Continuing their long line of successful preschool and family programming, The Jim Henson Company has announced a partnership with PBS’ KCET to produce a new educational television series entitled "What's the Big Idea?". The digital-puppetry series, which is set to debut on PBS KIDS in 2008, is designed to promote science readiness by building on kids' instinctive curiosity about the world around them.
"What's the Big Idea?" will use a sketch-comedy format to teach lessons in science and discovery. The program will feature the adventures of Josh, an inquisitive youngster who tackles the everyday ideas that preschoolers find fascinating (like where garbage goes, how does a drinking straw works, why bananas go bad, how birds fly and even why we sneeze).
Forty half-hour episodes of the series have been ordered. Production is said to begin later this fall, and the show is already scheduled to premiere on PBS KIDS in 2008. The program will be created using the Henson Digital Performance Studio, a revolutionary system that allows puppeteers to perform digital characters in real time. "What's the Big Idea?" will be executive produced by Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Company along with Mary Mazur of KCET. Additionally, the Jim Henson Company will be handling all supplementary development of the property including licensing, video distribution and merchandising.