|Sesame Street Welcomes New Latino Neighbor|
|ABC News||May 10, 2013, 8:31 AM|
It's time for fans of "Sesame Street" to roll out the welcoming mat.
A new neighbor, Armando, is moving into the neighborhood and he's bringing a dose of cultural diversity along with him.
The popular PBS children's show announced today on " Good Morning America" that Armando, a writer, will make his debut Sept. 16, when "Sesame Street" premieres its 44 th season on PBS KIDS.
"Mando," as he will be known to his new neighbors like Cookie Monster, Elmo, Bert and Ernie, will join Maria (played by Sonia Manzano), Luis (Emilio Delgado) and Muppets™ Rosita and Ovejita (Carmen Osbahr) as part of the show's bilingual community.
Armando will be played by actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, a native of Puerto Rico who holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and has starred in shows like "The Good Wife."
Cordova won the role in a high-profile search by "Sesame Street" for a new character actor that began in August 2012 when hundreds of hopefuls came out to the show's first-ever open casting call held in New York City in their search for a new, diverse character.
"I am honestly still in shock," Cordova said in a release from "Sesame Street" announcing his new role. "I am incredibly proud to be a part of a show that acknowledges and celebrates diversity so whole-heartedly and am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to represent Latino-Americans on 'Sesame Street.'"