The evolution of Sesame Street continues with the now-HBO series losing three longtime regulars. Bob McGrath (music teacher and singer Bob), Emilio Delgado (Fix-it Shop handyman Luis) and Roscoe Orman (schoolteacher Gordon) are out at the venerable kids show.
McGrath, who’s been part of the show since it launched in 1969 on PBS, announced the news July 2 at an event in Florida, and producer Sesame Workshop confirmed it today. Delgado has been on the show since 1971, and Orman joined three years later.
“Bob McGrath, Emilio Delgado and Roscoe Orman remain a beloved part of the Sesame family and continue to represent us at public events,” Sesame Workshop said in a statement today. “To us, and for millions of people worldwide, they are a treasured part of Sesame Street. Since the show began, we are constantly evolving our content and curriculum, and hence, our characters, to meet the educational needs of children. As a result of this, our cast has changed over the years, though you can still expect to see many of them in upcoming productions. As we’ve stated previously, Sesame Workshop retains sole creative control over the show. HBO does not oversee the production.”
McGrath said Loretta Long, who has played Gordon’s wife Susan for Sesame Street‘s entire run, will continue on the series. Sonia Manzano, who had played Maria on the show since 1971, retired last year.
The new HBO version, which premiere in January, has been cut from an hour to 30 minutes.