There’s a new sheriff on Sesame Street — well, a new EP, at least. Sesame Workshop said today that Ben Lehmann has been named as executive producer of the children’s TV stalwart, taking over for interim EP Brown Johnson.
Lehmann joined Sesame Street as a production assistant in 2001 and rose to become supervising producer in 2015. He also has served as a director for the past three years. He has won nine Daytime Emmys and multiple PGA Awards during his tenure of sweepin’ the clouds away. Lehmann’s team also picked up a Primetime Emmy in September for the 2016 holiday special
The series moved to HBO for the 2016 season after 45 years on PBS.
“I am thrilled to have Ben lead our production team as we approach our landmark 50th anniversary,” said Johnson, who remains as creative director of Sesame Workshop. “His leadership and vision have helped us embrace new production styles, formats and characters, and increase our creative output while staying true to our core brand. He has also worked hard to increase diversity on both sides of the camera, particularly in developing writers, directors, and on-screen talent.”
In the past two years, Sesame Street has introduced its first Muppet with autism and its first Afghan girl Muppet. In July 2016, Sesame Workshop drew criticism after it dismissed three actors who had been on the series for more than 40 years: Bob McGrath (who played music teacher and singer Bob), Emilio Delgado (Fix-it Shop handyman Luis) and Roscoe Orman (schoolteacher Gordon).