Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Henson Prepares to Ask "What's the Big Idea?"

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.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated with the development and release of this exciting new Henson series.


Geoff Clark said...

This sounds very cool! I love design of Josh. The HDPS has great potential and when you mix in Henson's quality performers, characters and writing you got yourself a great children's show here.

So it looks like we have the first actual details of a HDPS production coming to television... if only Henson could get a firm deal for the Skrumps and Frances announced we'd be in business.

Otter said...

I've been very hedgy about the digital puppetry from Henson, mainly because the Skrumps look so flobby and unappealing. But Josh looks adorable, original, and very appealing -- can't wait to see this one.