Children's television was forever changed when Sesame Street first aired on PBS in 1969. Fifty years later, the show is still going strong. To celebrate this landmark birthday, HBO is airing an all-star anniversary special to launch the show's 50th season.
SPECIAL EVENT: Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosts Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration, with special appearances by Whoopi Goldberg, Patti LaBelle, Elvis Costello, Meghan Trainor, Sterling K. Brown, Norah Jones, Nile Rodgers, Itzhak Perlman, and Kermit the Frog, as well as visits from returning cast members Maria (Sonia Manzano), Gordon (Roscoe Orman), Bob (Bob McGrath), Luis (Emilio Delgado), Susan (Loretta Long), Linda (Linda Bove), Gina (Alison Bartlett), Miles (Olamide Faison), and Nitya Vidyasagar (Leela). Read our review. 7:00 PM ET on HBO
CABLE PREMIERE: HBO's big movie premiere this week is The Kid Who Would Be King. Directed by Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) the film brings the magic of Excalibur to modern times, as schoolboy Alex (Louis Ashbourne Serkis) discovers the legendary sword in the stone, and battles evil with the help of Merlin the wizard (Patrick Stewart). Watch the preview. 7:45 PM ET on HBO
DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE: From producer Leonardo DiCaprio, Sea of Shadows follows of team of scientists and conservationists as they try to rescue the last surviving vaquita porpoises. The documentary, which won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival, makes its commercial-free broadcast debut at 9:00 PM ET on National Geographic
MADE FOR TV MOVIE: Merritt Patterson (The Art of More) and Jon Cor (Shadowhunters) star in Picture Perfect Christmas, a holiday romance involving an extreme sports photographer, an ailing grandmother, a bachelor neighbor, and an unexpected spark. 8:00 PM ET on Hallmark
MADE FOR TV MOVIE: Keshia Knight Pullman (The Cosby Show) stars in Radio Christmas as a DJ at a year-round Christmas radio station who learns the true meaning of the holiday. 8:00 PM ET on Lifetime
Mike Attebery is Senior Editor at Primetimer and the author of seven mystery thrillers. Follow him on Twitter at @mikeattebery.