Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tinseltown Show and Cast Information

It has been almost a year since I first reported on "Tinseltown", a new television program from The Jim Henson Company. The series is part of the company's new Henson Alternative brand of adult-audience puppet projects. Henson fans have been craving more information on this project and I have been able to get some exclusive show and casting information from an insider connected to the project!

As you may know, The Henson Company started shopping the project around in 2006 after producing a five-minute presentation tape for the project; and in July 2007 in was announced that the project was being produced for the Logo cable television network. The Jim Henson Company showed a sample of the project at the 2007 Comic-Con International convention in San Diego. The presentation was a big hit with the audience.

The puppet sitcom centers around a homosexual couple - Bobby Vegan (a pig) and Samson Knight (a bull) – as they work to balance their careers, relationship, family and lives in Hollywood. Bobby is a struggling entertainer whose best days are probably behind him. He is a very outspoken individual, and occasionally finds himself in embarrassing situations due to reckless "self-medicating" to deal with stressful situations. Luckily, his understanding and supportive life-partner and soul mate Samson, who also happens to be Bobby's manager, is there for every storm. These two puppets also have family issues to deal with, as the couple has a 13-year-old human foster son named Foster. There are also issues with Lena, an ex-wife; and Arturo, a limo driver and masseuse. Everyone in the show is a real person except for Bobby and Samson – those two are puppets.

This project continues Henson's long tradition of celebrating diversity with a talented cast and crew coming together to create a unique and entertaining groups of characters. Brain Henson and Bill Barretta are producing, writing, directing and staring in the series. Tinseltown is being produced by Henson and Barretta, along with Del Shores and Eric Poticha. Writers for the series include Henson, Barretta and Shores.

Bill Barretta performs Bobby Vegan (with Michelan Sisti assisting); while Samson is brought to life by Brian Henson (with Drew Massey assisting). The role of the Lena, the ex-wife, is being played by Mia Sara ("Ferris Bueller’s Day Off", "Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story"); while Paul Butcher ("Zoey 101") is taking on the role of Foster; and Francesco Quinn ("Platoon") will be portraying Arturo. The puppet characters were designed by Gene Barretta and music for the series was composed by Jeff Sudakin.

The series will be airing on Logo, a cable television channel from MTV Networks that focuses on gay and lesbian programming. If you don't get Logo where you live, you might want to contact your local cable or satellite provider and let them know you want it.

And if you’re wondering why Henson decided to do a show about a male couple - Brian Henson joked at Comic-Con that one of the main reason was because he can't do female voices. The Jim Henson Company says they will be ready to announce the roll-out schedule for the show very soon; and more details on the series and its release are expected to accompany the official announcement. I’ll keep you posted as soon more details are released.


Vaughn Michael said...

very cool but as some one this show is being targeted towards I'd like to voice my opinion and say that I would hope and pray that this won't be another stereo typical gay show.
But I'm not getting my hopes up.

Jeff said...

Well Vaughn - given the track record of the Henson Company and Del Shores, this won't be a stereotypical anything.

Anonymous said...

all we need isa date and time

Vaughn Michael said...

I'd really like to see some clips or a preview of this show.

Anonymous said...

well, you should have gone to ComicCon then, ha ha! But seriously, based on the clips they showed, the show will be great - I really can't wait to see more of it. I hope Henson and Logo announce a debut date/time for the show soon and starts ramping up promotion for it.

Vaughn Michael said...

sorry I went last year I don't like star wars and anime I never went the before last year but I went with a friend and heard it was the best comic convention around and I've been to allot in small towns and stuff.
Boy oh boy well if you're into anime, star wars, mass promotions at every turn, and maybe 10 booths of comics then you will love the sandiago comicon :P
Hence why I didn't go plus the fact that I was clear across the country.

Anonymous said...

I saw the pilot, and it was terrible. The story went nowhere, and it relied on stereotypical "edgy" humor. We've seen that a million times. Nothing fresh and new about this show.

Also, they're trying to sell this to a gay audience, and one of the characters is once again, stereotypical and FLAMING. It's the puppet equivalent Will and Grace, character wise (Will and Grace is actaully FUNNY, however)

The puppetry was amazing and the acting was well done, but you're nothing without a story. With shows like this and Puppet Up, it seems as if the Henson Company will never get it right.

It makes me sad that one of the "jokes" from the pilot was a pig saying "Nipples!" Why is that funny? Oh, wait, it's NOT.

A message to the people at Henson: Just do good work. Stop trying to shock us because it ain't workin'.

christopher said...

I have to say that Mr. Anonymous has got it all wrong and needs to get off of his gay high-horse and just enjoy some of the new gay themed talent that's coming to light in our great gay community. This muppet show of great gay characters is a funky and fabulous breath of fresh air and again, Mr. Anonymous (if that actually is your real name), like it or not, our world is full of all kinds of gay characters in real life and you can't just pick the ones that you like and throw out all of the others that you don't. So having one of these great characters being a flaming queen is delightful and hilarious. The comic relief if you like. So either enjoy the show and leave a nice comment or don't watch it and, please, by all means, forgo your put downs and nasty comments about a show that presents a character in real gay life that doesn't fit your sexual fantasy of a gay man. Sorry that the world seems so cruel to you and that everything doesn't fit your criteria for viewing pleasure. Maybe one day you'll understand that we all need a little comic relief in our shows and the world isn't full of butch Colt models. Just enjoy the ride without prejudice. That's all!