Monday, December 26, 2005

Dinosaurs on DVD in 2006

For years fans have been asking when their favorite prehistoric sit-com will make its DVD debut. Dinosaurs, the 1990's TV series from Jim Henson Productions and Buena Vista Entertainment may be coming to DVD next year. Sources have exclusively told our friends at that Dinosaurs is on the way to DVD sometime in 2006, possibly the second quarter (April-June 2006). It is unsure if this will be a complete first season set (or a combined first and second season set), a smaller "best of" select episode compilation, or a volume box set, or something else. At this time we don't know what, if any, bonus features will be attached to the product, nor do we know definitively when and what will be released. TVShowsOnDVD is reporting that this is pretty strong info, but it is still technically a rumor and not locked-in until Buena Vista Home Entertainment (a division of Disney) makes a formal announcement (which could be over a month or more away – if ever). I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything else, and keep you updated as more developments on the future of the Sinclair family coming to DVD.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas From the Balcony (Episode 14)

A special holiday episode of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" was posted on today. In the latest installment of the bi-weekly web-show, Statler and Waldorf talk about their favorite Holiday films", plus Larry and Oliver re-enact every holiday movie ever made in "Film Crew Theatre". Plus, you can learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "Yule-Log-JAM". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode. And be sure to check back for the next episode on January 7th .

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Jim Henson Honors

Today The Jim Henson Company announced the first ever Jim Henson Honors. The Jim Henson Honors, started in 2005, acknowledges organizations, individuals or products that reflect the core values and philosophy of Jim Henson and the company he founded.

Honorees were chosen by the artists and staff at The Jim Henson Company, who are asked to nominate recipients who inspire them in their everyday work, maintain similar core values as the company, and of course, reflect Jim Henson's commitment to excellence in creativity and innovation.

"The diversity and accomplishment of the recipients exemplifies what we believe; that there can be inspiration and fun in everything around us. In our books and music, but also in our cars, communities and our environment," said Lisa Henson. "My father saw the joy that comes from embracing all kinds of creativity and we are thrilled to continue that legacy."

The 2005 Jim Henson Honorees:
• The Jim Henson Celebration Honor: JK Rowling, author
• The Jim Henson Creativity Honor: The Gorillaz, virtual band
• The Jim Henson Community Honor: Bill Haber, community service
• The Jim Henson Technology Honor: The Prius, gas-electric hybrid automobile

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Disney Alters Some of The Muppets' Big Plans

As many of you know, back in October Disney had a big change in management when Disney's CEO Michael Eisner left, and Robert Iger was placed in charge. As a result of the Walt Disney Company's management change, came other major changes in several of the sub-companies and segments of the Walt Disney Company – including the Muppet Holding Company. As many of you may have heard, Chris Curtin was released from his duties as the head of the Muppet Holding Company back in October. Russell Hampton was later instated as an Executive Vice President in charge of overseeing the Muppets Holding Company (and The Baby Einstein Company).

As you may also remember, just a few days before the big management change Kermit was on Good Morning America, and announced to the world that he would be embarking on a big 15-month, 50-stop, 50th-anniversary world tour. The tour kicked off in Kermit, Texas shortly following. However it has now been confirmed that Disney cut the road trip short (with only 2 of the 50 stops completed). Apparently they did not feel that it was an effective or efficient use of their company resources. Adding insult to injury: a Disney source close to the Muppets told TV-Guide that the Disney executives "didn't think the public would notice". Also canceled due to the abrupt management change was the planned Christmas special, along with several other proposed and approved projects left from the "Curtin days". Apparently Hampton and the rest of the Disney executives did not see eye-to-eye on a lot of what Curtin was planning, and another Disney sources states the many of the Disney executives are still skeptical about the potential of the Muppet franchise.

Currently the only major Muppet project in the works is the tentative ABC's reality parody "America's Next Muppet". But I've been told that the Muppet Holding Company is working hard to asses the market and re-launch the Muppets (yet again) with other projects as well. I'll keep you posted as we get more news on any upcoming Muppet projects and productions - but just don't expect to see Kermit coming to a town near you or staring in a Christmas special this year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Kermit & Piggy on "Tony Danza" on Tuesday

The world-famous Muppet frog, Kermit, and Pig, Miss Piggy, will be a guest on the daytime talk show “The Tony Danza Show” on Tuesday, December 20, 2005! Kermit and Piggy will be featured guests along with Barbara Walters, Roger Bart, and David Tutera. Kermit and Piggy's appearance on “Tony Danza” will air on Tuesday's show - check your local listings for time and channel. So set your VCR, program you Ti-Vo, and don’t miss it! This will mark Kermit and Piggy's third time as a guest on "The Tony Danza Show" (their last appearances were on November 3, 2005 and May 16, 2005). Don't forget to tune in and catch this Muppet guest spot!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Pepe returns to "Craig Ferguson" on Monday

The world-famous Muppet shrimp –sorry, king prawn – Pepe will be a guest on the late night talk show “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” on Monday, December 19, 2005! Pepe will be a featured guest along with Mimi Rogers, Dennis Quaid, and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Pepe's appearance on “Craig Ferguson” will air Monday at 12:35 a.m. on CBS (ok, so it is technically very early Tuesday morning, but you understand). Set your VCR, program you Ti-Vo, and don’t miss it! This will mark Pepe's third time as a guest on "The Late Late Show" (his last appearance 5 weeks earlier, along side of John Lahr and Patti Smith, was very entertaining and well received). Tune in and enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

From the Balcony: Episode 13

A new episode of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" was posted on today. In the latest installment of the bi-weekly web-show, Statler and Waldorf talk about "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe" and "King Kong", plus Ivan the Villager begs Hollywood to be kind to monsters like Sweetums. You can also learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "HACK-tors ". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode. And be sure to check back for the next episode on December 24th.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sesame Biography Set to Re-air

A&E will re-air their wonderful behind-the-scenes special about Sesame Street - "Sesame Street Biography". The 2-hour special is being shown in two hour-long parts as a part of A&E's morning "A&E Classroom" programing block. The hour-long "Part 1" will air on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 at 7:00am ET/PT; and the second hour, "Part 2", will air the very next day (Thursday, December 22, 2005) at the same time (7:00am ET/PT) -- check your local listings for details.

This is an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at how the children's educational show is put together, from the initial writers' meeting through research, production, and actual filming. Viewers will see the Muppeteers working their Muppets and rehearsing without the Muppets on their hands, which Sesame Street had never before allowed to be filmed.

Sesame Street is a TV legend, pure and simple. Jim Henson's vision gave the world Big Bird, the Grouch, Kermit and countless other beloved characters, and has helped millions of kids get a jump start on the alphabet, counting and other essential skills. For this extraordinary portrait, Sesame Street's producers allowed A&E unrestricted access to all facets of the show's creation, and theyl follow one episode from the first writer's meeting to broadcast to see how it all comes together. Rare footage captures landmark moments, including the never-before-seen pilot episode, and extensive archival interviews with Jim Henson and Frank Oz offer insights into the creators' intentions.

If you haven't seen this great documentary (and even if you have) be sure to set your VCRs, program your TiVo and don't miss it both days. You can also buy the DVD of both parts from A&E's online store here. The $30 disc does not feature special cover-art, any disc menu pages or any special features like standard DVDs, it simply includes a copy of the program.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

MTR Celebrates 50 Years of Henson & The Muppets

The good folks over at the Jim Henson Legacy have put together an amazing event with the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City and Los Angeles. For a full two months, starting December 2 through January 26, everyday at 12 noon, there will be two great and rarely seen Muppet gems culled from the Henson Legacy treasure trove for all to enjoy. Each program will run for two weeks.

This line up is amazing. Here is an opportunity to revisit all of your warm and fuzzy classic Muppet holiday specials, plus to view the films you can't see anywhere else. Muppet minds will love the Kermit included Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas, the unreleased Musicians of Bremen, Tales of Tinkerdee, The Great Santa Claus Switch, The Jim Henson Hour, and much more . But that's not all- In the first floor gallery of the Museum in New York, there will be a special exhibit of John Barrett's photographs of the Muppets (until April 2006). John was the official photographer for the Muppets for 25 years. This is the first time all of these images are on display in one location and personally selected by John.

For more information on the events, the film line-ups, and museum information visit the “Celebrating 50 Years of Jim Henson & The Muppets” webpage at the Museum of Television and Radio’s website.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Upgrade to a new Forum!

“The Muppet Newsflash” is proud to announce an all-new new and improved, Muppet Newsflash forum! The forum, like the blog, is a place dedicated to informing and uniting Muppet fans and Jim Henson enthusiasts the world over. Last month, we started a little forum on Delphi to appease the demand and get things started. Due to the feedback, help, and aid of several other fans we are now able to provide a much better and more suitable forum for all our visitors and fellow Muppet fans. The Muppet Newsflash forum was created to allow fans to come together exchange ideas and information, debate, discuss, laugh, share, and just have fun in friendlyfan fellowship – and we feel that the new forum will be able to do just that even better than our old home at Delphi. The forum is run using the PHPBB system and hosted by the good people at It is a great place, and already starting to draw a crowd of fans.

The Muppet Newsflash forum is a great place to bring fans together, and have discussions about the Muppets (Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street, Jim Henson, and whatnot). The new (and more permanent home) is a better and much more fitting place for the Muppet Newsflash community – we hope to see it blossom and grow for years to come. I urge you all to surf on in, check it out, register, start posting, and have fun! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Kermit and Bear at Disney's 2005 Christmas Parade

Kermit the Frog and Bear (from "Bear in the Big Blue House") are both planned to be part of the Walt Disney World Resort's 2005 Christmas parade! The parade is known as "a family tradition that enchants and entertains children of all ages" and has been a television tradition for over 20 years. Kermit the Frog is planned to make appearances in the 2005 television coverage of the parade. Fans may remember that Kermit, Piggy and Gonzo were all at last year’s parade. Bear will once again grace the parade and delight viewers with his regular charm and warmth - Bear (and friends) have made several appearances in the parade in past years. Information on whether or not other characters will appear along with Kermit or Bear is unavailable at this time.

The two-hour parade special will feature lots of celebrity appearances and musical performances, plus all your favorite Disney characters. This year, the show promises to be bigger and better than as it celebrates 50 years of Disney Theme Park magic. So be sure to tune in and see Kermit and Bear at the parade. The "Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade" airs on Sunday, December 25, 2005 at 10:00am (9:00am central) on ABC. Check your local listings for details.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

From the Balcony: Episode 12

A new episode of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" was posted on today. In the latest installment of the bi-weekly web-show, Statler and Waldorf talk about the films "In the Mix" and "Rent", plus two Muppet rats (Stan and Louie) drop in to take you underneath the balcony and talk about "Yours, Mine, and Ours". You can also learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "WEAK-quel". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode (keep watching after the closing logos for some "Balcony bloopers"). And be sure to check back for the next episode on December 10th.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wake Up with Kermit & Target

It’s that time of year again - the the post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping rush. Target stores will open at 6 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and once again they will be offering to help their shoppers get out of bed to get to their sales with a wake-up call. Consumers can go to the Target Wake-up website and sign up for a free, prerecorded wake-up call from celebrities – this year’s list of big name callers include Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire), model Carolyn Murphy, and country singer Brad Paisley.

Along with signing up for a wake-up call from Kermit, you can visit the
Target Wake-up website to watch the 5 delightfully entertaining “Target wake-up call” commercials that feature Kermit the Frog eating flies, playing banjo, and singing a lullaby (look in the “Watch the Films” section). You can also download an exclusive Quicktime video featuring Kermit singing himself to sleep in the “Download free stuff” section. Be sure to check them out, they are fun, entertaining, a real treat for Kermit fans.

So surf over to the
Target website and sign up for a call from Kermit (currently Kermit has had the most wake-up calls lined-up for with over 40% of the registered calls). The wake-up calls (which you can get for the one-day sale, or the two-day sale) are free and easy to do (just pick your caller – I recommend Kermit – and then enter your phone number and call time). So if you’re planning on shopping at Target (and even if you’re not), be sure to check out the website (and if you want, sign up for a call from Kermit).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Sesamize Your Cell Phone

Sesame Workshop, along with m-Qube, launched an awesome new web-based Sesame Street Mobile store today. The new store is a place where fans can purchase tons of Sesame Street ringtones and wallpapers.

"C is for Cookie," "Rubber Duckie," "People in Your Neighborhood," "Sesame Street Theme Song," and "Doin’ the Pigeon" are just a few of the 30+ classic songs fans can purchase to spice up their cellular telephone. The site also offers over 100 cellphone wallpapers featuring all of your favorite Sesame Street characters, classic moments from the show, your very own Letter or Number of the Day, and even characters from the international co-productions of Sesame Street. New and seasonal content will be added regularly.

"Sesame Workshop is always looking for innovative technologies to reach Sesame Street fans of all ages," said Jeffrey Fleishman, Assistant Vice President of Interactive Media Business Development for Sesame Workshop. "We think this is a great way for adults to connect with the children in their life and reconnect with their own childhood."

To get your own mobile Sesame Street content, just go and log onto the Sesame Street Mobile store. Proceeds from the ringtones and wallpaper sales help fund Sesame Workshop's ongoing educational programs for children around the world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Kevin Clash Writing Autobiography

Kevin Clash, the Muppeteer behind Elmo (and others), just recently signed a major deal with Broadway Books to write an inspirational book for adults that is set for release in "fall 2006". The book, titled What Elmo Taught Me, will draw upon the Baltimore native’s unique experience as a parent, master puppeteer, and performer whose work has enchanted millions in America and around the world.

“Playing a three-year-old day in and day out has given me a unique perspective on adulthood,” Kevin said. “I get to stay in touch with what’s important but what we as adults take for granted. I always feel revitalized when channeling Elmo because he preaches the basics—and having the basics in the front of your mind on a daily basis keeps you focused on what’s important. It’s improved my relationships, my career, and my outlook on the future. Perhaps by sharing some of the things I’ve learned I can help adults in the same way.”

The forty-something year old puppeteer will also share the remarkable and inspiring story of his road to success, the emotional and philosophical ideals he has learned from his creation, and how these can nurture values such as love, joy, creativity, diversity, cooperation, friendship, and optimism.

Sesame Street fans may remember that Caroll Spinney (performer behind Big Bird and Oscar) wrote a similar styled inspirational-autobiography of his own back in 2003, titled The Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch) -- if you haven’t read it, I suggest picking up a copy. I’ll keep you posted as the release details on Kevin’s autobiography, What Elmo Taught Me, are released. This book is sure to be a great look at the life of one a Sesame Street’s (and the Muppets) key players. – look for it later next year. I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pepe on "Craig Ferguson" Tonight

Sorry for the short notice, but I was just notified today... Everyone’s favorite king prawn – Pepe - will be a guest on the late night talk show: “The Late Late Show with Craig Fergusontonight (Tuesday, November 15)! That's right, tonight! Pepe the King Prawn will be a featured guest along with author John Lahr, and musical guest Patti Smith. “Craig Ferguson” airs tonight at 12:35 a.m. on CBS (ok, so it is technically very early tomorrow - but you know). Set your VCR, program you TiVo, and don’t miss it (because lately the information on a Muppet guest appearances has not gotten out until after the fact). Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2005

From the Balcony: Episode 11

A new episode of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" was posted on today. In the latest installment of the bi-weekly web-show, Statler and Waldorf talk about the films "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "Get Rich or Die Tryin'", plus Sam the Eagle stops by to talk about "Walk the Line". You can also learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "BLOND-tourage". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode. Be sure to check back for the next episode on November 26th.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Introducing The Muppet Newsflash Forum!

Ever since I started The Muppet Newsflash people have been asking "when are you going to start a forum?", “why don’t you add a forum?”. For the past 9-months I’ve been hesitant to add one, as I felt there were already several strong fan forums on the web, and adding yet another would just detract, divide, and add unnecessary competition and separation in the communities. But I’ve always been thinking about it – this idea always in the back of my mind. Over the weekend I asked for feedback on the Muppet Newsflash from the people who matter most – the readers. And once again, many people suggested a forum (in a survey of the blog readers that ran from Friday through Tuesday; almost 60% said they were interested in a forum, and 25% were “undecided” at the time). I also got a bunch of e-mails with feedback - several of which had some persuasive “essays” on why I should add a forum.

I thought it over and felt was the right time to give the whole thing a whirl. So here it is - The Muppet Newsflash forum! Don’t worry, this will not effect the output of the blog news reporting; I will still be maintaining and updating the main news blog just as much as before. I’ve noticed that the comments section on news posts have been picking up more and more recently, and I feel that a place to discuss the issues would be useful (but still feel free to use the comments feature on any of the news posts).

The Muppet Newsflash forum is hosted by Delphi Forums, and is ready for posting. If you are a member of another fan community, feel free to remain active there (I actually encourage that). I’m not asking for (nor expecting) you to just abandon other sites (and other friends) nor do I want you to feel obligated to give total loyalty and dedication to this forum (but, hey, if you want to, that’s fine too). I’ll still stay just as active around the web too. This is a place to bring together fans, unite the community, and have discussions about the Muppets (and Jim Henson, and whatnot). It is a place to have discussions, share information and ideas, have good time, and just have fun. (Plus this might help elevate the amount of “can you help me out with this Muppet trivia question?” e-mails that I get each day). So check it out, start posting, and have fun!

- Enter the Forum -

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

"The Muppet Show - Season 1" Wins TV-DVD Award

In case you were interested, the winners of the 2005 TV-DVD Award have been announced. The award recognizes the best releases of TV shows on DVD in the past year. Studios submitted their top DVD titles for consideration in the 15 TV-DVD categories. The titles were then rated by expert judges, and their ratings were tallied. The top three TV-DVD titles in each category were then listed on an online ballot and voted upon by consumers on the Home Media Retailing website. After much calculation and deliberation, the winners were announced and the awards were presented (by Donny Osmond) at the 3rd Annual TV-DVD Conference held in Marina del Rey this week.

"The Muppet Show – Season 1" won for "Best Children’s Series" (although many Muppet fans will argue the show is not just a children’s show). Disney/Buena Vista is delighted by the honor (of which “The Muppet Show” was their only win out of the 15 categories this year). I am told that a “Season 2” set is in the works, however no solid information on the release is available yet (I’ll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything).

Also, Henson fan’s will be happy to hear that Lions Gate’s release of "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars" on DVD won in the "Best Miniseries/Made-for-TV Movie" category. I'm sure everyone at Lions Gate and Henson are pleased with their award as well.

Congratulations to all of the 2005 TV-DVD winners! And thanks to all the fans of the set who voted for the DVD, and the producers who made these great DVD products a reality.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

More on "Sesame Beginnings"...

Sesame Workshop releases some more information on the upcoming "Sesame Beginnings" show. Sesame Workshop has just formally announced the first two DVD titles, "Beginning Together" and "Make Music Together", and has released even more information on the show on their website. The two DVDs feature fun stories, songs, and activities to teach and entertain infants (and their caregivers). The show is set to feature baby Elmo (and his Dad), baby Big Bird (and his Aunt), baby Cookie Monster (and his Grandma), and baby Prairie Dawn (and her Mom); each episode also showcases a segment featuring a celebrity guest and their child.

"Sesame Beginnings" provide parents and caregivers with fresh material, ideas, songs, and games while fostering interaction, education, and fun with their child throughout the day. The DVDs are also accompanied with a printed parents guide that offers additional tips for ways to extend the learning after viewing through activities such as feeding, bath time and playtime."Our own research showed that Sesame Street videos were among those frequently viewed by the under two set, in spite of the fact that the content and curriculum of Sesame Street is designed for ages 2-5," noted Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President, Sesame Workshop. "With the Sesame Beginnings DVDs, we're providing parents and caregivers of children under two with content specifically designed to use media as a tool to further adult/child interaction.

The first DVD, "Beginning Together", lets parents and their baby meet the Sesame babies for the very first time! Share a "Wiggle and Giggle" with Elmo and his Dad during Elmo's bath time, watch Big Bird and his Aunt discover "Who's that Baby in the Mirror", and so much more. “Beginning Together” is filled with delightful, easy-to-sing songs and games that babies will love, and that you can sing and enjoy during everyday activities. Aside from the “Sesame Beginnings” cast, the DVD also features a special appearance by Brandy and her daughter, Sy'rai.

In the second DVD, titled "Make Music Together", viewers can explore language, rhythm, and sound with their favorite Sesame Street babies. Be there when Elmo's daddy swings and sings with baby Elmo to "Swing Baby Swing!". Shake along as baby Prairie Dawn and her mommy make music and sing to "Shake Baby Shake!" “Make Music Together” is filled with delightful, easy-to-sing songs, and great ways to share the joy of music and dance with your baby throughout the day. This DVD features a special appearance by Wayne Brady and his daughter, Maile.

The DVDs, "Beginning Together" and "Make Music Together" will be in stores on March 21, 2006. They will join the wide-ranging product line of “Sesame Beginnings” products includes apparel, books, and more. More “Sesame Beginnings” products and videos are in the works, and I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available. If you want even more information on “Sesame Beginnings”, to view pictures from the show, order products, or download the wonderful video trailer, take some time and surf on over to the new “Sesame Beginnings” website.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Disney re-releases "Christmas Carol" Soundtrack

Along with re-releasing the classic Muppet films on DVD to celebrate Kermit’s 50th anniversary (and the Muppets now under the Disney brand), Disney plans on re-releasing classic Muppet soundtracks too. As reported back in May, the next CD planned for release is a Christmas album in time for Christmas 2005. Well, Walt Disney Records has just announced that they plan on re-releasing the complete soundtrack album to “The Muppet Christmas Carol” later this month.

The “Special Edition” soundtrack will feature the wonderful and beautiful album versions of the film’s 11 songs (written by Paul Williams) – two of which did not make it to the final film! Plus the CD holds 6 instrumental tracks from the film’s score, plus the Martina McBride version of “When Love is Gone” (heard over the closing credits). The 18 track CD (an exact re-release of the 1992 limited issue CD from Disney Records) will be in stores on November 22, 2005 (one week before the 4 classic Muppet films, including "Christmas Carol", will be re-released on DVD). The soundtrack holds a suggested retail price of just $12.98 (which brings a sigh of relief to fans who have seen the old now out-of-print release going for upwards of $70 on some sites).

Walt Disney Records says they hope to re-release more Muppet soundtracks and albums in 2006 (and beyond) as Kermit’s 50th celebration continues throughout the end of 2006. Some insiders state that a deal was established with The Muppet Holding Company for at least another two (if not more) CD releases in 2006. I’ll keep you posted as more develops on that, but be sure to pick up the masterpiece soundtrack of “
The Muppet Christmas Carol” this holiday season (after all it’s only 50 more sleeps ‘till Christmas).

Track Listing:
1. Overture (Instrumental)
2. Scrooge (The Muppets)
3. Room In Your Heart (Bunsen & Beaker)
4. Good King Wenceslas (Instrumental)
5. One More Sleep 'Til Christmas (Kermit)
6. Marley And Marley (Statler & Waldorf)
7. Christmas Past (Instrumental)
8. Chairman Of The Board (Sam Eagle)
9. Fozziwig's Party (Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem)
10. When Love Is Gone (Belle)
11. It Feels Like Christmas (Ghost of Christmas Present)
12. Christmas Scat (Kermit & Robin)
13. Bless Us All (Robin, Kermit, Piggy and family)
14. Christmas Future (Instrumental)
15. Christmas Morning (Instrumenal)
16. Thankful Heart (Scrooge)
17. Finale - When Love Is Found/It Feels Like Christmas (Scrooge & the Muppets)
18. When Love Is Gone (Martina McBride)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

"Sesame Street" for Babies?

"Sesame Workshop is planning a new series of direct-to-DVD videos featuring the classic Sesame Street Muppets as babies. The all new series of DVDs, titled "Sesame Beginnings", will take a look at the baby back-stories of the beloved characters. Just picture a little rambunctious Cookie Monster, an even squeakier Elmo, a not-so-big Big Bird, and more. The program is designed to support infants, toddlers, and their parents with the building blocks of learning.

Unlike "Sesame Street", which is aimed at kids ages 3-7, this program will be aimed at a younger audience - kids under the age of 2. Each story will feature the Sesame characters at a younger age and show them learning, growing, building relationships, and having fun. Yet, just like "Sesame Street", the program will feature loveable puppet characters interacting, teaching, entertaining, and educating. Producers at Sesame Workshop hope that the "Sesame Beginnings" DVDs will not only entertain, but also help promote healthy relationships between caregivers and children. The first "Sesame Beginnings" DVDs are planned to hit stores in March 2006. Other related spin-off merchandise, such as dolls and toys, are already the works as well. I'll keep you posted as more information is available on the new production, the new products, and these new DVD releases.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Halloween From The Balcony

A series of special holiday clips of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" were created featuring the two old Muppets dressed up for Haloween and discussed their favorite horror movies (Statler was a mummy, and Waldorf was a vampire). This was a special shoot, and were not made for a regular episode of the series. These clips were made for publicity, so that news stations and TV magazine shows could incorporate the special footage into their own broadcasts. You may have seen these pop-up on in a TV report, an online news video clip, or somewhere else. Be sure to check on November 12th for the next regular episode of the show.

Monday, October 31, 2005

New Muppet Stuff on, the official Disney Online Store, has updated their Muppets section with a whole batch of new items just in time for the holidays. There are all kinds of new items added to their growing collection of merchandise available.

For the collectors out there, they have a brand-new "Muppet Show" snow-globe, a Kermit "Big Figure" (which is a 23.5'' tall sculpture of Kermit), a musical (and "magical") Miss Piggy jewelry box, a Muppets "Harmony Kingdom Box", a wonderful Kermit picture frame, a "Rainbow Connection" Kermit desk lamp, a Kermit/Star Christmas tree ornament, a set of "Muppet Storybook" ornaments, Muppet Pavé pins, and more!

There is also new apparel, clothing, and accessories; including a Kermit beanie cap, a "Muppet Show" spinning-logo wrist watch, an Animal PJ set, an Animal hooded fleece, a Kermit PJ & Slipper Set, and more! Plus there is a new Kermit office set, for any Muppet fan's office, desk, or collector's shelf. The line includes a Kermit tape dispenser, notepad and pen holder, stapler, paper clip holder, pencil cup, paper weight, desk lamp, picture frame, and more!

So, what are you waiting for? Go take a look at "The Muppet Shop" at, there is a bunch of new things to check out; and most of the older stuff is still there too (and some of it is on sale right now). Surf on over today. Stock up now or just let Santa Claus know what you want (after all there's only 55 more sleeps 'till Christmas).

Elmo (and Friends) on Emeril Live

Chef (and TV host) Emeril Lagasse will end his special week on cooking for (and with children) with a special Muppet guest chef. Elmo will help Emeril in the kitchen on Friday, November 4, 2005. In front of a live audience, master chef Emeril Lagasse (and Elmo) will demonstrates gourmet cooking, with a bam! Emeril and Elmo will create a healthy, delicious and colorful meal together. Recipes include: Yummy Wake-Up Smoothie, Power Packed Spinach Salad, Pasta Primavera, Lean Mean Turkey Loaf, and Very Red Strawberry Shortcake. Elmo, who has been a guest on Emeril several times, is also planning on bring some of his Sesame Street monsters along to the show, as Grover, Telly, and Rosita are planned to pop-in during the show. So be sure to set your VCRs, program your TiVo, and/or tune in to catch the stars of Sesame Street and Emeril hanging out in the kitchen for a full hour. "Emeril Live: Healthy Starts", which airs at 8:00-9:00 PM (Eastern/Pacific) on the Food Network (check local listings for details). If you missed it the first time (or want to watch it again), it will be repeated three hours after the initial airing, at Midnight (November 05, 2005 12:00-1:00 AM, Eastern/Pacific). Bam!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Master Replicas' Muppet Replicas

Master Replicas Inc. is an industry leader in movie and television prop replicas. With an extremely experienced executive team, Master has produced great collector’s items; including Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia, Predator, and many other classic works. Master Replicas produces officially licensed products with extreme attention to authenticity, detail, product quality, and customer service. And Master Replicas will soon be offering authentic display Muppets.

In November 2004, Master Replicas acquired the license to create Disney replicas - from Cinderella's Glass Slipper and Mouseketeer ears, to props from Pirates of the Caribbean and the Rocketeer. Now, being shown to the public for the first time ever, is Master Replicas newest addition to their Disney licensed replicas collection: Kermit the Frog!

The Kermit "doll" will be a top-notch and high-priced display replica of the world’s most famous Frog – it will be the closest most will be able to get to having a real Muppet displayed in their house. Kermit is the first "studio scale" Muppet replica. The product has been copied directly from the original cut patterns, materials and stitch patterns. He will be fully posable and a gem of any fan’s collection. Master Replicas says “If Kermit does well, there might be others... "

Below is a picture sent to me by Kevin Eslinger, the head product designer for the Disney Division of Master Replicas (Kermit is one of his projects). The shot is of one of the Kermit proto-types in the works (the final product may differ). I'll keep you posted as more develops on this new venture into high-quality collectors’ products.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

From the Balcony: Episode 10

The Weather GuyA new episode of "Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony" was posted on today. In the latest installment of the bi-weekly web-show, Statler and Waldorf (Victor Yerrid and Drew Massey) talk about the films "The Legend of Zorro" and "Jarhead", and the Weather Guy stops by to give his forcast on the "Weatherman". You can also learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "coinci-dance". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode (you may also notice that the site, like most of, has been redesigned in the past week). Be sure to check back for the next episode on November 12th.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Muppet Reality Show is Movin' Right Along

People have been buzzing about "America's Next Muppet" for months now. Disney is still planning to relaunch the Muppets with a prime-time ABC "reality” parody series. Fans are wondering if the recent turn-over in Disney and Muppet Holding Company management will affect the project, which was being strongly supported and pushed along by Chris Cutin (ex-general manager of the Muppet Holding Company). Since the new management has stepped into power the show has made significant progress towards becoming a reality (no pun intended).

A network representative has said that the Muppet project is still in the extremely early stages of development. But ABC has now officially ordered a pilot script and five additional script outlines for "America's Next Muppet". This will be shot in the format of a "reality show", and will use a lot of the same syntax and cinematic grammar that the genre has developed, however like all past Muppet TV shows will be scripted. If ABC is impressed with the pilot episode script and the pilot episode, than the five outlines will start being turned into scripts and episodes. These six episodes are hoped to air in Spring/Summer 2006, and if successful then more episodes could be ordered, and the series continued. I'll keep you all posted as more develops.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Henson takes Puppetry To The Next Level with "Frances"

The Jim Henson Company is preparing to release a brand new-ground-breaking children’s series. Henson has teamed up with HIT Entertainment to bring the beloved classic storybook character of Frances to life. The company produced a one-shot special, earlier this year. After seeing the results of the new technology and characters, executives and viewers at Henson, HIT, and the industry were ecstatic and excited and decided to turn the production into a continuing series.

The show is based off the classic children’s book series by Russell Hoban and illustrator Lillian Hoban (known to Muppet fans as the author/illustrator team behind the original book “Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas”). Each episode of “Frances” holds three delightful stories all about taking on the challenges of childhood; and if there is anyone who is ready to take on that challenge, it’s Frances (who, by the way, is an adorable little badger). With a song and a dance, she’ll find a solution to any problem with the help of her Mom, her Dad, her little sister Gloria, and her best friend Albert. Aside from the touching stories, wonderful characters, and fun songs, the series will showcase a brand-new ground-breaking puppet technology.

Brian Henson, director of the Frances pilot and Co-CEO of the Henson Company, talked about the technology built to create this ground breaking show in September. “The technology we’ve developed allows a puppeteer to puppeteer/perform a character that is being animated in real time”, Brian stated. “If you go into one of our puppeteer-animation sound stages, which there is only one of, you would see what feels like a real operating live-action set, and the puppeteers are performing – one puppeteer is performing the body, one is puppeteer is performing the head and voice – and what we’re getting is these wonderful organic performances. The computer is not doing any animation. The computer is not allowed move anything; only people can move anything. So there’s a camera operator, moving our virtual camera, and there are performers who are puppeteering the bodies and the heads of the character.”

Brian expressed his feelings towards the experience of directing the show by saying, “we’re having, I got to say, so much fun; because we can improvise...What’s great about puppets are that they are spontaneous, and what we’re trying to do in our 3-D animation, is to really be spontaneous. So we’re really working the material in front of the camera. And we have big projectors, so they can see what [the computer] sees. We’re doing performed animation, and it’s a lot of fun.”

HIT Entertainment will let you “get in touch with your inner-Frances”, when they release the first two Frances video titles, “Bedtime for Frances” and “Bread and Jam for Frances”, on DVD and VHS on January 26, 2006. You can already pre-order these titles at many online stores, with a suggested retail price of $11.99 (or less). Other plans for the show and the series are not available at this time; however HIT and Henson feel that this will become an instant classic that audiences of all ages will love and enjoy. A preview of this show can be found on the new "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" collector's DVD released by Henson and HIT earlier this month. More information on the show and its release should be avalible early next year - I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Animal Jam DVDs Come Earlier Than Reported

On Monday I reported that two more DVDs of "Jim Henson's Animal Jam" were planned for released in January (January 26th to be exact). However, after running that story I was contacted by HIT Entertainment with some new information about the releases. Below is an excerpt from their e-mail to me:

"...The two upcoming "Jim Henson's Animal Jam" DVD titles are now scheduled for release on December 13, 2005. In an effort to get these out before the end of the year and before the holiday rush, HIT Entertainment has decided to move the release date of these two titles up from January to December. At this time, the information on the episode titles or Disc features is not publicly available. Please check back in early December for more information when it is posted in our webstore for customers to pre-order online at"

So there you have it Animal Jam fans. Be sure to pick up these discs on December 13th, and keep on jammin'.

Monday, October 17, 2005

"Jim Henson's Animal Jam" Gets More DVDs

HIT Entertainment has released two DVDs of Jim Henson's Animal Jam in May ("Springin'" and "Hug-A-Day"), and now they are planning to release two more. "Jim Henson's Animal Jam: Let's Jam Together" and "Jim Henson's Animal Jam: Shake a Leg" are both planned for DVD release on January 3, 2006. Animal Jam is "a wild, music-driven, live-action dance show for preschoolers. Animal Jam uses real-life kids and puppet characters to teach movement and physical skills." Information on the exact episodes on the upcoming DVDs is not avalible at this time, but I'm told that these discs will follow the form of the past releases (two episodes of the show per disc; and no bonus features). The run time for each DVD is listed at approximately 50 minutes. The DVDs are already up for pre-order on many online stores, with a retail price of $9.99 (or less). So if you are an Animal Jam fan, consider picking up these two DVDs on January 3rd.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Palisades and Labyrinth

Palisades Toys (the producers of the now-ending line of Muppet action figures, and the now-starting line of Sesame Street figures) have just acquired the rights to producer all-new Labyrinth collectibles based on the popular 1980's Jim Henson fantasy film. The recent issue of Toyfare magazine announced that Palisades plans to launch the line in the Spring of 2006 with the release of a 12-inch figure of David Bowie as the Goblin King. The company hopes to make multiple Goblin King figures based on his various costumes throughout the film. Other Labyrinth figures, statues, busts, and products based on the other wonderful characters and creatures from the film have yet to be decided on yet, but the company is considering many possibilities to bring the world of Labyrinth to fans and collectors. Palisades should be making a more detailed public announcement about the licenses (which include the Labyrinth characters and David Bowie's likeness; no word on if other human characters - such as Sarah or Toby - will be picked up) very soon. I'll keep you all posted as more news on this upcoming line of what is sure to be fantastic collectibles develops.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New Cast on Muppet Web-Show?

It was back in June that Statler and Waldorf, the two lovable Muppet curmudgeons, got their own regular web-show on titled “Statler and Waldorf: From The Balcony”. For the first eight episodes of the bi-weekly show, viewers were treated to the performances of Muppeteers Steve Whitmire (Statler) and Dave Goelz (Waldorf) playing the two grumpy film critic. Muppeteer Bill Barretta also performed in each web-episode providing a slew of his characters as special “guest stars” on the show (such Pepe the Prawn, Bobo the Bear, Rowlf the Dog, Johnny Fiama, and the Swedish Chef). However, today the ninth episode of the webshow hit the world wide web, but Steve, Dave and Bill were not behind the classic characters.

Victor Yerrid and Drew Massey are now lending their talent to Statler and Waldorf (and some other characters) in a few “trivial” and “passing” external Muppet gigs (including’s “From the Balcony” and ESPN’S “Reel Classics Extra”). Both are experienced puppeteers and have done a lot of work with the Muppets and the Henson Company over the years (Some of you may remember them from the test-pilot episode of From the Balcony back in February). Victor and Drew are now the principle performers of the little bi-weekly "From the Balcony" web-show.

Disney does not see the weekly web-show as a key priority to keeping the principle Muppeteers on. The question has been raised if the key performers will come back to the regular web show; and at this time it is unclear if the show's recasts are temporary or not (or if the key performers will even show up again for a guest spot).

Those speculating if Statler and Waldorf will be permanently taken from Dave and Steve can relax, although the key Muppeteers are not going to be performing their characters in these segments, I was told the characters have not been recast. Victor and Drew will just be working the characters in these small bits. However, depending on audience and producer response the two may see a promotion of sorts in the Muppeteering ranks. I was insured that there are no plans to “take” characters away from their already existing puppeteers – nor is anyone going to loose their jobs due to recasts. Many fans hope that the "secondary performers” or “replacements" stay just with the “small stuff”, while the key Muppeteers continue to carry the characters in the “big stuff” (and even some small stuff too from time to time) – this is the general feeling of Disney right now (however the fan’s definition of “small” and “big” projects may differ from Disney’s; only time will tell).

Whether you agree with this practice or not – this is what is happening right now. There are also plans (already underway) to hire puppeteers to perform the characters in scripted stage shows for the Disney theme parks and cruise ships. If you disagree with this type of multiple casting, than feel free to check out the “Save the Muppets” campaign. And if you don’t mind the alternate performers in these marginal productions then sit back and watch all these upcoming Muppet bits, embrace the new performances, and enjoy all the new Muppet synergy at work. Feel free to let know how you feel about the recasts with their feedback form.

Monday, October 10, 2005

CanTeen Causes Muppets to Sing "Bandanana!"

The work of CanTeen, a New Zealand charity that supports young people age 13 to 24 living with cancer, impressed Walt Disney executives so much they let the Muppet Show cast to be used in this year’s CanTeen television advertisement. The ad takes the classic song ‘Mahna Mahna’ and turns it into ‘Bandanana’ and shows the Muppets wearing CanTeen bandannas. This ad is being aired in New Zealand to promote CanTeen’s National Bandanna Week (October 10 - 16).

CanTeen spokesperson Leanne Ryburn says The Muppet Show is a perfect fit for Bandanna Week. “As well as the obvious adaptability of the ‘Mahna Mahna’ lyrics, the Muppets also really capture the essence of Bandanna Week and CanTeen.” “CanTeen is about providing support and celebrating life and the Muppets share the same feel-good values,” she says.

Landing the rights to use the song and the characters was a major coup for advertising company Foote Cone & Belding (FCB), which is just one of a number of media companies that have donated their time and advertising space to CanTeen’s cause. Representatives of FCB and film production company Curious went to Walt Disney in Los Angeles thinking they would get the rights to use three Muppets. The executive they met with loved the idea so much, they got the cast together the next day, got many others to donate their time and the ad was filmed a day later. CanTeen says it is absolutely incredible that it was pulled off, and in such a short space of time, because an ad of this calibre with the actual Muppeteers and voices could normally take a year to finalise.

For more information on CantTeen, visit their website at You can also download and watch the wonderful Muppet commerical off their website's event page (the file is a 6.5 MB minute-long mpeg video).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Statler and Waldorf on ESPN

Statler & Waldorf have another gig, this time the two curmudgeons are introducing introduce ESPN Classic’s weekly sports-themed movie series, "Reel Classics Extra". The two started the gig on two weeks ago on Sunday, August 28th (at 8 p.m. EST on ESP) and will continue to host the weekly movie from now on. From the movie's theme to the starring casts, nothing is safe from the grumpy pair’s signature no-holds-barred heckling, including a few hilarious jabs at each other along the way.

Reel Classics Extra is ESPN Classic’s weekly Sunday movie series that gives viewers a chance to watch classic sports-themed movies, while also learning interesting, entertaining and humorous facts about the movies, the stars and more through on-screen pop-ups with tidbits and little-known details.

“This is a perfect opportunity for Statler & Waldorf to once again show off their talents,” said David Spingarn, Director of Creative Business Development for The Muppets Holding Company. “We are thrilled to extend the Muppets brand and characters on a recurring basis to a great ESPN platform.”Added Jodi Markley, senior vice president of international production, ESPN Classic and ESPNEWS, “Reel Classics Extra is a chance each Sunday for sports fans to relax, unwind and wrap up their weekend with a great sports movie. Statler & Waldorf are a perfect fit to introduce these movies because, like the movies, they are classics in their own right. They are going to bring our fans some good laughs and kick off these movies in a great way.”

In addition, the twosome are up to their usual antics in “Statler & Waldorf – From the Balcony,” the exclusive bi-weekly online program on In each episode of the webshow (which has had 7 episodes to date), the grumpy duo entertains movie fans with witty commentary and provides their hilarious take on upcoming film and DVD releases. Each episode also features a special guest star, including the Swedish Chef, Rowlf the Dog, Johnny Fiama, and Pepe the King Prawn.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Muppets Tonight on DVD?

Ever since news of "The Muppet Show" getting proper season releases on DVD, fans have been wondering if the other major Muppet television shows will make their way to DVD in equally impressive sets as well - most importantly the 22-episode run of "Muppets Tonight". Brian Henson (executive-producer, performer, and director of "Muppets Tonight"; and Jim Henson Company Co-CEO) talked about the show and its future on DVD in a recent radio interview on Salt Lake City's local KUER FM-90.

In the almost hour-long interview, Brian Henson said: "In terms of the DVD releases of the Muppet shows, the first season Disney has done a beautiful release of the first season [of the Muppet Show] which is available now; and they will continue to release the subsequent seasons...In terms of being able to get [Muppets Tonight] on DVD, I'm sure that we’ll put the behind the fifth season of The Muppet Show. So probably it will be that you can continue to get the DVDs of the classic Muppet series, and I pretty sure you’ll be able to get the DVD Muppets Tonight after that - unless we start [releasing] them both together sooner or something."

Brain Henson and the rest of the Jim Henson Company were key players in getting the Season 1 set of "The Muppet Show" produced. Muppets Tonight is something they all want to do. As long as demand for Muppet-TV-DVDs stays (and based on how well The Muppet Show season 1 did, looks very good for future Muppet DVDs), then it looks like Muppets Tonight will come to DVD (probably not for another 2-4 years, but eventually). That is all we really know about the fate of that show on DVD, right now. I'll keep you posted as more information and developments come on the release of this show; but until then, this is all we really know.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We Remember Jerry...

Jerry Juhl
Jerry Juhl
Muppet writer, visionary, inspiration,
creative genius, storyteller, and friend.

Jerry Juhl passed away on
Monday, September 26, 2005.
Our heartfilled love and support
goes out to his family and friends.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Around the World with Kermit

The Muppets Holding Company officially announced today that Kermit the Frog is taking his 50th year celebration on the road with a whirlwind tour of 50 destinations around the globe. The world's most beloved frog will kick off his worldwide adventure on October 14 in the aptly named town of Kermit, Texas. Through the end of 2006, Kermit will meet fans, participate in major events, visit famous attractions, and enjoy local celebrations in 50 destinations.

The globe-hopping star will see renowned monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China, among others. The frog will touch down at NASA's Johnson Space Center, brave a Frog Leg Festival in Fellsmere, Flordia, as well as run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Other activities will include a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, a performance with the Rockettes and Kermit's first-ever USO appearance, where he'll bring a smile to service men and women abroad.

"Kermit is truly an international star, with a fan base that reaches thefar corners of the globe," added Dave Burchianti, director of marketing, The Muppets Holding Company. "We're taking Kermit's celebration to places both far and near -- and everywhere in between."

Those who can't meet Kermit frog-to-face along his journey can follow him on this new subpage of Fans will be able to download pictures and videos from Kermit's 50 stops, as well as look at Kermit's "FrogBlog." Kermit will also allow his beloved fans to determine his final destination via an online vote. More news on this globe-hopping journey as it comes in.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Classic Sesame Street DVD Sets - You Can Make Them Happen!

For years fans have been wondering if Sesame Workshop will release classic episodes, or even a collection of the classic segments of Sesame Street on DVD. And for years, the prospect of ever seeing such releases has looked grim. However there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for nostalgic fans. I recently e-mailed Sesame Workshop about releasing the classic material in a box set or other forum – as these types of products are becoming more common and more desired. They responded with some hopeful news.

“...Thank you for your inquiry... Releasing past, "classic" episodes and/or segments in a collective boxed set of DVDs is something we are considering... [We] can keep your email address on file and send you any information when we are ready to make an official release... I hope that this is has been helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us with further questions, comments, or concerns...”

As of right now, there are no plans for such sets, and there is no news to report on the subject. However with your help, there could be. History has shown us that when a company is considering a release such as this that a little letter can go a long way. By sending a letter, making a phone call, or shooting them an e-mail can show them that there is a demand for a product, and that people want it – and want it now. So I urge everyone to write and call Sesame Workshop and ask for DVD box sets of the “classic” material. Together we can relive, reexperience, and reintroduce ourselves to the Street of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s. Together we have a voice – let’s have it be heard.

You can call them at: 212-595-3456

You can write them a letter at:
Sesame Workshop
1 Lincoln Plaza (Attention: Classic Sesame on DVD)
New York, NY 10023

You can send an e-mail using their online form: click here!
or send an e-mail to their general in-box at:

The more e-mails and letters, and phone calls they get with interest in “classic” releases the more likely they will do something in response. It takes 1 minute and can make all the difference. So send an e-mail, make a call, or write a letter. Let's get their attention and get the “old” Sesame Street on DVD.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Happy Birthday, Jim!

Happy Birthday,
Jim Henson!

September 24, 1936 - May 16, 1990

Muppet founder, a visionary,
a pioneer, an artist, and a friend.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Muppets Go Mobile

As announced earlier, the Muppets Holding Company has been working on launching new mobile services with the Muppets. Partnering up with a UK Mobile services company, the new site has been launched. The brand new Muppets Mobile website launched with a bunch of official ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers, and more for fans to Muppetize their phones. Along with many classic Muppet songs you can also pick some newly recorded tones with the Muppets saying things like "pick up the phone". There are also great animated screensavers, stunning wallpapers, and more. The features are not compatible with all phones, so be sure to check their list. Be sure to surf on over to the site and take a a look. If you aren't going to purchase (or your phone is not compatible), but you still wanted to see (and hear) all the new things featured, you can because everything can be previewed online for free. Take some time and check it all out here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Muppet Rockumentary!

It was stated by the Hollywood Reporter today, that a mock rock n' roll documentary (or mock rockumentary, if you will) featuring the Muppets is in the works. The Jim Henson Company is reportedly partnering up with Disney's Muppets Holding Co. on a project that sounds a lot like a Muppet takeoff on idea behind 1984's "This Is Spinal Tap". When the Muppets were first sold to Disney, it was stated that the Henson Company has a three-year deal to develop new movies and television projects for Disney - this appears to be one of the first. No information on if this is a TV-special, a feature film, a direct-to-video project, or what. There is no further information on this production at this time, however fans hope that this rocumentary (or should I say mockumentary) features the classic Muppet rock band "Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem. More on this story as it develops.

Henson plans for "Fraggle Rock" Feature Film

Several members of the press have started reporting that the Jim Henson Company’s is in the early stages of creating an all new “Fraggle Rock” feature film. The idea of returning to Fraggle Rock has been floating around ever since the show ended in the ‘80s, but now the Henson Company feels that it the right time to bring the Fraggle’s universe back to life and reintroduce the world to the funny little creatures known as Fraggles. This is exciting and intriguing news -- I did some follow-up with some friends at Henson, and have some information on this project that you may enjoy. Henson responded saying that early work on a Fraggle Rock film is underway.

Henson said in one report, that the project will find the Fraggles having to come out into “outer space” (a.k.a. the human world). The group will have a wild adventure as they find themselves in this weird and wild new world, far away from Fraggle Rock. Henson has also stressed that the story will be aimed at both children and young adults (as they hope to appeal to new young fans, and also the fans that grew up on the show). They also stated that the original Fraggle characters are planned to be the stars of the film. The early work on developing the project is underway within the Henson Company and they hope to start shooting sometime next year.

The company is working to bring back as many of the original Fraggle Rock cast and crew for this project. There is no exact information on who is “on board” at this time, however some rumblings say that Jerry Juhl, Jocelyn Stevenson, Brian Henson, Cheryl Henson, Lisa Henson (among others) have meet to discuss the project on several occasions. Henson states that they are aiming for a 2007 release, however at this point it could change. Henson is also hoping for to make this a theatrically released film; however the project could be reduced to TV-movie or direct-to-video status. No director, writers, or cast have been announced yet.

The idea for a “Fraggle Rock” movie is not a new one; Jim Henson had talked several times with Jerry Juhl about producing a film. However the plans never materialized. Many of the Fraggle creators, cast and crew are excited about the idea of revisiting the world, the themes, and the magic of the show. Although the idea for a Fraggle film is not new, the idea has gained much more support in the last year. Upon selling the Muppets characters to Disney, the Henson Company has been looking at ways to revive some of their other popular creations. In January 2005, Henson co-CEO, Brian Henson said that “the studio's now considering filming new "Fraggle" material”. Since January, internal support for the idea grew. Along with the large response for Fraggle products over the past year (including 6 new DVD releases, including the complete first season), Henson feels that now is a perfect time for a new production. Not only would it appeal to the fans (who are now able to rediscover the classic show on DVD), but a new production could be just the thing to really re-launch the Fraggles and draw in a new generation to the world of the Fraggles.

The company is already working strong to continue and revive many of their popular fantasy-world and sci-fi franchises; however they are also hoping to get back on top by reestablishing their power in children’s, and family entertainment. They hope that a “Fraggle Rock” feature film will be a good step in the right direction – thoughts of even creating a new Fraggle Rock television show have been mentioned (however, Henson wants to see how the response to a new movie is before they start over committing themselves).

I’ll keep you posted with more information on this project as it comes; but the watch out for the return of the rock with an all new “Fraggle Rock” feature film!

(For the full story, read my extended article at

Monday, September 19, 2005

Christmas and the Muppets

With half-a-dozen Christmas productions already under their belts, the Muppets plan to continue to the grand tradition with an all new television special planned to air this holiday season. The plans for an all new Muppet Christmas television special in was announced a few months ago by Chris Curtin, the vice president and general manager of the Muppets.

The special, which is tentatively titled “Kermit’s Christmas Capers”, is planned to air on TV later this year. The Muppets Holding Company is impressed on the overall response the past Muppet Christmas specials and films have gotten from viewers, and they want the Muppets to become part of families’ annual Christmas traditions. Christmas is one of the things the Muppets do best, and Christmas specials are things people love to watch year after year. The special will feature the regular wacky Muppet antics, a touching story, great jokes, heart-filled moments, the obligatory celebrity cameos, and holiday fun that all will enjoy. No further information or details on the production are available at this time. More information on the special, and its debut should be released by Disney later this fall.

The Muppets Holding Company has also been working with Walt Disney Records on a Christmas project. Plans for a Muppet holiday album are set for release this holiday season as well. The exact details and track listing of the album are atill unknown at this time, but many believe that the CD will be the Muppet’s greatest Holiday hits from their past Christmas specials, films, and productions. More details on this endeavor should be available later this fall as well.

(For the full story, read my extended article at

Friday, September 16, 2005

They're The Muppets, and You're Watching Disney Channel!

On Monday I reported that Gonzo was featured in a new Disney Channel identification promo. Since the time of that report some more Disney Channel promos featuring the Muppets have begun airing on Disney Channel. Disney Channel runs a series of channel identification promos featuring Disney stars proclaiming "I'm so-and-so, and you're watching Disney Channel". Then they wave a magical green wand, drawing the Disney Channel logo (the tilted Mickey Mouse Head). In addition to Gonzo, some newly spotted ads feature Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Pepe, and Animal.

As reported earlier, Gonzo's promo shows the weirdo saying, "Hi! I'm the Great Gonzo and You're Watching Disney Channel". He then draws the Disney Channel logo with the wand; soon the wand goes out of control and flies away (with Gonzo holding on) causing him to fly back and forth across the screen (and finally crashing into it). Kermit shows up in a promo for Disney Channel, saying "Hi ho, Kermit the Frog here! And you're watching Disney Channel!" he draws logo and inspects it proudly saying "Mm hmm, nice!". The next new promo features Miss Piggy. The diva declares "I am Miss Piggy, and you are watching Disney Channel!". She gracefully draws logo and then tops it off with her famous line of "Kissy kissy!"

Fozzie appears in a 10-second promo for the channel. He stated "Ahh! I'm Fozzie Bear! And you're watching Disney Channel!" He carefully draws the Disney Channel logo with the wand and rejoices with a classic “Wocka wocka!" Pepe takes the spotlight in the next 10-second promo, declaring, "Hola! My name is Pepe, and you are watching Disney Channel! Hokay?" Then Pepe draws the Disney Channel logo with the wand and laughs happily. The sixth promo ad features the wild Muppet Animal. Animal is shouts "DISNEY! DISNEY!" and just scribbles with the wand and scribbles soon morph into the Disney Channel logo, to which Animal exclaims "Mickey!". Then, in true Animal character, he starts eating the wand!

The promos are played regularly and lasts 10-seconds, predicting exactly when it will play next is impossible so keep your eye on Disney Channel for the Muppets to pop up. So keep your eyes peeled for Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Piggy, Pepe, and Animal telling you that you're watching Disney Channel.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sesame goes French

Elmo and a new Muppet character named Nac are saying, “Bonjour!” to the children of France. An all new French co-production of Sesame Street is now underway. Co-produced by public broadcaster France 5 and production company Expand-Drama, "5 Rue Sésame" will launch as a daily series in October. Four other new Muppet characters have been developed specifically for the French series.

"5 Rue Sésame", initially comprising of 75 episodes, will feature Muppet, regionally produced live action, and animation segments, along with classic American segment reworked in French. The new Muppet characters include an energetic girl in a wheelchair named Griotte, who will be an active participant in all the fun on the street and will provide positive images of children with disabilities. More than 60 writers, puppeteers, actors, technicians and directors are working on the original French version of Sesame Street.

“France has always been a priority market for Sesame Workshop,” said Gary E. Knell, Sesame Workshop’s President and CEO. “We first provided local programming and licensed products in the 1970s, and have since seen the preschool media landscape evolve tremendously. We are excited to be re-entering the French deliver compelling educational television that serves the needs of today’s children.” American representatives from Sesame Workshop are overseeing the production and providing creative guidance for the series.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Season Two Too?: Part 2 (Fraggle Rock)

Yesterday, I talked about "The Muppet Show - Season 2" DVD, today I have some information on Fraggle Rock's future. It has been 8 days since the impressive “Fraggle Rock: Complete First Season” DVD box set hit store shelves, and already fans are asking “what’s up with season 2?”. The five disc set of the complete first season surpassed expectations of fans who have been campaigning for the show to get a proper DVD treatment for over three years. With such high demand pushing for the sets, HIT Entertainment finally decided to release the first season on DVD, it would seem obvious that if the fans “won” the battle for season 1, that season 2-5 would also eventually come too, right? I mean if their was enough demand for season 1, why wouldn’t there be enough for seasons 2-5? Although season 1 got the DVD treatment, season 2’s fate is harder to predict (even for HIT).

HIT wants to see if all the people who signed the petitions, wrote letters, made calls, and sent e-mail are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Instead of making the decision based on how many people ask for a season set, they can now make it based on how many people actually buy a season set. So the best way to insure that season 2 gets released is to buy season 1…now! Buy copies for friends, buy copies as gifts or collectors items, get friends to buy the season 1 set, help boost sales. The better season 1 does the better HIT will feel about making more season sets.

You are probably wondering how season one is doing. I don’t know for sure, and being that’s it only been out for a little over a week, it’s still hard to tell. But it did rank as high as 31 on’s top selling DVD list - this is a record high for a HIT Entertainment DVD release. And there have been some reports of stores selling out of copies. The set is doing fairly well so far (especially given the overall lack of promotion and press). I think the set will do well, but will it do well enough for HIT to want to do it again with season 2?

HIT has never released a season box set before. This is their first; they are still just getting their feet wet. They don’t want to make a mistake and pump money into a big release like “Season 2” only to see it tank. They want to make sure if they make it, people will buy it (and enough people to justify the costs of production). So give them some time to make up their mind on what they are going to do.

The Jim Henson Company is reportedly backing HIT with the series, and says they hope the other seasons are released in such sets. But HIT is still saying “there is nothing to report yet”, “no decision has been made”, and “it is under consideration”. The producers are really feeling out the market for the season sets.

It took HIT about 9-months to put together the season 1 set, and depending on when they make the decision to move on with the series, and depending on how much additional work has to go into the next season, it could take longer (the earliest season 2 would probably should up would be May/June 2006, but that is being very optimistic).

Aside from “when”, everyone else wants to know “what”; “what will be on the season 2 set?” I don’t know; HIT doesn’t know; no one really knows, because they haven’t started work on the next set yet. However I hope that there are more all-new cast and crew interviews and other goodies placed on there for the fans. There are a ton of other topics they can discuss (from the theme song, to individual episodes, to details looks at the different characters, to the international versions, and everything in between). There are also a ton of related material they can provide to entertain us (from the sing-along videos, to the reworked international Uncle Matt segments, to the alternate openings, concept sketches, and even the animated show). The producers put a lot of work into season 1, let’s hope they continue the treatment when they decide to do season 2.

More information may become available in January - after HIT releases the single-disc Fraggle release “Down in Fraggle Rock” (maybe news will come with the DVD – similar to how the news of season 1 came along with “Live by the Rule of the Rock”). Only time will tell, but for now HIT is just “considering” season 2. With such a big product for HIT (a company that normally releases small single-disc DVDs) they are going to not want to over extend themselves (and they will want to “milk” the big collectors’ item for all they can). They do not want to rush. HIT has the distribution rights to Fraggle Rock until 2009 (and they may end up extending the contract with Henson), so even at a season set per year they could still get the whole show out (season 1 in fall 2005, season 2 in fall 2006, season 3 in fall 2007, season 4 in fall 2008, and season 5 in fall 2009 – plus seasons 4 and 5 are half the size of the other seasons, so a “complete 4th & 5th seasons” set might be how the series ends instead of two separate sets). Only time will tell, but HIT producers say that they don’t want to rush into it and just pump out the next season right away (so don’t expect to see it along with “Down in Fraggle Rock” in January) - maybe next spring/summer, or even next fall.

So, to summarize everything here: HIT is thinking about the subsequent seasons; but there are not set plans yet. When they will make the final decision is unknown. What all the features will be is unknown. I’ll keep you all posted and let you know as soon as I hear anything more about this (and any other) Fraggle title. Until then, just be patient, enjoy season 1, get others to buy the set, and show HIT that they made the right decision (show them that the consumers who demanded season 1 are really there). As Leon the Muppet would say “Buy this Show! Buy! Buy! Buy!” As soon as I hear anything more I’ll let you all know, but there is not much more to report on the subject now – I’ll keep you posted, until then feel free to give HIT a little nudge by sending a letter or e-mail asking for season 2 (it couldn’t hurt).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Season Two Too?: Part 1 (The Muppet Show)

It has been just 35 days since “The Muppet Show – Season 1: Special Edition” DVD box set hit store shelves, and already fans are asking “what’s up with season 2?”. The four disc set of the complete first season became an instant best seller and surpassed expectations of fans and set producers alike. With such high sales (many stores reportedly sold out of their initial orders half-way through its premiere date, causing Disney not only to scramble to ship more, but also to print more), it would seem obvious that Disney would want to invest in the production of the next season set. I’ve been told by some of the people working on the DVDs that planning and work is underway on “The Muppet Sow –Season 2: Special Edition” DVD box set.

You are probably wondering when we will see such a product, and the simple answer is “we don’t know for sure”. In fact, Disney does not know for sure yet. The producers do not want to rush the release – not only to protect the quality of the sets but also to sustain the market. They do not want the market will become over flooded in new Muppet DVDs; this would not only overwhelm fans and consumers (two came out in August, and four more will be out in November), and they would practically end up competing with themselves. Plus they want to make sure everyone who wants season 1 has a chance to get it and enjoy it before shooting season 2 out at them.

On the other hand, they don’t want to wait too long. The producers are aware that they should “strike while the iron is hot” and keep the sets coming. They don’t want people who bought season one to lose interest in the show, and they know that there is a great demand for more of this show now. With Kermit’s 50th anniversary celebration (which the season 1 set kicked-off) it would only be natural for them to want to ship out another season (or two) in conjunction with big birthday celebration (i.e. sometime in 2006).

So when will season two be released? Well, it is not 100% locked in yet, and until Disney makes an official announcement (which is normally just 2 or 3 months before the actual release of the product) anything could change (heck, they could take all the subsequent seasons off the table completely, if they really wanted). I’ve been told that the goal is to have Season 2 out around the spring of 2006, (March/April/May-ish). However, they may decide to move even later (depending on the overall marketing plan for the series and The Muppets’ work on DVD).

The producers are really feeling out the market for this show, getting feedback on what worked and what needs improvement in the DVD line. Also being that they are doing remastering/restoring along with creating bonus features (Muppet Morsels and whatnot) the sets may take longer than BuenaVista’s other bare minimum slap-it-together season sets (which usually range between 3 to 13 month between sets).

So right now they are predicting a spring release for season 2 (and hopefully season 3 will be here in the fall of ’06; season 6 for Easter ’07; and whole series wrapped-up in time for Christmas ‘07). However this could all change. Nothing is set in stone yet! Nothing has been officially announced or formally released on the subject, this is just their current plan. This could all change!

Aside from “when”, everyone else wants to know “what”; “what will be on the season 2 set?”. Although nothing has been completely locked-in or announced, I have been able to get some information on what is in the works. The producers are remastering and restoring all the episodes (like they did for season 1). So expect a beautiful transfer of video and audio (with UK skits, original openings, ect). I have also been told that they are writing more “Muppet Morsels” (the pop-up triva track), so each episode in season 2 should have a fun flowing stream of information and tidbits for you to enjoy. Rumor has it that the second pilot episode (“The Valentines Show”) and an all new “Jim Henson Retrospective” are under consideration for inclusion too, however this can not be confirmed for sure yet. Also based on form, one would assume that the season 2 promo reel would be included (like the season 1 reel was), however, this is not known for sure. There may be other tricks (and treats) up the producers’ sleeves too, only time will tell what will be on the set for sure. And, as you saw with Season 1, we’ll have to wait until closer to the release for any more solid information.

As many fans will tell you, the season 1 set contained some edits due to legal issues with the music. It is next to impossible to predict what (if anything) would be cut for the subsequent seasons. Disney has stated that they hope to release the show uncut, but in the end some things are just not plausible. Disney does not want to cut the sets, they were upset when they had to do it to season 1 - but it was the only option left. I was insured that they are doing their best to make season 2 uncut, but in the end a lot of stuff is out of their control. Trying to predict if any thing will be cut is impossible (even for Disney) - the final calls on what has to be cut are one of the last decisions made. It would be pointless to start guessing (or even thinking about) what will or will not be cut. But they are working to keep them all uncut (and since season 1 was a success, they may be able to justify a bigger budget to get the other seasons’ needed rights).

So, to summarize everything here: Disney is working on the subsequent seasons; they are coming (eventually). When they will be here for sure is unknown. What all the features will be is unknown at such an early stage. But what we do know is that season 2 is in the works, and the producers are working to give the set the same kind of care, attention, and treatment that Season 1 got (if not better). I’ll keep you all posted and let you know as soon as I hear anything more about this (and any other) Muppet release. Until then, just be patient, and enjoy season 1. As soon as I hear anything more I’ll let you all know, but as of now there is not much more to report on the subject – I’ll keep you posted.

I'll be back tomorrow with "Season Two Too?: Part 2 (Fraggle Rock)".

Monday, September 12, 2005

"I'm the Great Gonzo, and You're Watching Disney Channel"

The Disney Channel runs a series of channel identification promos featuring Disney stars proclaiming "I'm so-and-so, and you're watching Disney Channel". Then they wave a green wand, drawing the Disney Channel logo (the tilted Mickey Mouse Head). The 10-second promos run regularly throughout the day, maybe you’ve seen them. One of the newest additions in the promo series is of Gonzo. The famous Muppet weirdo says, "Hi! I'm the Great Gonzo and You're Watching Disney Channel". He then draws the logo with the wand. But soon the wand goes out of control and flies away (with Gonzo holding on) causing him to fly back and forth across the screen, finally crashing into the camera. The promo is played regularly and lasts about 10-seconds, predicting exactly when it will play next is impossible so keep your eye on Disney Channel for our favorite little whatever. It is unknown if any other Muppet promos were recorded, if any surface I’ll let you know.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jim Henson to be Honored at the Academy

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame honors people who have made outstanding contributions in the arts, sciences or management of television, based upon either cumulative contributions and achievements or a singular contribution or achievement. Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, has gain the honor of a beautiful wall sculpture in his honor that will be displayed at the Television Academy's Hall of Fame Plaza in North Hollywood.

A very handsome likeness of Jim Henson, surrounded by Kermit, Gonzo, Rowlf, and other Muppets will be unveiled in honor of the late Muppet pioneer later this month. The sculpture is said to be in the same style as the Hanna and Barbera presented earlier this year, perhaps even by the same sculptor, Richard Ellis (however the exact details of the sculpture are unknown at this time).

On Wednesday, September 28, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame will be dedicating the wall sculpture honoring Jim Henson. The event will take place at the Hall of Fame Plaza at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Many Henson and Muppet employees, friends, family, and even some characters are slatted to appear to dedicate the sculpture at the unveiling.

This September is full of events honoring Jim Henson. Commemorative US Postage stamps in honor of Jim and the Muppets will be released on September 29, 2005. And on September 14, a book full of Henson’s wisdom and spirit, “It’s not Easy Being Green: and Other Things to Contemplate”, will be released; it is sure to be a lovely tribute to Jim. September is the month of Jim’s Birthday (September 24). Jim would have been 69 in September. 2005 marks the 15th anniversary of his death on May 16.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"America's Next Muppet" mini-series in development

Chris Curtin, vice president and general manager of the Muppets, became a major backer for the idea of a Muppet reality-TV spoof special. A “reality” show pilot pitch was filmed in Los Angeles during the summer of 2004, and shared around the Disney Company. The pilot, which was produced by the Jim Henson Company and reportedly directed by Muppeteer Bill Barretta, was a success with Disney executives.

After making several changes from the pilot’s concept, a deal was established to produce a Muppet mini-series that parodies current reality-TV while showcasing the Muppet magic and characters the world has come to love. According to Chris Curtin, ABC will bring the Muppets back to TV for an all new 6-episode series titled "America's Next Muppet”. The short-run reality-TV spoof is sure to be a fun and entertaining series that Muppet fans will enjoy. The reported premise is that Kermit and the other classic Muppet characters are setting up a talent contest to find the newest member of the legendary Muppet troupe. All kinds of new wacky Muppet characters and wild new Muppet acts will audition for the panel of judges (such as Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo) who will be the reviewing the performances.

“America’s Next Muppet” will be used as a small assessment by The Muppet Holding Company and ABC to see if the Muppets can survive in today’s television market. If “America’s Next Muppet” attracts a crowd, the Muppets may be looking at another entirely new, full-time TV-show in the near future.

“America’s Next Muppet” is tentatively set to air on ABC sometime next year (probably the spring or summer of 2006) – however this could change. There is no further information on the series’ premiere or any further details available at this time.

(For the full story, read my extended article at

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Kermit The Frog Turns 50!

It was back in 1955 on a show called “Sam & Friends” that Jim Henson first shared a distinctive green friend with the world. Over half a century later the famous amphibian still touches the lives of millions of people each year. This is of course about Kermit the Frog. This spectacular Muppet milestone will not be forgotten, as Disney and the Muppets plan to kick off a giant 15-month worldwide Birthday celebration in honor of Kermit the Frog’s 50th anniversary.

In honor of his birthday, there are plans for an all new television special in celebration of Kermit's career, tentatively titled “Kermit the Frog: Celebrating 50 Years of Being Green”. The special will take the form of a celebrity roast, where the Muppet gang (and some of their celebrity friends) have fun jesting at the famous frog while taking a look back at his 50 years of work (and wishing him a happy birthday). The Frog’s special roast will be hosted by Kermit's best critic, Miss Piggy. In preparation for the big 50th celebration, Kermit will also be making a trip around the world to visit the top 50 places that he's always wanted to go. The exact details on when the special will air are unclear but pre-production and preparation is underway on the special salute to the frog we all love.

When asked about the milestone celebration, Kermit said, "I will be celebrating my 50th year in show business starting this September, and that's going to be like a yearlong celebration...It'll be a whole year filled with things having to do with being green and frogs and all that sort of stuff."

(For the full story, read my extended article at