Friday, May 30, 2008

Corey Edwards Sheds Some Light on Fraggle Film

Earlier this month, the Jim Henson Company announced that Cory Edwards has signed a deal to write and direct the forthcoming "Fraggle Rock" feature film. Edwards is already preparing the script, based on an extensive studio-approved outlined. While much of the production details are cloaked in secrecy, Edwards has shed some light on his role in the upcoming Fraggle film on his personal website.

Edwards is hard at work writing the screenplay, and has already completed more than 50-pages of his first draft. And while Edwards is contractually obligated not to reveal any major details, he has mentioned that the story will take the Fraggles on an adventure outside of Fraggle Rock where they will interact with the "silly creatures" of "outer space" (also known as humans). Reportedly this was the idea Henson always wanted to do, and Edwards has promised fans that Gobo, Red, Wembley, Boober, Mokey and Uncle Matt are all a part of the story. The film will be a musical adventure, featuring a slue of original songs created just for the film.

Edwards commented on the overall story stating that "there will be elements of a classic fantasy 'quest' movie with some traditional high-energy Muppet hijinks thrown in." Edwards says that his goal is to make a film that is "more than just a 'cute' movie that occupies a kid's attention span for 90 minutes" and wants to create a fulled developed film, and not simply a super-sized episode of the TV show. "It will deliver much more," Edwards wrote, "I want to create something that will stay true to the spirit of the original show, but also go way beyond it. This is going to be a big fantasy adventure film that stands up to anything else at the multiplex today. Everyone involved in this project wants the same thing."

The project will star a mix of human characters and the famous Fraggle Rock puppets. Edwards reassured fans that these will be the real puppets (and not computer generation creations), stating "It's my goal to do everything the 'old school Muppet way.' I do believe there are many Henson fans who would have my head on a platter if I attempted anything else. If it is possible to do something physically, on set and 'in camera,' we will do it. But it's also fair to say that I will use today's effects to enhance or help any scene. I will just keep asking myself, WWJD? ('What Would Jim Do?')"

The Jim Henson Company is set to produce the film while The Weinstein Company is lined-up to distribute. And while official word on when to expect the theatrical release of the Fraggle Rock film have yet to surface, previous statements from those involved have pointed at a possible 2009 or 2010 release. I will be sure to keep you up to date as soon as details on this exciting project develop.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Henson's Frances is Coming to PBS KIDS Sprout

The long-awaited television debut of "Frances", an imaginative new television series from The Jim Henson Company and HIT Entertainment, is almost here!

The all-new original series is set to make its world premiere on PBS KIDS Sprout this summer as part of the new "Summer Fun Fridays" programming block (running from June 20 through August 29, 2008). The first episode of "Frances" is set to debut on June 20, 2008 at 12:00pm (noon) – check with your cable/satellite provider for details.

The delightful preschool comedy series is based on the popular Russell Hoban books about a high-spirited badger named Frances. The show 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. Each episode of "Frances" holds three delightful stories full of singing, dancing and discovery.

I’ll be keep you updated as more information regarding the release of "Frances" is becomes available. For more information on the "Summer Fun Fridays" programming block or other Sprout network shows, be sure to visit

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Emmet Otter" Stage Show Takes Shape

As reported back in February, The Jim Henson Company has partnered with iTheatrics to develop a musical stage adaptation of the classic holiday special "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas." The original theatrical show will feature a mix of stage actors, puppet characters and classic heart-warming songs.

The story follows the holiday adventures of Emmet and his mother as they each secretly enter the Waterville talent show in hopes of winning enough money to buy a special Christmas gift for the other. Award-winning song writer Paul Williams, who wrote the songs for the original special, is involved in the project and is writing several new songs specifically for the stage show.

While the show's opening date and other production details have not been confirmed, The Jim Henson Company has announced that the show is currently in early development workshops. Tim McDonald and Christopher Gattelli adapted the story for the stage, and Gattelli is directing the production.

Brian Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company, commented on the new show stating, "'Emmet Otter' is a beloved story that has remained a favorite with fans around the world. I continue to admire the work of Tim McDonald and iTheatrics, as they create highly entertaining and faithful stage adaptations which stay true to the heart and spirit of the original material. Having Paul Williams on board to write our new songs ensures that our musical production stays true to Emmet's story."

I will be sure to keep you updated as the premiere draws near and more information on this exciting stage show continues to surface.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kermit and Fozzie Interview Round-up

Last week Muppet fans rejoiced as "The Muppet Show: Season 3" made it's highly awaited DVD debut. To promote and celebrate the release, Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear hit the press junket for some very special interviews. The Muppet duo appeared on "The View", CW11's "Morning News", the TV Guide Channel, and 97.1FM Los Angeles' "Frosty, Heidi & Frank", among others.

Television, radio and Internet; the frog and bear hit 'em all. For all of you who missed these appearances (or for those who just want to enjoy seeing them again), you can watch (and re-watch) videos of all these appearances right here! And if you haven't picked up your copy of the fully loaded third season box set, be sure to order your copy today!

Go to the videos!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sid the Science Kid comes to PBS in September

"Jim Henson's Sid the Science Kid", the latest television venture from The Jim Henson Company, is set to debut on PBS on Monday, September 1, 2008 as part of the PBS Kids programing block (check your local listings for details). "Sid the Science Kid" is a curriculum-based television show aimed at 3-6 year-olds; the series uses comedy to promote science-readiness by introducing the basic concepts, vocabulary and skills that children will encounter in their early science experiences.

"Sid the Science Kid" celebrates children's natural curiosity and explores the "why?" questions of their everyday lives. The show features an energetic and inquisitive five-year-old Sid, who tackles the ideas that preschoolers find fascinating (such as: why bananas go bad, how a juice box straw work, and how birds fly?). Each episode follows Sid as he searches for the answers to his many questions along with the help of his classmates and friends (Gabriela, Gerald, and May), his teacher (Susie), his mom and dad (Alice and Mort), his grandma, and even his baby brother (Zeke). The show encourages children to explore the foundations of science through the world they encounter every day, making science an inviting adventure focused on real life, close-to-home topics.

The series is created using the Henson Digital Performance Studio, a groundbreaking new technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital puppets in real time. This way of creating animation, gives a unique organic and spontaneous feel to the characters and interactions.

Fans will be able to explore even more with Sid on the Internet through a brand-new website set to launch at the same time as the broadcast series. Sid and his friends will host the vibrant new "Sid the Science Kid" website on starting in September. The site will feature three discovery zones: "The Super Fab Lab" at Sid’s school, the playground, and Sid's kitchen. Each zone will host numerous games that encompass the series' curricular themes. The site will also feature a child-friendly video player that will let visitors watch clips from the show – including songs, sketches and real-world segments. The website will officially premiere on Labor Day 2008 – although sneak preview of the site is expected to run in July 2008.

I will be sure to keep you updated as more information regarding the production and premiere of this exciting new show surfaces.

View Episode Listing

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sesame Street Helps Children Cope with Serious Illness

Today at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers, Sesame Workshop unveiled their latested outreach project entitled, "Here for You: Helping Children Cope with Serious Illness". The "Here for You" program consist of an original Sesame Street DVD along with tips to help facilitate conversations between children and parents, caregivers, or health professionals to encourage children to express their feelings and concerns about their illness.

This new bilingual resource was created with the support of Paul Newman, Target Foundation and The Center for Advanced Illness Coordinated Care (CAICC) as well as content guided by a team of expert advisors, cancer survivors and parents from around the nation.

"The Here for You: Helping Children Cope with Serious Illness" DVD will follow Elmo as he visits his cousin Chester, who’s receiving treatment for a serious illness at the hospital. Elmo, with the support of medical practitioners, and friends, helps Chester understand and express his feelings of fear, anger, and guilt. The "Here for You" support material reinforce the message of the DVD and provides tools to assist seriously ill children understand and express their feelings. The DVD and support material will be made available courtesy of CAICC, which will distribute copies to children’s hospitals, pediatric medical organizations, and children’s palliative care programs. In addition, all the materials will be available for free at beginning this summer.

You can visit The CAICC website to learn a little bit more about this new program; and I will be sure to keep you updated as more information on this new Sesame Street program surfaces.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Muppet Show Season 3 is Coming!

Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release the highly-anticipated "The Muppet Show: The Complete Third Season" on DVD next week! The fully-loaded DVD box set will hit store shelves on May 20, 2008. The four-disc "special edition" set includes all 24 episodes from the third season of "The Muppet Show" plus with a great collection of bonus features.

This set includes 24 classic episode of "The Muppet Show" (digitally restored and remastered) including such guest stars as Roy Clark, Pearl Bailey, Jean Stapleton, Harry Belefonte, Danny Kaye, Cheryl Ladd, Raquel Welch, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, and Sylvester Stallon.

The DVD also includes the classic 1968 documentary "Muppets on Puppets", an all-new featurette entitled "A Company of Players", and a nice collection of vintage Muppet commericals. For a more in-depth look at the bonus features on the set, check out our brand-new article on the Season 3 bonus features by clicking here.

If you haven't reserved your copy yet, you can pre-order a copy at for the low-price of just $25. You'll want to be sure to pick up this box set when it hits stores on Tuesday. With hours of classic Muppet mayhem, "The Muppet Show: Complete Third Season" is a must-have item for any Muppet fan.

Explore the bonus features

Monday, May 12, 2008

Weinstein Company Signs on for Fraggle Film

According to Variety, The Weinstein Company is planning to bring Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock to the big screen. The Henson Company has been actively working to bring the Fraggles back in an all-new feature film for several years. The film, based on the original story treatment developed by Ahmet Zappa, will be helmed by writer/director Cory Edwards, who is currently writing the screenplay for the Fraggle film. Producers on the project include Brian Henson, Jason Lust, Lisa Henson, Ahmet Zappa, and Brian Inerfeld.

The film, produced by the Jim Henson Company and distributed by the Weinstein Company, will take the Fraggles - Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober and Red - outside of their home in Fraggle Rock and into the human world.

Previous statments from the Henson company have projected a 2009 release for the film; and I'll be sure to keep you updated with more Fraggle news as it surfaces.

"Abby in Wonderland" Comes to the Big Screen!

As announced earlier, Sesame Workshop is planing to release an all-new direct-to-DVD movie entitled "Abby in Wonderland" in September 2008. This original film will star the Muppets of Sesame Street in a magical retelling of Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland". The feature-length musical adventure stars Sesame Street's fairy-in-training Abby Cadabby in the titular role of Alice, while the rest of the Sesame gang joining in too (with Elmo as the Red Rabbit, Grover as the Mad Hatter, Cookie Monster as the Cheshire Cat, Oscar the Grouch as the Grouch of Hearts, the Count as the "Counter"-pillar, and Bert and Ernie in the roles of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum).

However, aside from the formal DVD release, this all-new film will also be treated to a limited theatrical run through the Kidtoons family matinee series. "Abby in Wonderland" will be featured in special screenings throughout the month of September at participating movie theatres - check the Kidtoons theater listings to find a theater near you. The film will be shown on more than 120 screens throughout the United States; and will give fans an opportunity to experience this brand-new feature-length film in a fun and unique way!

I will be sure to keep you updated as soon as more information on the DVD and theatrical release of this exciting new Sesame Street film becomes available.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sesame Street Celebrates 40th Anniversary with Two New History Books

2009 will mark the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. To celebrate the landmark occasion, Sesame Workshop is planning to release two brand-new books that take a loving look back at the incredible history of the world's most famous street.

"Sesame Street: A Celebration of Forty Years of Life on the Street" by Louise Gikow is a 256-page hardcover book that gives an inside look at every aspect of Sesame Street - beginning with the initial idea for the the show and the creation of the pilot episode and moving through its evolution over four decades. The book will also provide an insider's view on many of the delightful Muppet and human characters, as well as the writers, directors, producers, and all the other creative people involved in the legendary series. The book will include hundreds of rare photographs from the Sesame Workshop archives giving an historical look both in front of and behind the cameras. The book will also feature excerpts from scripts, plus original character sketches and show notes. "Sesame Street: A Celebration of Forty Years of Life on the Street" is set to be released by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers on November 1, 2008 -- and you can already pre-order your copy from

Viking Press is also planning to release another book that explores the history of Sesame Street. "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street" by Michael Davis, will take an extensive look at the development, rise and enduring success of television's most influential children's show by capturing the oral history of the beloved show. For over five years, Davis conducted more than 200 in-depth interviews with Sesame Street's key players in order to collect the definitive story of the show. This 384-page hardcover book is planned for release on December 26, 2008 -- and you can also pre-order your copy from

So mark your calendars and be sure to pick up both of these exciting new books when they hit stores later this year. These books are sure to be a treat for any Sesame Street fan; and I will be sure to keep you updated as soon as more details on these titles become available.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kermit and Fozzie to Appear on ABC's "The View"

Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear are scheduled to make a very special guest appearance on ABC's "The View" on Wednesday, May 21, 2008. "The View" is a daytime talk show hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters - check your local listings for time and channel.

Kermit and Fozzie will appear on the show to promote the upcoming release of "The Muppet Show: The Complete Third Season" on DVD (which will hit stores on May 20th). You'll want to make sure to mark your calendars, power-up the VCR, set the TiVo or DVR and tune in ro watch this classic Muppet duo when they appear on "The View" on Wednesday, May 21st.

Friday, May 09, 2008

3 Animated Bert & Ernie Shorts on Upcoming Sesame DVD

As I reported earlier, Sesame Workshop is planning to release "Sesame Street: Count on Sports", an all new direct-to-DVD feature, on July 22, 2008.

In this DVD, Bert and Ernie host ESSN (Ernie's Sports Show News). The duo show a variety of segments that teach math through the fun and exciting world of sports. Count von Count plays golf and races in the Transylvania 300. Prairie Dawn shows off her soccer skills and joins Dominic Dawes for a little gymnastics. Grover explains "short" and "tall" with the help of Vince Carter. And Elmo plays a game of imaginary tennis with Venus Williams.

In addition to the 44-minute sport-based feature, I have been told on good authority that the DVD will also include three never-before-seen episodes of "Bert & Ernie's Great Adventures". Each five-minute short stars Bert and Ernie as they share stories from their past adventures. Each adventure is brought to life with imaginative clay-animation, as viewers are transported into the vibrant world of the duo's imagination where their stories spring to life. While these all-new shorts are planned to receive distribution through international television outlets later this year, the series is only planned to reach American audiences as bonus features on various Sesame Street DVD releases -so you'll want to check out "Sesame Street: Count on Sports" to see this new series.

"Sesame Street: Count on Sports" is already up for pre-ordering at many online retailers, so you can reserve your copy today! I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on this, and other Sesame Street, titles as more details are available.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Play With Me Sesame Get's Healthy on New DVD

Sesame Street fans will be excited to hear that Genius Products is planning to release another "Play with Me Sesame" DVD in August. "Play With Me Sesame" is like having a personal play date with the Sesame Street gang. Mixing classic Sesame Street clips with all-new games and activities, the series promotes play, participation and fun.

The Sesame Street Muppets will engage viewers while teaching healthy habits in "Play With Me Sesame: Furry, Fun and Healthy Too". Material will cover such topics as exercise, brushing teeth, eating right and getting plenty of rest. Viewers will be able to move and groove with personal trainer Grover, visit the dentist with Frazzle, and play Bert's 'Oatmeal Game.' The 50-minute DVD will hit stores on August 12, 2008, and also include an exclusive bonus CD-ROM full of interactive Sesame Street fun.

So if you're a Sesame fan you want to be sure to pick up this exciting DVD when it hit stores in August. I will keep you posted with more news on the future of "Play with Me Sesame" on DVD as more information surfaces.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Two Sesame Music Reissues Coming in June

Continuing their recent partnership with Sesame Workshop, KOCH Records has announced plans to re-releases two classic Sesame Street albums - "Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs" and "The Best of Elmo" - on CD later this summer. These currently out-of-print albums are among Sesame Street's best selling audio releases and feature hours of great Sesame Street music. Both albums are set to be hit store shelves on June 24, 2008. These new CD releases have been updated with new artwork matching the new look of Sesame Workshop consumer products and CDs, and each CD will include a color booklet contain the lyrics to all the songs!

KOCH is planning more Sesame Street releases and, as always, I will keep you updated as information on future album releases surface. So be sure to pick up these albums when they hit stores in June (and with a suggested retail price around $10 each, how can you say no?). Below is a copy of the official track listing for each of these titles.

Hot! Hot! Hot! Dance Songs
1. Hot, Hot, Hot
2. Cat Had a Birthday
3. Doing the Penguin
4. Me Lost Me Cookie at the Disco
5. No-No-No!
6. Silly Squirrel Dance
7. Lambaba!
8. New Way to Walk
9. Do de Rubber Duck
10. Happy Tappin' With Elmo
11. Do the Dog
12. Mambo I, I, I
13. Clucky Clucky Chicken
14. Do the Benny Hop
15. Macarena
The Best of Elmo
1. Sesame Street Theme
2. Elmo's Song
3. Happy Tappin' with Elmo
4. One Fine Face
5. Off to School
6. Elmo Wrote His Name
7. Splish Splash
8. Imagination
9. Drive My Car
10. Be Doodle Dee Dum
11. Elmo's Rap Alphabet
12. In Your Imagination
13. Take a Breath
14. Just One Person
15. Sing

Sam Plenty in "Hat of Doom!"

The Jim Henson Company has just released the fifth installment of "The Sam Plenty Cavalcade of Action Show Plus Singing!"

When we last left our hero, Sam was purified and Queen Verbosa ordered that he wear the undergarments of Underdoom. Meanwhile, Hanalei, the professor, Bob and Fetcheye were captured and being exploded! What will become of Sam and his friends? Tune in to part seven of "Sam Plenty in Underdoom" to find out!

If you haven't checked out the wild world of Sam Plenty, be sure surf on over to and enjoy the webisodes, puzzles, activites, interviews, and fun. I will be sure to keep you updated on The Jim Henson Company's "The Sam Plenty Cavalcade of Action Show Plus Singing!" as information surface.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rosita to Appear on CBS and ABC this Weekend

Rosita, the loveable Muppet of Sesame Street fame, will be making several morning talk show appearances this weekend in an effort to promote the recent launch of Sesame Workshop's "Talk, Listen, Connect: Deployments, Homecomings, Changes" initiative.

Rosita will first appear with Sesame Workshop CEO Gary Knell on CBS' "The Early Show" on Saturday, May 3rd at 9:25am to talk about the "Talk, Listen, Connect" initiative.

Rosita will then make an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America: Weekend Edition" on Sunday, May 4th at 7:30am to chat with Lee Woodruff about the new TLC programs. "Good Morning America" will also air an interview with Dr. Jeanette Betancourt (Sesame Workshop Vice President for Education, Research and Outreach) and a real military family that benefited from from the TLC programs.

So check your local listings for details, and be sure to tune in this weekend to catch Rosita on "The Early Show" and "Good Morning America".

Sesame Street Sweeps the 35th Daytime Emmy Nominations

Earlier today the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominees for the 35th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards. The awards recognize outstanding achievement in all fields of daytime television, and Sesame Street has (yet again) received an impressive amount of nominations. This year the series earned a remarkable 13 nominations – including the nomination of Kevin Clash for outstanding performer in a children's series. This year's ceremony will be broadcast live on ABC on Friday, June 20th, from Hollywood’s famed Kodak Theatre (8:00pm ET).

Sesame Street's 2008 Daytime Emmy Nominations
• Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series
• Outstanding Performer in a Children's Series (for Kevin Clash as Elmo)
• Outstanding Writing in a Children’s Series
• Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series
• Outstanding Original Song in a Children's/Animated Series (for "Get Up, Get Out!")
• Outstanding Original Song in a Children's/Animated Series (for "See the Signs")
• Outstanding Achievement in Main Title Design
• Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design/Styling
• Outstanding Achievement in Makeup
• Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Direction
• Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing - Live Action and Animation
• Outstanding Achievement in Multiple Camera Editing
• Outstanding Achievement in Technical Direction/Electronic Camera/Video Control

For the complete list of nominees, be sure to check out the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' official website at; and don't forget to catch the 35th Annual Daytime Emmys to see how many awards Sesame Street will take home this year. We congratulate the entire Sesame Street family on their remarkable achievements and wish them the best of luck at the Emmy ceremony in June.