Tony and Academy Award nominee Willie Reale (A Year With Frog and Toad, "Dreamgirls") serves as head writer for the series that features a musical team composed of In the Heights actor Chris Jackson (Benny), Tony-nominated director Thomas Kail and Tony-winning arranger-orchestrator Bill Sherman. Also enlisted to pen the 35 half-hour episodes are Jeff and Craig Cox ("Blades of Glory"), Deirdre O'Connor ("Hero") and Jerome Hairston ("Law & Order: Criminal Intent"). "The opportunity to redevelop this beloved brand has been an honor and a labor of love," said executive producer Karen Fowler in a statement. "Translating the original genius of 'The Electric Company' to appeal to today's audience has birthed a unique project that has attracted some of the industry's top talent. This generation's 'The Electric Company' is naturally conceived to let children experience it on any media platform while providing support for parents and teachers online and in outreach materials."
The series will feature special guests including Whoopi Goldberg, Kelly Ripa, Kyle Massey, Tiki Barber, Jack McBrayer, Wyclef Jean, Sean Kingston, Jimmy Fallon, Pete Wentz, Mario and original songs from Ne-Yo.
The young regulars on the new "Electric Company" include Ricky Smith (The Color Purple, Captain Louie), Priscilla Diaz (Second Stage's Take the Train to Maine), Jenni Barber (Spelling Bee), Josh Segarra, Chris Sullivan, L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King), Dominic Colón Till the Break of Dawn), Will Harper (Ruined, Queens Boulevard), Ashley Morris (Die Mommie Die!) and Sandie Rosa (Wanda's World).
"The Electric Company" airs Fridays at 5:30 PM ET on PBS; check local listings. For further information visit www.sesameworkshop.org.