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On ‘Sesame Street,’ Elmo Gets a Dog


In this image provided by Sesame Workshop, Elmo and his new dog Tango are seen in an upcoming special show "Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy," which will air on HBO Max on August 5. (Sesame Workshop vía AP)
On 'Sesame Street,' Elmo Gets a Dog
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The children’s television series Sesame Street is welcoming a new lovable character for its 52nd season.

The new character is a white-and-brown puppy. The young dog is named Tango. She gets adopted by the young red Muppet, Elmo.

Kay Wilson Stallings is an executive vice president at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street. She said the show’s creators “wanted to explore that special bond between children and pets by introducing this new character.”

Tango will join Sesame Street’s 52nd season as both an animated character and a live-action Muppet. The new season will air this autumn on HBO Max and on PBS KIDS next year.

Tango will be introduced in a 30-minute animated special called Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy. The televised special will air on the HBO Max channel in the United States on August 5.

Tango is Elmo’s second pet. He has been caring for a fish named Dorothy for several years.

“He’s done quite well taking care of his goldfish,” Wilson Stallings said of Elmo. “We thought he’s been successful with taking care of Dorothy and that this could be the next step in his development...”

The show’s writers had plans to introduce a pet on Sesame Street even before the COVID-19 pandemic began. During the pandemic, animal adoptions have risen sharply in the United States. Now, Sesame Workshop hopes Tango can help show children of different ages how to help with the care and feeding of new family pets.

“The timing of it is perfect,” said Wilson Stallings.

Details about Tango have been carefully considered. The show’s producers talked at length about what the dog should look like.

They decided to make Tango a female mixed breed dog. “She could be a little of anything. Anybody that has a pet might see a little of their pet within Tango,” Wilson Stallings said.

Tango will remain a puppy — just like Elmo stays 3-and-a-half years old.

Wilson Stallings said, “Right now we’re just really focusing on that relationship between she and Elmo as she gets to become more familiar with all the rest of the characters on Sesame Street.

Sesame Street co-productions have aired in over 70 languages in more than 150 countries worldwide.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

The Associated Press reported this story. Ashley Thompson adapted the report for VOA Learning English. Bryan Lynn was the editor.

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Words in This Story

character - n. a person who appears in a story, book, play, movie, or television show

adopt - v. to take a child of other parents legally as your own child (can also be used for animals whose previous owners abandoned or released them to a rescue organization)

bond - n. something (such as an idea, interest, experience, or feeling) that is shared between people or groups and forms a connection between them

pet - n. an animal (such as a dog, cat, bird, or fish) that people keep mainly for pleasure

animated - adj. produced by the creation of a series of drawings, pictures, etc., that are shown quickly one after another : produced through the process of animation

breed - n. to keep and take care of animals or plants in order to produce more animals or plants of a particular kind

focus - v. to cause (something, such as attention) to be directed at something specific

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