Sesame Street movie: 20th Century Fox picks up the movie rights to the television show

(EndPlay Staff Reports) - Sesame Street is returning to the big screen thanks to 20th Century Fox.

The Hollywood Reporter announced this week that the production studio has picked up the movie rights to the television show. Joe Mazzarino, a longtime writer on the series, has been tapped to write it.

This will be the third Sesame Street movie following 1985's "Follow That Bird" and 1999's "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland."

The new movie will be produced by Shawn Levy, director of "Night at the Museum," and his 21 Laps company.

The series "Sesame Street" debuted in 1969 and has aired more than 4,300 episodes. It is best known for creations of the late puppeteer Jim Henson including Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and Elmo.

Gawker reported on speculation that the movie project was spurred by the success of 2011's "The Muppets," which grossed $158 million worldwide.

"Sesame Street" and "The Muppets" share the Henson connection along with "Fraggle Rock," another puppet series that reported will be made into a movie.

Whether a Sesame Street film will do as well as "The Muppets" movie is also a topic for speculation.

The Hollywood Reporter expressed surprise that 20th Century Fox picked up the rights, quoting remarks by CEO Tom Rothman in The New Yorker that "Hollywood can't sustain itself on sequels and reboots alone."

Gawker said the Muppets and Sesame Street is like "comparing the cool baby sitter who lets you eat candy for second, third and fourth breakfast to your boring parents who make you get vaccinated so you don't catch Rubella."

"Both contribute something of value to your early development, but only one of them is perfect fodder for a hilarious movie."

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