Thursday, March 31, 2005

Wizard of Oz TV Debut is Set!

Mark your calendars! Set your VCRs! Program your TiVo! Because "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" television air-date has officially been set. The Muppet Holding Company press contact alerted me this morning that "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" will on Friday, May 20, 2005 at 8:00pm EST on ABC (check local listings for full details). The decision to sway away from the traditional Saturday night “Wonderful World of Disney” movie programming block was made in hope to get a larger family audience. Hopefully the Friday night debut will be able to not only pull in the ratings, but also entertain millions of viewers. The premiere should be an uplifting and moving experience for Muppet fans, as that Monday (May 16) marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Jim Henson.

I was also told that more information (details of international airings, the home video and DVD releases, additional airings on other dates and channels, and promotion plans) will be available later next week. I’ll keep in contact with the Muppet Holding Company and will keep you all posted as soon as everything is set.

The debut is only 50 days away, and I know everyone has been eagerly waiting any news that they can use to help support the film in being a success. So now be sure to get everyone you know (and even those you don’t know) to watch ABC on May 20th at 8:00pm. It will be a fun event that the whole family will enjoy. So start your countdowns, and prepare yourself – The Muppets Wizard of Oz will soon be here! I’ll keep you posted as more details are avalible.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Muppets Take Tribeca Sweepstakes

The Muppet Holding Company is holding an official contest at that will allow a lucky Muppet-fan (and three friends) to win a special trip to the premiere of "The Muppets Wizard of Oz". The sweepstake's prize will give the winner a trip to New York City's Tribeca Film Festival to attend the red-carpet world premiere of "The Muppets Wizard of Oz". The winner will be able to see the stars as they arrive on the red carpet, enjoy a special meet-and-greet with the Muppets, and get to watch "The Muppets Wizard of Oz" on the big screen before its TV premiere .

The contest is open to adults (18 years of age and older) who are legal residents of the United States. "The Muppets Take Tribeca Sweepstakes" began today and will end on April 17, 2005. To apply for the sweepstakes you must be a registered user of (this is something you can do for free, and takes only a few seconds). Click here to visit the official contest sub-site for more information, official rules, and to apply. Good luck!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Muppet Central Radio Nominated for Award

From the silly to the sacred, Muppet music has impacted generations young and old. Muppet Central Radio, a service of fansite Muppet Central, broadcasts so that people around the world can listen to Muppet music 24 hours a day. The radio service is provided by Live365, an online radio service provider.

Recently nominated Muppet Central Radio for one of it's second annual broadcaster awards under the category of "Guilty Pleasure Station". The station plays all kind of Muppet music 24-hours a day; from The Muppet Show to Fraggle Rock, Sesame Street to The Muppet Movie, and everything else.If you are a Live365 VIP member or a Live365 broadcaster and want to support Muppet Central Radio, take a moment to vote for the station (and any others that you enjoy). Polls will close by Monday April 18 - you can vote by going here.

If you are not a VIP member and have been thinking about signing up, you can do so here. There is also a free VIP trial so that everyone can vote if they want. VIP's get twice the sound quality, no ads, and Radio365, a great mp3pro player.

Philip Chapman, webmaster of Muppet Central, commented on the issue saying, "I'm really surprised by this honor. There are thousands of stations out there and for us to be selected is pretty cool since we are such a non-traditional and specific genre."

So please take some time to show your support and vote. And if you just want to listen to the great music on Muppet Central Radio just click here. Enjoy, and happy listening!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Get in Line for an Early View of "Oz"

The 4th Annual Tribeca Film Festival will take place from April 19th through May 1st. Of the hundreds of entries, there is one that will have Muppet fans waiting in line. "The Muppet Wizard of Oz" is sure to be popular when it gets its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival before airing on ABC. Screenings are free (first come first serve) and will be on April 27th, 30th and May 1st. Details on the festival itself can be found on their official website.

If you can't make it to New York City to catch the premiere, The movie will air as part of "the Wonderful World of Disney" on ABC. I have contacted ABC and the Muppet Holding Co about the exact air date, and they all say that it has not been decided yet. But they say it will be in "mid- to late May 2005" (the exact date will not be set until later this month). I'll keep you posted as soon as I hear anything.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Muppet Show Season Sets - Fact or Fiction?

As many of you may know, DVD season box sets of "The Muppet Show" were announced by Craig Shemin at the "Muppets, Music and Magic: Jim Henson's Legacy" event in New York last November. Interviews with many other Henson performers, employees and fans were filmed for bonus material at the event as well.

It was said at the event that the season box sets would begin arriving in the summer of 2005. Many thought that the estimate seemed a little optimistic, and people began to doubt the claims. Now, over four-months later, nothing more has been announced, reported, or found out about these alleged DVDs. The Disney customer service is unable to answer questions on such products due to lack of information. And many fans have begun to question the reports. So I decided to do some hunting to see if these reports were rumors or facts, and also try to get some more information on what to expect and when.

I was able to get in contact with several "insiders" working on the DVD project. And I asked them all a bunch of questions. I have collected all the information on the DVDs that is available. Sadly the project details are very "hush-hush" right now, because all the facts are still very loose and everything is still being worked on. Disney does not want to misrepresent anything, so until they have all the facts they don't want to say anything that could end up changing. But I've done researching, I got answers, and now I'm sharing everything known with you (and there is a whole lot of new information). For all the full details we'll need to wait for an official announcement (which I'm told should be out in the coming months), but until then this article that I wrote should tide you over.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Sesame Place Turns 25

On May 7, 2005 Sesame Place will turn 25. The "Sesame Street" amusement and water park will open their regular season this spring and will be celebrating in style. May 7th will kick off the season long celebration of Sesame Place’s 25th Birthday. Get to Sesame Place early (9:45am) to see the star studded red carpet arrival of all the Sesame Street characters! And when the gates open (at 10:00am) there’s more fun for all with cake and candles to wish a very Happy Birthday to Sesame Place. For 25 years Sesame Place, has made families smile! If you have never experianced the fun of Sesame Place, I might suggest booking a vacation to the Philadelphia/New York area sometime this year. Check out the exciting birthday parade, great special events, plus all the rides, shows, play areas, games, stores, attractions, characters, dining, and all the other things that make Sesame Place the only place where Sesame Street comes to life! Walk down Sesame Street, look into Big Bird nest, explore TwiddleBug land, and watch Elmo's World live. Sesame Place is located 30 minutes north of Philadelphia and 90 minutes south of New York City. For more information, call 215-752-7070 or visit

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Buzz About the Fraggles

Here is the juiciest new buzz on the Internet today. I've received reports that several Henson employees and performers visited HIT Entertainment this past weekend to tape special interviews and bonus material for DVD season sets of Fraggle Rock. Before you get over excited, please remember that this has not been confirmed or supported by any official sources (as of today HIT is still going on the record saying that the decision to produce season sets has not been made yet). The push for season sets is not over, but this could be the first positive sign of HIT working on them. So please still continue to press HIT to produce season sets (or at least say that they are producing them).

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Four DVD's of "Bear" in June '05

Disney (or should I say Buena-Vista Home Entertainment) is planning to release four new DVDs of the hit television show, "Bear in the Big Blue House". Each of the single-disc releases will feature three episodes of the show, and are set for release on June 7, 2005.

The first new DVD, "Early to Bed, Early to Rise", features Bear and his friends in three comfy, cozy episodes that encourage proper rest, consideration for others, and becoming self-reliant! Episodes included are "A Winter's Nap", "Morning Glory", and "Go To Sleep". The DVD also features four bonus sing-along songs, and will retail for $14.95 (or less).

Excitement is everywhere on the next DVD of the Big Blue House -- you can see it, hear it, touch it, taste it, and even smell it – and "Sense-sational" features three delightful adventures that promote creative exploration and imagination! The episodes found on this disc are "Smell-O-Rama", "The Senseless Detectives", and "sense-sational". The disc will also feature four bonus sing-along songs. The total run-time is 72- minutes, and will retail for $14.95 (or less).

The third DVD release, "Storytelling with Bear", is all about storytelling, vocabulary skills, kindness and sharing. Episodes on the disc include "What's The Story?", "Words, Words, Words", and "Read My Book". The disc will also features four bonus sing-along songs, and will have a standard retail price of $14.95 (or less).

The final DVD set for a June release is all about feeling good. "Visiting the Doctor with Bear" was originally released by Columbia Tri-Star in November 2001 (and is now out of print). Disney is now re-releasing the same collection episodes under the Disney brand-name; along with new cover art that matches the other Disney-DVD releases of "Bear" (and new DVD specs, and even a lower price than then the older version). The DVD features the episodes "Picture of Health", "That Healing Feeling", The Big Blue House Call". The disc will retail for $14.95 (or less).

So be sure to pick up these four great DVDs on June 7th. They will be a great addition to any DVD collection, and are a great way to celebrate the new Bear series, "Breakfast with Bear", premiering on Disney Channel in June.

Friday, March 04, 2005

One Month Until "Sesame Street: Season 36"

In one month (exactly) Sesame Street will be back for year number 36. The new season premieres April 4, 2005 on PBS (check local listings). In addition to the traditional goals of Sesame Street (teaching literacy, numeracy, science, and safety, all while having fun) Sesame Street will tackle an issue facing many families today: children's health. The new season features a new curriculum designed to address the importance of establishing an early foundation of healthy habits. Sesame Street's newest curriculum is part of a larger Sesame Workshop company-wide initiative, "Healthy Habits for Life," created in response to the growing crisis of childhood obesity among children. The preschool years are a crucial time in children's lives to foster healthy habits.

Along with the "Healthy Moments," the new season will feature all-new Muppet "street" scenes, new animations and original live-action films that all tout activities and behaviors that are good for you. Sesame Street will continue to introduce preschoolers to other cultures with all-new "Global Grover" segments. This season, Grover travels to Bangladesh, England, Paris, the Netherlands, and more.

New parodies, that take their cue from the world of pop culture, include: "Desperate Houseplants;" "Grouch Eye for the Nice Guy;" "Chasing the Cheese," with a new Muppet created in the likeness of sportscaster Chris Berman; "24," based on the TV series of the same name; "Cookie Monster: Food Investigator," a parody of Dragnet; and the series introduces Donald Grump, a Muppet who looks suspiciously like one of America's real estate moguls. And in addition to all this, Season 36 will also feature five new "Elmo's World" segments.

So be sure to tune in to the all new season next month, and help welcome all your friends on Sesame Street to their 36th season of entertaining and educating us all.