisions are what may have led to the cast changes, the post also noted that HBO does not oversee the production of the show, and was not directly involved with the show’s production, meaning Sesame Workshop had alone approved the decision.

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