Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Puppet Up! is coming to your TV

A one-hour television special of "The Jim Henson Company's Puppet Up! – Uncensored" is being taped at The Comedy Festival in Las Vegas next month. The special is set to air on TBS on Monday, November 20, 2006 at 11:00pm (ET/PT). The special, in which puppeteers construct improvised scenes from the audience's suggestions, will be taped on Wednesday, November 15 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

"Puppet Up!" is a demonstration of what happens when the perilous and provocative forms of traditional comedy improv are mixed with a bunch of irreverent puppets. With a motley group of characters brought to life world-renowned puppeteers, "Puppet Up!" is truly innovative comedy. Performing the puppetry for the show are some of The Jim Henson Company's top puppeteers, as well as some of the country's top comedy improvisers.

The cast includes Brian Henson, Julianne Buescher, Tyler Bunch, Ted Michaels, Drew Massey, Paul Rugg, Allan Trautman and Victor Yerrid. The show is executive-produced by Brian Henson and Lisa Henson. The special is being produced by Martin Baker and co-produced by Eric Poticha. Patrick Bristow serves as the stage shows director and host.

The "Puppet Up!" television special marks the second TBS project from The Jim Henson Company. Earlier this year, The Jim Henson Company filmed a pilot for "The Late Night Buffet with Augie and Del", a new talk show set to air sometime next year.

For more information on "Puppet Up!" and the upcoming television special visit PuppetUp.com, TBS.com and Henson.com. So be sure to mark your calendars, set your VCRs, program your TiVo and don't miss this one-of-a-kind television event. I'll keep you posted with more details as they arise.

Monday, October 30, 2006

New Blog Feeds

Having a hard time keeping up with all the latest Muppet news? Want to see the newest headlines right where you want them? Well, try our new news feeds for any of these great feed readers and providors . Just click the button to add the latest headlines to the reader(s) of your choice.

Oddly, some older stories are shown as "new" with some feeds due to the recent blog upgrade and changes. The problem should go away once some more news stories are posted. Sorry for the inconvenience or any confusion in that reguard.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Blog Upgrade

As part of my ongoing effort to make "The Muppet Newsflash" better, I recently upgraded to the newest version of Google Blogger. You may notice that the design and layout has changed slightly and there is now some new fuctions and features (and there are some more "upgrades" on the way shortly).

To hightlight one big upgrade: you can now browse the past posts not only by date, but also by subject. Each post is sorted into a category (or categories) so you can find all the news related to Fraggle Rock, new music releases, Sesame Street, or any of the other popular news subjects. Just check out the subject listing on the side of the page. Finding the news you're looking for has never been easier.

If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or ideas that you would like to share about the blog, please let me know – I would love to hear from you. Feel free to post a comment to this news item, start discussion in the forum, or just drop me an e-mail. This blog is for you, so let me know what you want and how I’m doing. I always love to get reader feedback.

And, as always, more Muppet news is on the way.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Muppet Show: Season 2 on DVD in 2007

15-months ago "The Muppet Show Season One" was released on DVD, and ever since fans have been asking when they would be able to get their hands on season two. Pinning down the release hasn't been simple for Disney. Originally it slated for February, then bumped to a tentative slot in late Summer and then inexplicably delayed again. Legal clearances, material creation/restoration, marketing schemes, leadership changes, production priority schedules -- the reasons are complex and numerous. Brain Henson said earlier this year when IGN asked about the Muppet Show Season Two, that "Disney is so formulaic and careful and secretive about their DVD release plans" that even he didn't know when the set would be out.

Back in July Muppets.com launched a poll to allow fans to vote on the cover art for the upcoming second season release. Just a few weeks ago the poll was taken down, and the fans' speculation started up again. What does it mean? Is it coming? Was it canceled? What's going on?

Well, I just got word from a reliable source within Buena-Vista Home Entertainment that there is no need to panic. The set is indeed coming. It's taken a while, but it will be worth the wait. I was told that production of the discs is "expected in the first quarter of 2007". They'd like to tell more us about the set, but everything is "top secret" right now. An official announcement with all the details is around the corner. The second season set will be out in 2007 and season three is also expected for the future (although there are no details on timing yet).

As always, I'll keep you posted as soon as any more solid information comes out.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Henson Book Wins Award

"It’s Not Easy Being Green and Other Things to Consider", a book of inspirational quotes by Jim Henson (and his characters and friends), was released last November. The book was also nominated as a finalist in the 10th annual Quill Book Awards earlier this year. The Quill Book Awards are chosen by consumers and fans of this book really came out to show their support for Henson. The awards ceremony was broadcast by NBC yesterday.

"It’s Not Easy Being Green and Other Things to Consider" received the Quill Award in the category of "Self Improvement / Health". Cheryl Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter and editor of the book, accepted the award on his behalf. Cheryl Henson said, “The Quills are chosen by readers so it is especially thrilling to accept this award on my father’s behalf. To see people continue to connect and respond to my father’s ideas about imagination, joy and wonder is a tribute to the ongoing legacy of work he created.”

If you still haven't picked up this book, I highly recommend it...and so do all the voters that made this book a 2006 award winner!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Henson Official Announces Fraggle Feature Film

The buzz has been circulating for over a year now, but the Jim Henson Company has finally made a formal announcement of their plans for a Fraggle Rock feature film. The movie is still in pre-production, however Henson has confirmed some details about the project. Ahmet Zappa is writing the story, Brian Henson and Jason Lust are executive producing and Lisa Henson will serve as the film's producer. The untitled Fraggle film will take Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red on an adventure outside of Fraggle Rock and into “outer space”.

Brian Henson said back in May that fans should expect the movie to be something more of a "revisiting" of the classic characters, rather than a straightforward continuation of the series. Henson said the plan is to do something that "sort of stands next to the Fraggle Rock series rather than be a continuation of the show." The film is currently anticipated for release in 2008.

It's great to hear more official confirmation that this film is coming. I'll keep you posted as more information on this, and other Fraggle projects, surface.

Friday, October 13, 2006

"The Land of Gorch" on DVD

The fine folks at TVShowsOnDVD.com just released the news that "Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Season" will be released on DVD on December 5, 2006! The 8-disc set (with over 26-hours of material) will include all of the first season episodes in their entirety - completely uncut and un-fooled around with. So what does that have to do with the Muppets? Well, if you remember Jim Henson and the Muppets were members of the cast in the 1975-1976 season appearing in the recurring Muppet segments titled "The Land of Gorch". All 14 of the original "Land Of Gorch" episodes staring "Jim Henson's Muppets" will be on this set. This is the first time any of the Gorch skits have been released on DVD, and it's the first time all 14 of the classic skits have been released. So come with us now from the bubbling tar pits, to the sulfurous wasteland; from the rotting forest, to the stagnant mud flats, to the Land of Gorch (now available on DVD)!