Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Street Gang" Kicks Off Sesame's 40th Anniversary

Sesame Street is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary and, as previously reported, a fascinating new book has been released to explore the exciting history of the landmark series. "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street" by Michael Davis, hit store shelves last week. Davis spent more than five years gathering and writing the story of Sesame Street, conducting more than 200 in-depth interviews with some of the series' key players.

This 384-page hardcover book traces the amazing story of five decades of social and cultural change and the miraculous creative efforts, passion, and commitment of the writers, producers, directors, animators, and puppeteers who created one of the most influential programs in the history of television. The book includes lots of untold stories about the creation, rise and enduring success of the beloved series.

No fan will want to miss out on this book, so be sure to pick up your copy of "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street" right now! You can pick up the complete unabridged audio book, narrated by Sesame Street legend Caroll Spinney, on CD as well. Both items are available at bookstores nationwide.

You can order the book and the audio book online; but for even more information on this exciting piece of Sesame history, be sure to visit the book's official website – StreetGangBook.com. The site includes exciting reviews, book previews, rare photos, book club questions, and so much more. You can even request a free personally autographed bookplate sticker from the author to put in your book, turning you book into a personally signed copy!

I've been told that a paperback edition of the book is planned for release next fall. This second edition will feature an additional chapter covering the latest season of the series, the development of Abby Cadabby, the casting of Roscoe Orman as the show's third Gordon, and much more. An exclusive except from this forthcoming chapter can be read on the official "Street Gang" website – which, again, is located at StreetGangBook.com.

However "Street Gang" is just the first of many anniversary items, as Sesame Workshop is planning several other exciting items to celebrate the 40 year history of "Sesame Street". A special panel discussion, "Sesame Street at 40: A Night of Celebration with the Legendary Cast", will be held on January 30th at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. Hosted by Michael Davis, the event will feature an unprecedented live Q&A with Frank Oz, Kevin Clash, Caroll Spinney, Sonia Manzano, Bob McGrath, Marty Robinson, Fran Brill, David Rudman and Tony Geiss.

Another celebratory book, "Sesame Street: A Celebration of Forty Years of Life on the Street" by Louise Gikow, is planned for release by Black Dog & Leventhal publishers in the fall. This giant hardcover book will include hundreds of rare photographs from the Sesame Workshop archives giving an historical look both in front of and behind the cameras; plus excerpts from scripts, original character sketches and show notes, character profiles, behind the scenes insights, and much more.

And finally, Sesame Workshop and Genius Products are planning to release a special 2-disc "Sesame Street: 40th Anniversary" DVD set to commemorate 40 years of "Sesame Street". This special DVD compilation is planned for release in November and will include loads of classic content from past 40 years.

I will be sure to keep you updated on these and other upcoming anniversary items, along with the premiere of the show's landmark 40th season, as soon as more information becomes available.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Grover Rings in the New Year on Sprout

Sesame Street's loveable blue and furry monster, Grover, is set to make a set of very special appearances on Sprout's live morning program, "The Sunny Side Up Show" in order to help celebrate the new year. Grover will appear on the program on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 and Thursday, January 1, 2009 to help bring 2008 to a close and help kick off 2009. On Wednesday (New Year's Eve) Grover will visit The Sunshine Barn to help "sing" in the new year with their special morning countdown. And on Thursday (New Year's Day), it'll be a Super New Year's Party with Super Grover and Chica.

Grover is is not the first "Sesame Street" star to appear on "The Sunny Side Up Show", Big Bird appeared as a co-host on the program last fall, Prairie Dawn made a Valentine's" Day appearance earlier this year, and Oscar the Groch stopped by for an Earth Day visit as well. "The Sunny Side Up Show" airs weekdays on the PBS KIDS Sprout television network from 9:00am to 12:00pm ET (check listings for details). So if you get Sprout on your TV, and if you're a Grover fan, then you'll want to make sure you tune in for a special Muppet New Year's celebration.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Photos from Sesame Street on "Scrubs"

ABC's publicity department has released several photos from the upcoming Sesame Street-filled episode of "Scrubs" entitled "My ABC's". The episode, which will feature guest appearances by the Muppets of Sesame Street, is set to air on ABC on January 20, 2009.

In the episode, J.D. learns the hard way that not even Elmo and his friends from Sesame Street can teach the gift of compassion to those who don't care to learn. The episode will feature appearances by Elmo, Grover, Oscar the Grouch and others. You can check out the promotional images below.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Muppets.com Nominated for Global Media Award

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced the nominees for the inaugural ceremony of the Global Media Awards earlier this month. The Global Media Awards were designed to recognize advancements in creative content and technological innovation in the world entertainment. The winners of the Global Media Awards will be announced at The Venetian Hotel on January 8, 2009 at the opening night of the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest event for consumer technology.

The Muppets' most recent online home, Muppets.com, made the list of nominees for "Outstanding Short Format Entertainment"! Muppets.com, which launched onto Disney's DxD network on February 1, 2008, features all-new original videos staring the one and only Muppets. New videos have been added each week, and currently the collection contains more than 80 exclusive videos, totaling well over two-hours of original video content.

We wish the Muppets the best of luck and congratulate them on this exciting nomination. And if you haven't checked out their wonderful web content, be sure to surf over to Muppets.com today and enjoy the hours of videos, games, and Muppet fun!

Go to Muppet.com Now!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sesame Scrubs

There are a lot of things to look forward to when Scrubs returns for an eighth season on its new home, ABC. Three new interns, huge guest stars and wedding bells are just among the many treats in store for fans in the new episodes – however one new episode should be of particular interest to Muppet fans. The upcoming episode "My ABC's" will feature special guest appearances by the Muppets of Sesame Street! This all-new Sesame-centric episode is set to air on ABC on January 20, 2009.

In the episode, J.D. learns the hard way that not even Elmo and his friends from Sesame Street can teach the gift of compassion to those who don’t care to learn. The episode will feature appearances by Elmo, Grover, Oscar the Grouch and others.

Our friends over at Quick Stop Entertainment got an exclusive video from those fine folks at Scrubs, featuring Zach Braff and a Muppety guest star announcing the show's move to ABC. You can check it out below, and I will be sure to keep you posted with more details on this upcoming Muppet-filled episode as more details become available.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Farscape #1 Hits Stores on Christmas Eve

Ever since the reports surfaced that BOOM! Studios was producing a series of comics based on Jim Henson's Farscape, fans have eagerly been waiting to get their hands on the next chapter of the Farscape adventure. Well, when you enter your local comic shop on December 24th BOOM! Studios’ much-anticipated Farscape #1 will be waiting for. The first installment of the Farscape comics will be released just in time for the holidays!

"We originally solicited this for November, but we pushed back the release because we had to make sure the book was the best product possible for fans awaiting Farscape's return," said Chip Mosher, BOOM!'s Marketing and Sales Director. "And let me tell you, it will be worth the wait!"

Farscape #1 is written by television series creator Rockne O'Bannon with script by Keith R.A. DeCandido, interior art by Tommy Patterson and three variant covers featuring artwork by Dennis Calero and Joseph Corroney, and a special photo cover.

Picking up directly where the television miniseries Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars left off, fans can look forward to show creator O'Bannon steering their favorite characters into new and original stories, keeping with the existing canon - and then extending it. I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on these upcoming comic books as soon as more details become available.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catch "A Muppets Christmas" Online

The Muppets made their big return to network television last night with the premiere of "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" on NBC. The hour-long television special involves the Muppets mistakenly intercepting three letters intended for Santa Claus and their odyssey to deliver the messages to the North Pole.

The Muppets proved extremely popular for NBC in the ratings. According to the Nielsen overnight estimates, the premiere of "A Muppet's Christmas: Letters to Santa" won its 8pm timeslot with a 4.1/7 share, attracting more than 7.44-million viewers. The special also ranked particularly high with adults (ages 18-49), winning the demographic with an average Nielsen rating of 2.4. "A Muppets Christmas" brought NBC's ratings up more 71 percent over last week's presentation of "Little Spirit: Christmas in New York," which managed a mere 1.4 in the same timeslot.

While NBC is not planning to re-air the special on TV this holiday season, the network has decided to make the entire special available to watch online (for free) through NBC.com and Hulu.com. So if you missed the special, or if you want to share it with someone else, or if you just want to watch it again (and again, and again), now you can view the whole uncut special online. NBC's online offering will only be available for a limited time (December 18 – 31), so be sure to catch it while you can.

I've also been told by sources within the Muppets Studio that a DVD release of the production is being looked at to coincide with the 2009 holiday season. I will keep you updated as more information on the future of the special and its release surfaces; but be sure to watch, rewatch and share the special while its available online (until the end of the year) and have a merry Christmas!

Watch "A Muppets Christmas" on NBC Video Rewind
Watch "A Muppets Christmas" on Hulu

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" Airs Tonight!

A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (Wednesday, December 17, 2008 @ 8pm on NBC)

The Muppets deliver an all new one-hour special filled with song and dance, mayhem and heaps of holiday high spirits. On Christmas Eve the Muppets mistakenly avert three letters from making their way to Santa Claus in the North Pole--leaving three Christmas wishes at stake.

Kermit rounds up his fearless friends to get to the North Pole before Santa makes his rounds on Christmas Eve and as usual, nothing -- not even Miss Piggy's planned trip to the tropics -- can stand between the Muppets and a joyful Christmas. In typical Muppets fashion, chaos and humor ensue as they try to find a way to the North Pole, but will they make it in time?

Guest stars include Uma Thurman, Jane Krakowski, Nathan Lane, Jesse L. Martin, Michael Bloomberg, Whoopi Goldberg and more!

Tune in tonight (Wednesday, December 17, 2008) to catch the new special when it airs at 8:00pm on NBC!

Related Links:

  • An Interview with the Writers
  • "A Muppets Christmas" Video Preview #1
  • "A Muppets Christmas" Video Preview #2
  • Exclusive Behind the Scenes Interviews
  • The Muppets' "Glad All Over" Music Video
  • "A Muppets Christmas" Photos
  • Monday, December 15, 2008

    Muppets Plug "A Muppets Christmas" on Wednesday Talk Shows

    The Muppets' highly anticipated Christmas special "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" will debut on Wednesday (December 17, 2008) at 8:00pm on NBC. To promote the new production, the Muppets are planning to visit several daytime talk shows on Wednesday to promote the special.

    Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are planning to visit "The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet" to discuss the new holiday special. The Muppet couple will appear on Wednesday's installment of "The Morning Show", a nationally syndicated morning talk show hosted by Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy -- check your local listings for time and channel.

    Additionally, the Muppets are sending their fiesty crustation out to plug the new show. Pepe the King Prawn is set to appear as a featured guest on "The Bonnie Hunt Show" the very same day. Pepe will make a very special guest appearance on Wedneday's installment of "The Bonnie Hunt Show", a nationally syndicated daytime talk show hosted by comedian/actress Bonnie Hunt -- check your local listings for time and channel.

    You won't want to miss these two very special Muppet appearance on Wednesday. And you definitately won't want to miss the big premiere of "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" later that night. So mark your calendars, program the VCR or DVR, and catch this special Muppet-filled day on Deceber 17th.

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Kermit Appears on Dr. Phil

    Kermit the Frog recently visited Dr. Phil McGraw's daytime talk show to discuss his relationship with Miss Piggy. Kermit's conversation with Dr. Phil is set to air on Tuesday's installment of "Dr. Phil", a nationally syndicated daytime talk show hosted by Dr. Phil McGraw. Kermit's appearance will air on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - check your local listings for time and channel. You won't want to miss this special Muppet appearance, so mark your calendars and catch this very special guest spot on Tuesday, Deceber 16th. And if you can't wait until then, you can watch a special sneak-peek of the interview below.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Sesame's DVD Adventure

    Sesame Workshop and Genius Products are planning to release an adventuresome DVD featuring three exciting tales from Sesame Street. Entitled "Elmo and Friends: Tales of Adventure", the single-disc release features three episodes of Sesame Street re-edited as mini-movies. This DVD (which was originaly released as a limited in-store exclusive at Target stores in October) will be available wherever DVDs are sold on March 3, 2009.

    "Tales of Adventure" has three stories overflowing with mysterious clues, heroic monsters, and lots of dramatic music! The three stories featured on this 54-minute DVD include "The Golden Triangle of Destiny" (episode 4161), "The Adventures of Little Big Bird" (episodes 4107 and 4108), and "Elmo's Amazing Alphabet Race" (episode 4154). Join Telly as he searches for the Golden Triangle of Destiny; cheer on Elmo as he races against the clock in an amazing alphabet race; and help an ant-sized Big Bird alert his friends to his size-related dilemma.

    This DVD is already beginning to become available to pre-order from many online retailers, so be sure to reserve your copy today! I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on the release of all the upcoming Sesame Street home video titles as more details become available.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2008

    "Follow That Bird" Anniversary Edition DVD

    "Sesame Street presents Follow That Bird", the first Sesame Street movie, celebrates its 25th anniversary next year. In celebration of the film's anniversary, Warner Home video is planning to re-release "Follow That Bird" in a special remastered anniversary DVD. The new single-disc release is slated to hit stores on March 24, 2009.

    "Follow that Bird" stars the beloved cast of Sesame Street in their first big screen adventure. A meddling social worker sends poor Big Bird off to Ocean View, Illinios, for the comforts of family life with his "own kind," the Dodos. But Big Bird is a disaster as a Dodo and, lonely and homesick, he soon sets off on foot for Sesame Street. Can his old friends find him before he runs "afowl" of trouble en route? The film features the cast and Muppets of Sesame Street, memorable heart-warming songs, plus a hearty helping of celebrity cameos - inlcuding Chevy Chase, Sandra Bernhard, John Candy, Waylon Jennings and many more.

    The anniversary DVD will feature the original, uncut film in a newly restored and remastered widescreen presentation. This new DVD edtion will also feature an exclusive all-new featurette, a "jump to a song" Sing-Along feature, and much more. So be sure to pre-order your copy of this exciting new release - and be on the look out for "Sesame Street presents Follow this Bird: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition" DVD in March, 2009.

    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    More Muppet Christmas Videos

    NBC.com has posted two more exclusive sneak peeks at the all-new Muppet Christmas special "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa". The hour-long television special is set to air on NBC on December 17, 2008 at 8:00pm. The Muppets will deliver an all new one-hour special filled with song and dance, mayhem and heaps of holiday high spirits. Check out the new clips (a new four-minute preview, and a set of exclusive behind the scenes interviews with the Muppets) below or by clicking here. And you can view two additional "Letters to Santa" videos right here.

    Thursday, November 27, 2008

    A Muppets Christmas Preview

    NBC.com has posted an exclusive sneak peek of the all-new Muppet Christmas special "Letters to Santa". The hour-long television special is set to air on NBC on December 17, 2008 at 8pm. Check out the clips below or watch them on NBC.com by clicking here.

    Sunday, November 23, 2008

    Muppets Conduct Theme Park Experiment

    Disney recently launched an innovative new online and in park game at Disney's California Adventure. The game is available exclusively to Disneyland Resort annual passholders and involves text messages, cell phones, and a theme park trivia scavenger hunt. Called "The Muppet Experiment", the gam focuses on Dr. Bunsen Honeydew's lastest experiment, the Muppet Labs Time Rewinder. The experiment goes awry and the Muppets get lost in time, so the park visitors are asked to join in the game by helping bring the Muppets back to 2008 through a series of trivia questions, puzzles and more.

    The first step of the Muppet Experiment is an online version, where players solve four puzzles that relate to the Muppets. After completing the online portion, players need to go to Disney's California Adventure, where they are sent on a scavenger hunt. Questions require players to visit various locations throughout the park (including a stop at Muppet-Vision 3D) in search of details, clues and information. To answer each in-park question, players send a text message with their responces.

    After successfully answering all the questions, players will be sent to California Adventure's newest attraction, the Blue Sky Cellar, where they can receive a commemorative prize.

    The Muppet Experiment is free to play, although standard text message rates do apply. Disney is offering the program for a limited test-run which will run from November 24 through December 16, 2008. For more information visit TheMuppetExperiment.com.

    Wednesday, November 19, 2008

    Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Casting

    As previously reported, Goodspeed Musicals is preparing to raise the curtain on Jim Henson’s classic holiday favorite Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. The all-new stage adaptation of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas will run from December 7, 2008, through January 4, 2009, at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut.

    With a cast of exceptional performers, the show will feature a unique mix of live actors and stage puppets created by The Jim Henson Company. Daniel Reichard will play Emmet Otter; Reichard recently received a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in Broadway's Jersey Boys. Broadway veteran Cass Morgan, whose credits include Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, and Ring of Fire, will play Ma Otter. Henson/Muppet alumnus and puppeteer Tyler Bunch will serve as puppet captain, along with performing several puppet characters (such as Doc Bullfrog).

    The original stage show will also feature several new and extended songs by Paul Williams, songwriter for the original 1977 television special. Tim McDonald and Christopher Gattelli adapted the musical for stage; and Christopher Gattelli is serving as director and choreographer. Michael P. Price is producing this new stage version of Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas in association with The Jim Henson Company, under the guidance of company co-CEO Brian Henson.

    Tickets are now on sale for this exciting new show -- to reserve your tickets, call the Godspeed box office at 860.873.8668 or visit their online ticket office at goodspeed.org. With only 34 shows this holiday season, tickets are sure to go fast - so be sure to reserve yours today! I will continue to keep you updated as more information on this exciting new production develops.

    Daniel Reichard as Emmet Otter
    Cass Morgan as Ma Otter
    Alan Campbell as Pa Otter
    Kate Wetherhead as Jane
    Stephen Beinskie as Stan Weasel
    Justin Bohon as Harvey
    Kevin Covert as Mayor Fox
    Leo Daignault as Chuck
    Madeline Doherty as Mrs. Mink
    Colin Hanlon as Fred Lizard
    Jeff Hiller as Charlie
    Lisa Howard as Mrs. Fox
    Sheri Sander as Heddy
    Robb Sapp as Wendell

    Tyler Bunch
    Anney McKilligan
    James Silson
    David Stephens

    Monday, November 17, 2008

    A Muppet Show Comic Update

    Things are moving along on BOOM Studio's upcoming series of Muppet comic books. Boom plans to launch the new line in March 2009. The comics will launch next year with an initial four-issue miniseries written by Roger Langridge. As you may know, Langridge had previously created Muppet comics for the now defunct Disney Adventure magazine. The debut miniseries will be based on "The Muppet Show" and is said to be very much in the same vein as the show -- with a lot of skits and gags. Several of the key people involved in development and approvals for the comics were also involved in the production of the original Muppet Show. The publisher has decided to issue several variant covers on the first issue - you can check out a sample of Langridge's preliminary penciling for one such cover on the right.

    After the initial four-part miniseries, Langridge will be working with various writers and artists to create future Muppet miniseries. BOOM's second batch of Muppet comics are said to feature the Muppets in parodies of classic literary works – such as King Arthur, Robin Hood, and the Three Musketeers.

    The new comics are sure to garner a lot of attention from Muppet fans when they arrive early next; and you can be sure that I will keep you updated with more information on these upcoming comic books as soon as more details become available.

    Saturday, November 15, 2008

    Henson Co. teams with del Toro and Grimly for "Pinocchio"

    A new version of "Pinocchio" is on its way to the big screen -- this retelling of the classic fairy tale will be produced by The Jim Henson Company, co-directed by acclaimed children's illustrator Gris Grimly and executive produced by renowned director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy, The Hobbit).

    The Jim Henson Company's adaptation will be done produced as a stop-motion animated feature film. Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Jason Lust will serve as producers on the project, while Guillermo del Toro will assit with the writing and producing duties.

    The aim of the project is to make a darker retelling of the famous fairy tale about the wooden puppet who dreams of becoming a real boy. Based on the 2002 children's book illustrated by Gris Grimly, when Pinocchio comes to life, the puppet turns out to be not such a nice boy after all. Pinocchio enjoys nothing better than creating mischief and playing tricks. As he discovers, being bad is much more fun than being good -- for a while, anyway. Happily for Pinocchio, he learns that there is much more to being a real boy than just having fun.

    Guillermo del Toro commented on the production in a recent interview stating, "We are trying to get a full stop-motion version of Gris Grimly's Pinocchio off the ground, with the Jim Henson Company. The idea came from Gris, and everybody loves his book about it. The original story is far more perverse and spooky and semi-necrophilia vibe to it in certain aspects. Gris certainly has that vein in him, he wants to do this with that original spookiness in it, we are trying to get it going. The Jim Henson Company is behind it and we are currently working on the screenplay!" He added that it might take up to three years to finish the project its entirety (as producing a full-length stop-motion film takes time), so it's unlikely that we'll be seeing this film hit theaters in the next few years.

    Gris Grimly will be co-directing the epic along Adam Parrish King, whose "The Wraith of Cobble Hill" won the short filmmaking award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award. I will be sure to keep you updated as soon as more information on this exciting new film becomes available.

    Thursday, November 13, 2008

    Henson's "Frances" Comes to DVD

    The Jim Henson Company's preschool series "Frances" is coming to DVD. The imaginative television series from The Jim Henson Company and HIT Entertainment debuted on PBS KIDS Sprout this past summer -- and now the show is planning to make its way onto DVD!

    The delightful preschool comedy series is based on the popular Russell Hoban books about a high-spirited badger named Frances. Joining Frances in her daily adventures are her little sister, Gloria, her mom and dad, and her best friend Albert. The musical series uses state-of-the-art digital puppetry and animation from the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, an pioneering technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital characters in real time.

    HIT Entertainment will let you get in touch with your inner-Frances, when they release the first set of "Frances" DVDs later next year. The company currently has "Frances" releases on their release schedule for March 2009 and October 2009 releases. I will be sure to keep you updated as more information on these exciting new titles become available.

    Tuesday, November 11, 2008

    Full Sesame Episodes on iTunes

    Sesame Street is taking some of its greatest episodes from recent history to the web! Sesame Workshop has announced plans to release complete episodes of Sesame Street on iTunes. The uncut hour-long episodes are available to download for just $1.99 each (with 70 percent of the revenue going to Sesame Workshop). The iTunes Store has an exclusive deal to carry complete episodes from the show's 35th season and beyond.

    The first collection of episodes is now online -- Sesame Street, Volume 1 includes a sampling of 13 complete episodes from Sesame Street's 35th season (2003). Stories include Cookie Monster's tale of Kingdom Cookie, Professor Grover's school for superheros, Snuffy becoming invisible, and the Big Bad Wolf's struggle with loosing. Episodes also feature such celebrity guest stars as Natalie Portman, BB King, Liam Neeson, Norah Jones, and Venus Williams. As an added bonus, you can download the Elmo and Norah Jones music video "Don't Know Y" for free.

    Future volumes of Sesame Street episodes, with content from other seasons, are planned to launch in the coming months. These collections of full episodes join the ever-growing collection of Sesame Street content on iTunes. For more Sesame fun subscribe to Sesesame Street's free weekly video podcast; download free Sesame resource videos; purchase the 1985 feature film "Follow that Bird"; or download one of the many albums or songs for sale. Now you can download great educational and entertaining episodes of Sesame Street to watch on your computer, iPod, or other portable device. I will be sure to keep you updated as more Sesame titles become available.

    Sunday, November 09, 2008

    Henson's Christmas Classics Come to iTunes

    Earlier this week The Jim Henson Company and HIT Entertainment released two classic television specials - Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and The Christmas Toy - on DVD under the "Jim Henson's Christmas Classics" banner. In addition to being available on DVD, the Jim Henson Company has now made these specials available for digital download via the iTunes Store.

    For the first time ever, Jim Henson's 1977 television special Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is available online. The 50-minute special features the heart-warming tale of of Ma and Emmet Otter - a family that has little more than each other. When a talent show is held in town, a fifty-dollar prize gives them each hope of buying the other a real present this year. The 1986 television classic The Christmas Toy is available on iTunes as well. The 47-minute special shares the charming story of Rugby Tiger, the once beloved toy that attempts to reclaim the glory of being the Christmas toy. Both full-length muscial adventures are available to download for just $9.99 each.

    These new releases join the impressive catalog of Henson titles already available on iTunes -- including The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppets From Space, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Follow that Bird, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Fraggle Rock (seasons 1-3), Farscape (seasons 1-4), The Peacekeeper Wars, Learn Along with Sesame, MirrorMask, Buddy, The Cube, and Time Piece.

    The Jim Henson Company plans to continue to release more titles from their vast video libray through iTunes in the future. Now you can download these classic specials to watch on your computer, iPod, or other portable device - what a perfect way to bring in the holiday season. I'll keep you updated as more Henson titles become available.

    Friday, November 07, 2008

    Muppets Invade NBC's "Today"

    The Muppets are planning to invade "The Today Show" next week. A group of Muppets will be taking over the show for half an hour during the 8:00am hour of the program on Thursday, November 13, 2008. "The Today Show" is a morning news and talk show broadcasted nationwide on NBC - check local listings for details.

    The Muppets will appear on the program to promote the opening of the new Muppet Whatnot Workshop at FAO Schwarz - they are even planning on showcasing Whatnot versions of the show's hosts! The Muppets have made numerous appearances on "The Today Show" over the past 40 years. "The Today Show", which has been on NBC since 1952, is curretly hosted by Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira, with Al Roker, Ann Curry, and Natalie Morales.

    So set the VCRs, program the TiVo, and don't forget to watch the Muppets when they take over "The Today Show" on Thursday, November 13th.

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    The Muppets and the Macy's Thanksgving Day Parade

    Thanksgiving is just three week away and that means the 82nd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is just around the corner. And this years festivities will feature a plethora of Muppet items in the parade line-up.

    Disney's Muppets Studio will once again present the beloved Kermit the Frog balloon. At 78 feet long, 36 feet wide, 61 feet tall and filled with 11,000 cubic ft. of helium, Kermit truely stands out in the New York skyline. But aiside from being represented in gigantic inflatable form, the real Kermit the Frog (performed by Steve Whitmire) is also set to appear in the parade. Kermit will ride the Macy’s float, which is the last float of the parade - right before Santa Claus. Kermit will sing the original ballad "I Believe in Santa Claus" from the Muppets' upcoming television special, "Letter's to Santa".

    But Kermit won’t be the only Muppet traveling the parade route. Sesame Workshop will add several Sesame Street items to the line-up. The Abby Cadabby balloon will return to the parade this year. Floating along the parade route, Abby is the latest Muppet to be honored with a balloon. Also appearing in the parade this year is the renowned 123 Sesame Street float. The float, appearing for its 12th consecutive year, will feature everyone's favorite Sesame Street Muppets and cast members along with plenty of music and entertainment for all to enjoy.

    So be sure to tune in to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year to catch all the Muppet magic and holiday fun. The parade airs Thanksgiving Day (November 27, 2008) on NBC from 9am to noon (check local listings for details).

    Monday, November 03, 2008

    Third "Unstable Fables" Comes in Time for Christmas

    Following the sucessful releases of "3 Pigs and a Baby" and "Tortoise vs Hare", the Jim Henson Company and Genius Products are preparing the third title in their inovative "Unstable Fables" series. The latest installment in the computer-generated film series is planned to hit stores just in time for Christmas. "Unstable Fables: The Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Show" is currently set for release on December 16, 2008.

    When a classic fairy tale collides with reality television, the result is one outrageous and funny film that the whole family can enjoy. Goldilocks, a spoiled television star, moves in with a family of three bears to be filmed 24/7 for a "Big Brother"/"Real World" style reality show in an effort to boost her career. The original direct-to-DVD feature will showcase the vocal talents of an all-star cast - including Brooke Shields, Tom Arnold and Jamie Lynn Spears. The DVD will include a deluxe widescreen presentation of the film along with a collection of exclusive bonus features.

    So be sure to pick up your copies of "3 Pigs and a Baby" and "Tortoise vs. Hare" and be sure to check out "The Goldilocks and the 3 Bears Show" when it hits stores this holiday season. I will be sure to keep you updated as more information on future installments in the "Unstable Fables" series become available.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    "Elmo Loves You" on DVD

    As previously reported, Sesame Workshop and Genius Products are planning an all-new DVD release entitled "Elmo Loves You!". This brand-new direct-to-DVD feature will address the concepts of love, emotions and friendship. Hitting stores on Janaury 6, 2009, this DVD makes a perfect Valentine's Day gift.

    Elmo makes a special surprise card for someone he really loves but a gust of wind blows it away! Rosita joins Elmo in a chase after the card but they just can't seem to reach it. The two soon enlist the heroic skills of Super Grover to help save the day. Starring Elmo, Rosita and Super Grover, the 45-minute feature includes the new song "Elmo Loves You", a special music video about signing "I Love You", plus special performances by Trisha Yearwood, John Legend and R.E.M..

    The DVD package will feature a special reflective mylar treatment giving a unique mirror effect (so you're on the box). This DVD is already beginning to become available to pre-order from many online retailers, so be sure to reserve your copy today! I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on the release of all the upcoming Sesame Street home video titles as more details become available.

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Pepe to Visit "The Late Late Show" on Tuesday

    The fiesty Muppet crustacean, Pepe the King Prawn, is set to be the top guest on the CBS late night talk show "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" on Tuesday, October 28, 2008! Pepe will appear along on the program with Saffron Burrows, and musical guest X. During the appearance, Pepe will promote his upcoming book "It's Hard Out Here For a Shrimp: Life, Love & Living Large".

    "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" airs weeknights on CBS (check your local listings for details). This will mark Pepe's fifth time as a guest on "The Late Late Show". So stay up late and don't miss this exciting new Muppet guest spot!

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Rizzo and Rowlf Roll Out Skateboard Video Response

    Earlier this week, Fozzie Bear posted a special video on the web. Premiering on YouTube, MySpace and Vimeo, the on-location video featured Tyson the skateboarding dog with a group of Muppet spectators. Well, Rizzo the Rat got his hands on Fozzie's camera and, with the Help of Rowlf the Dog, shot a video response. The new Muppet video response was posted by Rizzo earlier today. You can watch as Rowlf attempts to become the Internet's top skateboarding dog.

    The online video is avaiable on YouTube, MySpace and Vimeo. So check out Fozzie's video and Rizzo's response, and be sure to forward the links on to all of your friends, family members, and coworkers to enjoy!

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Whatnot Workshop Opens Online

    As originally planned, FAO Schwarz's Muppet Whatnot Workshop launched earlier today. Now consumers can create and customize their very own Muppet Whatnot. These premium and customizable puppets are retailing for just around $90 each (plus shipping and handling). Customers can create and customize their very own Whatnot puppet by picking a puppet body and accessorizing it with a variety of Muppet features and accessories.

    The Muppet Whatnots are hand and rod puppets, just like the real Muppets. They're 16" tall and come in their own clear, drawstring backpack so your Muppet Whatnot can go with you wherever you go. You can also order the premium Muppet Whatnot Gift Kit, which allows the lucky recipient to embark on the unique, creative adventure of designing their very own performing puppet (a great holiday gift for any Muppet fan).

    Begining on November 13th, visitors of FAO Schwarz's flagship store in New York will be able to participate in an exclusive in-store workshop experience to build their very own Whatnot Muppet. So check out the all-new Muppet Whatnot Workshop online at FAO.com. I will be sure to keep you updated on this exciting new boutique as soon as more details are announced.

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    The Muppets Post Another Viral Video

    Earlier this summer, the Muppets released a some special videos on the world-wide-web. Premiering on YouTube, MySpace and Vimeo, these exclusive videos were an Internet sensation. Sam Eagle shared a Muppetational rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever!"; Gonzo posted an all-chicken performance of "The Blue Danube Waltz"; the Swedish Chef posted a variation of "Habanera"; Beaker shared a unique version on "Ode to Joy"; and Statler and Waldorf posted their own video responses.

    Well, today the Muppets have unleashed another brand-new web video! Filmed on location by Fozzie Bear, the video features Rowlf the Dog, Gonzo the Great, Rizzo the Rat, and Tyson the Internet's famous skateboarding dog.

    The online video is avaiable on YouTube, MySpace and Vimeo. So check it out, and be sure to foward the link on to all of your friends and coworkers to enjoy!

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    New Photos from the Muppets' "Letters to Santa"

    NBC's publicity department has released several photos from the upcoming televison special "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" - which you can check out below. The all-new holiday special is set to air on NBC on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 8pm.

    When Kermit and the gang cause three letters on their way to Santa Claus to go missing, the troupe sets off to save Christmas for the letter-writers. The musical special will feature special appearances by Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Griffiths, Jane Krakowski, Petra Nemcova, Uma Thurman, Tony Sirico, Steve Schirripa, Michael Bloomberg, Madison Pettis and Paul Williams. For more information on this television special check out our special "Letters to Santa" page.

    Spinney Narrates Complete "Street Gang" Audio Book

    As previously announced, a new book exploring the history of Sesame Street is planned for release later this year. "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street" by Michael Davis will hit book stores on December 26, 2008. This narrative non-fiction book chronicles the history of Sesame Street with novelistic storytelling and detail.

    Drawing upon hundreds of personal interviews with those who were there, Davis tells the unforgettable story of five decades of social and cultural change and the miraculous creative efforts, passion, and commitment of the writers, producers, directors, animators, and puppeteers who created one of the most influential programs in the history of television.

    The 384-page book will be released by Viking Press; but in addition to the hardcover printing, an audio book version of the text is also planned. Narrated by the legendary Caroll Spinney (puppeter behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch), the complete unabridged 7-hour audio adaptation of "Street Gang" will be available on CD (in a 5-disc set) and for digital download on December 26, simultaneous with the hardcover release.

    I will keep you updated with more information on the release of this wonderful new book as details continue to emmerge.