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.