American Idol Season 19 started live shows last week, but that momentum is on pause this week. Since no new episode aired Sunday night because of the Oscars on ABC, the network picked Monday to air a Sesame Street special rather than air an odd number of Idol episodes. Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days is a two-hour special that kicks off at 8 p.m. ET in place of Idol on Monday. The special is followed by a new episode of The Good Doctor at 10 p.m. ET.
50 Years of Sunny Days is a celebration of the most famous children's program, which marked 50 years on the air in 2019. The star-studded special was produced by TIME Studios and will feature Stevie Wonder performing a new version of the classic Sesame Street song "Sunny Days." First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will guest star, alongside Angelina Jolie, John Oliver, Rosie Perez, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The other guest stars include Whoopi Goldberg, W. Kamau Bell, Gloria Estefan, Dr. Anthony Fauci, John Legend, Christopher Jackson, Lucy Liu, Olivia Munn, Questlove, Usher, and Chrissy Teigen. The special will be available to watch on-demand and stream on Hulu Tuesday.
In the special, director Rebecca Gitilitz looks at the impact of the show and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that produces the series. It will also feature footage from a 1992 episode about divorce with Mr. Snuffleupagus and his family. The episode never aired, so the special will look into how producers reached that decision. The show also "reflects upon the efforts that have earned Sesame Street unparalleled respect and qualification around the globe, including addressing their responsibility to social issues that have historically been seen as taboo such as racial injustice," ABC teased.
American Idol is in the middle of its fourth season on ABC and 19th overall, with Luke Bryan, Kary Perry, and Lionel Richie as judges. Bobby Bones serves as a mentor to the contestants and Ryan Seacrest hosts. The competition is down to contestants, Alyssa Wray, Caleb Kennedy, Casey Bishop, Cassandra Coleman, Chayce Beckham, Deshawn Goncalves, Grace Kinstler, Hunter Metts, and Willie Spence. When the show comes back, Idol will announce the winner of the "comeback" twist, which saw some of the 2020 finalists welcomed back to perform in front of the judges in person after they were denied that before because of the coronavirus pandemic. Idol airs Sundays and Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.