Friday, February 24, 2006

Kevin Clash on Monday's Oprah (2/27/06)

Kevin Clash (the Muppeteer behind Elmo and others) will be a guest on the daytime talk show “The Operah Winfrey Show” on Monday, February 27, 2006! The subject of Operah's show is "the real people behind the big names" and Kevin will appear to talk about being the man behind Elmo. Kevin Clash's appearance on “Operah” will air as part of Monday's show - check your local listings for time and channel. Set your VCRs, program you Ti-Vo, and don’t miss it!

Friday, February 17, 2006

From the Balcony: Episode 18

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 & Waldorf take weird and wild guesses at who's gonna win on Oscar night. Plus learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "IT'S OVER-ture". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode. And look for the next episode on March 4th.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

More Farscape?

Here is an intriguing bit of news for all the Farscape fans out there. It looks like the Jim Henson Company is looking to work a new Farscape project.

When it originally aired, Farscape was the Sci-Fi Channel's highest rated original program. After its third season, Farscape was renewed simultaneously for a fourth and fifth season. However SciFi later announced that there would be no season five - even though the last episode of season four had ended with a cliffhanger. Fans mobilized to create a "Save Farscape" campaign which was larger than any previous movement to reverse a television series. The fan effort proved victorious when Henson produced the four-hour miniseries "Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars", The Peace Keeper Wars squeezed the plotlines of what was to be the fifth season into the miniseries. The miniseries concluded in a way that left the door open for a future Farscape productions but also provided satisfying closure if it ended up being the ultimate end of Farscape.

In the past Henson has kicked around and talked about the possibility and ideas for a movie, another mini-series or TV-movie, a direct-to-DVD project, an animated show, or even a spin-off series. However, until now nothing has ever been put into production or moved far into development. While Henson has been brainstorming ideas for Farscape's continuation, fans have been waiting for news of what's coming, if anything at all.

At a panel discussion on the "Mirrormask DVD" held last Friday at Wonder-Con, Michael R. Polis (of the Jim Henson Company) and Rob Valoy (of Tokyo Pop) took to the stage and talked to the audience. Some old news was mentioned: coming this fall is a set of three 160-paged "Labyrinth" graphic novels; an animated "Dark Crystal" series is in the work; Henson is working on a "Dark Crystal" sequel; blah, blah, blah. But an interesting bit of information came out when they made some indistinctive mention to a new "Farscape" project that the Henson Company is currently working on.

There have been lots of rumors and ideas kicked around by Henson in the past, but it sounds like they are finally moving on and doing something with the series. I contacted some people at Henson, and they have yet to respond with any substantial information to back-up or elaborate on these reports (but they have not denied anything). It is likely that they are seriously considering and working on a project with the Farscape brand, however at this point we just don't know what it is (but I'm still digging and searching, and I'll keep you posted).

Sales of Farscape on DVD have been so successful that ADV is on its second run of Farscape DVDs, releasing its "Starburst Editions". These sets hold about seven episode on two discs loaded with extras (both old and new). The latest release, "Season Three, Part Two" was released today, February 14.) I'll keep you updated as soon as I hear more on the future of Farscape.

Special thanks to D.W. McKim for the news tip.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

"The Muppet Show: Season 2" Expected on DVD this Summer

I've been getting tons of e-mails from readers asking one question: "When 'The Muppet Show Season 2' going to be released on DVD?" So I will attempt to answer the question for all of you now. As you know, just about 6-months ago the first season of The Muppet Show was released in a 4-disc special edition DVD box set, and ever since fans have been craving more. Over the past week I've talked with people all over the place - from Disney distributors and DVD producers, to other news sites and DVD retailers - and I actually have some information about the fate of the show's next DVD release for you.

I will start out by saying "The Muppet Show: Season 2" is coming to DVD! The sales of the season one were outstanding, and Disney can't wait to release subsequent sets. The first season gained great critical acclaim, won awards, and was on the top of best-sellers list for months. Word from many reliable sources in retail and within the Disney said that "The Muppet Show: Season 2" was originally planned for released in February 2006 (just six-months after the first season). Now you may notice that it already is February and no official information on the set has even been released; that is because of some production delays. The release is currently "on hold." The set's production is still underway, but the release is still somewhat up in the air. The DVD is currently lined up for a hopeful "Summer 2006" release (however it may, or may not, actually make its intended summer release frame -- only time will tell, but it seems very likely). I've been told there have been numerous delays and holdups along the way with this perticular title. I was assured that they were not based upon sales, which Disney cited as "terrific", nor is it due to lack of company support. I was told that the production of this set is simply taking longer than expected - due to the enormous amount of legal clearances needed, and the time needed on restoration and supplemental features. The Muppet Show is simply requiring more than most of Buena Vista's TV shows on DVDs; and rather than rush it or cut corners, Disney wants to keep the quality of these highly-anticipated sets up to the fans' desires and expectations.

We may not see the second season until a year after the first season's release (August); but maybe they'll be able to get it out sooner (June/July); or maybe it will take longer. They are shooting for a summer release, they are working it and it is coming. Buena Vista Home Entertainment is not able to give a final list of any features of specifications – those things just aren’t final yet. But if everything goes as planned, as of now, we should see an official announcement later this spring (March/April) with all the details and specs, followed by the release sometime this summer (July/August). Disney is expecting to be able to release all five seasons of The Muppet Show in time (and there are rumors of a complete Muppets Tonight set to follow the fifth season's release). Hopefully the third season's wait won't be as long. But I'm sure Buena Vista's extra time spent "doing it right" with these sets will be well worth it. I'll keep you posted as soon as any more information surfaces.

A special thanks to Buena-Vista Home Entertainment, Bradley Delaney, Gary Kessler, Jennifer Lawrence, G.H. Percy,,,,, the fine folks at Disney-DVD consumer relations, the press contacts, and the other people (who wished to remain anonymous) that responded and helped in uncovering, explaining and sharing this information. Also thanks to for their support.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

From the Balcony: Episode 17

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 & Waldorf receive bouquets of flowers for an unknown reason, two stereotypical entertainment correspondants talk about the Oscar nominations, and watch an old educational film about how a movie is made. Plus learn the meaning of this weeks balconism, "Romantic KARMA-dy". So check out the "From the Balcony" website on and watch the latest episode.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Another "Dark Crystal" Update!

The other day I shared some news about the upcoming film Power of the Dark Crystal (the much anticipated sequel to The Jim Henson Company’s 1982 classic fantasy film). Since that news post, the good people at the Jim Henson Company have sent me some more information on the upcoming film...and a picture!

The movie will be set hundreds of years after the first film, at a time when the world has once again fallen into darkness. The sequel will follow the adventures of a mysterious girl made of fire who, together with a Gelfling outcast, steals a shard of the legendary Crystal in an attempt to reignite the dying sun that exists at the center of the planet.

The film will start filming later this summer and will be released in early 2008. However, the sequel is only one of several projects the Jim Henson Company is working on to re-explore the world of The Dark Crystal. Other projects include an animated television series (set for a 2008 release on Cartoon Network), a manga series (set for a late-2006 release by TokyoPop) and whole bunch of licensed products such as books, apparel and collectibles.

Below is a little teaser for all the fans out there. This is an official production image from the Jim Henson Company of Queen Kira as seen in Power of the Dark Crystal by Brian Froud. Enjoy!

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Happy Birthday!

"Hello, and welcome to my blog! This is the place where you can find all the greatest and latest Muppet, Fraggle, Sesame, and Henson news on the web..." I posted that back on February 1, 2005. It was one year ago that I started this little project - and look at it now. I started out with a simple mission - share the latest Henson/Muppet news and information I discovered in one easy to find place. I wanted a place where fans could get the news fast and easy with out having to read hundreds of forum posts, search tons of the newspapers and web journals, or wait for the other sites to get around to posting the big stories.

When I started out I had no real idea what this blog would actually be, and what it would ultimately become. The site grew - we now get well over a thousand daily vistors. The blog has changed format, design, and even its name. Its been an exciting year - with over 250 news posts!

I will continue to dig up and compile all the news that Muppet-fans crave. I hope to continue blogging and hope that The Muppet Newsflash will continue to be your definitive source for Muppet news on the web. I want to give out a special thanks to everyone who supported the site, everyone who has sent in news, everyone who gave feedback, all the members of the forum, and all the visitor and readers. So grab a piece of cake, slap on a funny hat and celebrate - its our Birthday!

"Power of the Dark Crystal" Director Announced

The Jim Henson Company has announced that Genndy Tartakovsky will direct "Power of the Dark Crystal" - the sequel to 1982 film "The Dark Crystal." Tartakovsky, creator of the animated hits "Samurai Jack," "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," will direct the film and use his Orphanage Animation Studios to take the lead on the CG animation elements for the puppet-driven film.

"The original 'Dark Crystal' was the pinnacle of puppetry; they created characters that were as believable as the ones you see in animated films," Tartakovsky said. He went on to say that unlike in the expensive original, for which high-cost otherworldly sets were built, the puppets this time around will operate amid a beautiful life-like CGI backdrop. "There is a limited budget here, and this will be more artsy, in a 'Sin City' fashion, with characters performing over greenscreen and great backgrounds behind it," he said.

The film is set to start filming in late summer, with a release sometime in 2007.

Below is a list of the people that we know are involved in this film. No further casting or crew announcments have been made yet, however the full cast should be all lined-up by late-spring/early-summer. I'll keep you posted as more information is released on the upcoming film.

Producers: Lisa Henson and Scott Stewart
Executive Producers: Brian Henson, Ralph Kamp and Louise Goodsill
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Concept Designer: Brian Froud
Screenplay: Annette Duffy and David Odell
Music: Trevor Jones