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Episodes with Clash performing as Elmo will presumably continue well into 2014. Taping of season No. 44 will wrap by mid-December and will begin airing next September, according to someone close to the show who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to publicly discuss details of its production.

As for who might take over as Elmo, other “Sesame Street” puppeteers have been trained to serve as Clash’s stand-in, Sesame Workshop said.

“Elmo is bigger than any one person,” the company said last week.

On Tuesday, Hasbro echoed that sentiment with its own statement: “We are confident that Elmo will remain an integral part of Sesame Street and that Sesame Street toys will continue to delight children for years to come.”

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AP Television Writer David Bauder and AP Retail Writer Mae Anderson contributed to this report.