As reported earlier, the Jim Henson Company is hard at work producing episodes of "Sid the Science Kid" (originally titled "What's the Big Idea?"). The new educational television series is set to debut on PBS in September 2008 with an initial order of 40 half-hour episodes in the works. "Sid the Science Kid" promotes science readiness by building upon kids' natural curiosity about the world around them.
The show was initially developed around the concept of stand-up comedy for preschoolers, and the idea eventually grew into a funny show about science and the way things work. Each episode of the show begins with Sid (Drew Massey), an inquisitive preschool-aged boy, as he performs a morning monologue to his stuffed animals. Sid's stand-up routine includes quirky observations and explanations about the world around him as he questions why things are the way they are. Why do bananas get brown spots? How does orange juice get inside the orange? And what's the deal with sneezing?
Throughout the day, Sid goes out into the world to talk with his friends, family, teacher, and neighbors in hopes of demystify and explaining his earlier ponderings. Sid's day is full of exploring, observing, experimenting, learning, singing, and playing.
The show utilizes the revolutionary Henson Digital Performance Studio, which allows puppeteers to manipulate animated characters in real time. As a result, the show will look and feel unlike any other series on television.
In addition to launching onto the airwaves this fall, Henson is alo planning a large roll out of supporting merchandise – including books, toys, and appeal - in time for the 2008 holiday season as well. Furthermore, the series will boast an online counterpart at pbskids.org. The interactive website, which is being produced by FableVision Inc., will feature unique experiences and activities that complement the show's content and promote scientific exploration and discovery. Henson is currently seeking international distribution deals for the series. Although no official distribution deals have been announced, the company hopes to be able to bring the show to audiences all around the world.
I will be sure to keep you updated on this exciting new Henson series as things continue to develop.