Outrage Over Sesame Street Firings Causes Management to Reconsider

'Due to your overwhelming reaction regarding the status of myself and others on the show, the new [...]

(Photo: HBO)

Three longtime fixtures in the Sesame Street neighborhood may not be leaving as soon as previously reported.

Just a day after Sesame Workshop announced that Bob McGrath (Bob), Roscoe Orman (Gordon) and Emilio Delgado (Luis) were being let go after serving 47, 42 and 45 seasons respectively, it seems the social media outcry over their departure has caused the production company to set up a meeting with an eye toward extending the veteran actors' contracts.

Delgado's character, in particular, was seen as a likely departure already since Sonia Manzano, who plays Luis's wife Maria, retired from the show at the end of last season. When word broke that all three actors had been let go, though, audiences were irate.

Bob McGrath, who has played Bob on the series since 1969, recently told an audience at Florida Supercon that he "has been graciously let go" from the show, along with Orman and Delgado.

"I have completed my 45th season this year," McGrath said at the time. "And the show has gone under a major turn around, now going from an hour to a half-hour."

That format change was nominally the reason for the layoffs, but social media consensus was that the firings should be laid at the feet of HBO, who recently bought into Sesame Street for five years and who will air first-run episodes starting with the upcoming season.

(Episodes will still air for free on PBS six months later.)

"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 told Fox News Latino by email. "Hopefully, this will result in the inclusion of veteran cast members in upcoming productions."

McGrath told KQED that he, too, had assumed the layoffs were HBO's call.