Friday, December 18, 2009

Muppets Make Dreams Come True on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

It has been announced that the Muppets will be making a special guest appearance in an upcoming episode of the hit ABC series "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"! The Muppet-filled episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will air on Sunday, January 3, 2010 (8:00-9:00pm ET) on ABC.

On October 2, 2009 the "Extreme Makeover" team went to St. Paul, Minnesota to help fulfill the dreams of Sandy Morris and her family. Sixteen years ago, Sandy left a promising career in the public school to open a daycare to serve the needs of her community. Sandy runs the daycare out of her 100-year-old home, which is now falling apart. The numerous repairs needed to make the home safe threaten to shut down the daycare. Sandy's dedication to her daycare and her community has produced one of the best daycares in the city; even the Mayor of St. Paul sent his son there. Now it's up to Ty and the designers to build the Morris family a safe home that is a sanctuary for their family and will enable the daycare to remain a center of community life and education.

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" team leader Ty Pennington, designers Ed Sanders, Tracy Hutson and Paul DiMeo, call upon the help of Sam Champion ("Good Morning America"), the Muppets, community volunteers and others to get the job done. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat and the entire Muppet gang volunteer for "Get on the Bus" campaign and pitch in to help rebuild the Morris family's home.

This is not the first time the Muppets have been on hand to help the design team. Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Animal helped the team build the home of the Harris family in 2005, and Kermit filled in for Ty as host during the building the Craft family's house durring a special two-hour episode in 2006. You won't want to miss this very special episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." So mark your calendars, set your DVR, or program those VCRs; you won't want to miss this epsidoe of Muppet construction and mayhem on January 3rd on ABC.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Muppets Make Some More Holiday Appearances

The Muppets are planning to deliver some special holiday cheer with a batch of special guest appearances in the coming week.

Additionally the 2008 holiday special "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" will re-air on NBC this Saturday - December 19th (8/7c). Check your local listings for details on all these appearances and be sure to tune for some all these Muppet appearances on your TV.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beat the Drums with Animal's iPhone App

Disney Interactive Studios has just released the latest (and loudest) addition in their catalog of iPhone Apps, The Muppets Animal Drummer. Now available on the App Store for just $1.99, the new app puts iPhone and iPod touch users in the drummer's seat for a game that will test their rythm, speed, timing, and memory. Plays must watch and listen to Animal play, then match Animal's beat and timing to score points and unlock new songs.

The Muppets Animal Drummer app also features a "Free Play Mode" where users can rock out with Animal to original music or songs imported from their iTunes music library. Users can also score points and create combos to charge their "Rock Meter" and power their stage presence. You can even use the App to create original music, then hit the record feature and watch Animal replay your jam session.

"We're excited to bring Animal and The Muppets to a broad mobile audience, and what better way to do that than an innovative, music-based App that taps into Animal's wild personality and the unique functionality of the iPhone and iPod touch," stated Stephen Saiz, director of marketing, Disney Interactive Studios.

So be sure to download this great new app for your iPhone or iPod Touch today! The Muppets also plan to release other iPhone apps in 2010 - including "Pepe's Love Meter", "Gonzo Grams", and "Statler & Waldorf's Theater". I will keep you updated on the release of new apps as things develop.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Muppets Take the Web with 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Since debuting two weeks ago, the Muppet parody of the classic music video of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been viewed more than 10-million times on YouTube. It's an exceptional hit for the first video posted on a new YouTube channel by the Muppets Studio.

A promotional Twitter feed has also been launched, and an official Facebook page has been started.

Muppets Studio general manager Lylle Breier said the online push for the Muppets was designed to help reboot the franchise and quickly get new content to fans. The purpose of the sudden Muppet expansion is mainly promotional. The studio is hoping to showcase the characters while rebuilding a more widespread interest in the brand.

"When the Muppets came into real popularity was the '70s. What was popular in the '70s? Variety shows — that's what 'The Muppet Show'=' was," said Breier. "What's the Web? It's a giant variety show. That's why the Muppets fit so perfectly. Parody has always been at the heart of what the Muppets do."

Breier said the Muppets singing "Bohemian Rhapsody" had long been an idea on the back burner, but the project only recently came together. In it, many famous Muppet character makes a cameo: Gonzo and his chickens appear in silhouette; Rowlf plays piano; Beaker supplies his normal "meep-meep-meep-meep"; Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem rock out.

It's not the Muppets first foray into online video. Several videos were released last year, most notably Beaker's award-winning rendition of "Ode to Joy." More than 7-million have since watched Beaker's video.

Breier says more Web videos are on the way. A version of "Carol of the Bells" will be released for Christmas, and a handful of other videos will follow in 2010 (including such titles as "Stand By Me," "Dust in the Wind," and "American Woman").

"It's all part of a plan for new creative content with online, television, a new theatrical movie," said Breier. "We're bringing the Muppets back."

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Muppet Whatnot Workshop Adds New Options

Last fall, the Muppets introduced fans to the world of the Whatnots at FAO Schwarz in New York City. Whatnots are the extras of the Muppet world - the background characters, creatures, monsters and other assorted weirdoes who add extra mayhem and madness to every Muppet production. FAO Schwarz's Muppet Whatnot Workshop allows customers to create and customize their very own Whatnot puppet by picking a puppet body and customizing it with a variety of Muppet features and accessories.

This fall, the Muppets have introduced an additional clothing line for the Whatnots plus special facial pieces including mustaches, beards and more! There are several new costumes in the Whatnot line-up, including a football player, a princess and new Muppet Monster Whatnots! Additionally, for the first time ever, a selection of Whatnot outfits and costumes will be sold separately, each in its own Muppet-size garment bag.

For fans who can't make it to New York's FAO Schwarz flagship store, the Muppet Whatnot Workshop is available online at FAO.com. Each custom Whatnot retails for $129.99 and comes in a clear vinyl bag. So check out the all-new options in the Muppet Whatnot Workshop and get your very own custom Whatnot today!


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Muppets Make Holiday Appearances on NBC

The Muppets will make some special appearances on NBC this holiday season.

  • The Electric Mayhem plus Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat, and Pepe the King Prawn will perform on Christmas in Rockefeller Center on Wednesday, December 2nd at 8/7c.
  • Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will appear on The Today Show on Thursday, December 3rd.
  • Andrea Bocelli and the Muppets will perform together on The Jay Leno Show on Monday, December 7th at 10/9c.

Additionally the 2008 holiday special A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa will re-air on NBC this holiday season - Friday, December 4th (8/7c) and Saturday, December 19th (8/7c). Check your local listings for details and be sure to tune in to NBC for some holiday Muppet cheer.

Muppets Partner with US Postal Service to Deliver Holiday Cheer

What do the U.S. Postal Service, the Muppets and Santa Claus have in common? Neither rain nor snow nor heat nor gloom of night will keep them from delivering dreams this holiday season.

Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear joined Postmaster General John E. Potter today at the historic James A. Farley Post Office lobby in New York City to kick off the holiday mailing season and the Postal Service's Letters to Santa program.

"The holiday season isn't just the busiest time of the year for the Postal Service -- it's our best time of year," said Potter. "For nearly 100 years, the Postal Service's Letters to Santa program has made dreams come true for those in need. This is a time to celebrate how postal employees, charitable organizations and businesses have made a difference in the lives of children coast to coast."

"We're excited to be helping the Postal Service make the holiday special for kids across the country. It's the perfect way to celebrate," said Kermit the Frog. A postmark of Kermit the Frog will appear in the upper right-hand corner of holiday cards and letters mailed throughout the month of December.

"Helping Santa Claus is always a good idea, especially at this time of year," added Fozzie Bear, who saluted the Postal Service for 234 years of delivering holiday cheer -- and saluted Santa just to be on the safe side.

Letters to Santa is a letter-writing campaign that allows members of the public and charitable organizations to respond to children's letters addressed to Santa Claus, the North Pole and other seasonal characters. New York City's program is the largest in the country with tens of thousands of people adopting letters each year.

"We are delighted to partner with The Walt Disney Company and the Muppets to kick off the holiday mailing season," said Postmaster General Potter. "The Postal Service is gearing up for our annual mail delivery to the North Pole to help Santa and his elves get ready for the big day."

For more information on the Postal Service's Letters to Santa program and for a list of participating Post Offices nearby, visit usps.com.

Elmo to Appear on "The Sunny Side Up Show"

Sesame Street's loveable red and furry monster, Elmo, is set to make a set of very special appearances on Sprout's live morning program, "The Sunny Side Up Show" this holiday season. Elmo will appear on the live morning program on Tuesday, December 15, 2009. Elmo will join host Sean and his puppet friend Chica the Chicken to take calls from Sprout viewers, read birthday cards, and send out holiday wishes to families across the country.

Elmo 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 in fall 2007, Prairie Dawn made a special Valentine's Day appearance last year, Oscar the Groch stopped by in 2008 for an Earth Day visit, and Grover helped ring in 2009 with special New Year's Eve and New Years Day appearaces. "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 Elmo fan, then you'll want to make sure you tune in for a special Muppet appearance.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Muppets sing "Bohemian Rhapsody"

Kermit & Tiffany Thornton Sing "I Believe"

Kermit The Frog has teamed up with Disney Channel star Tiffany Thornton for a new Christmas duet. The pair will sing "I Believe," a song, with music and lyrics from Wesley Whatley and William Schermerhorn, was first sung by Kermit in the 2008 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The new single will be release this holiday season along with a special music video that follows Kermit and Tiffany in the studio as they record their new Christmas song.

Thornton and Kermit will perform the song in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday morning in New York City. The studio track will make its premiere on Radio Disney this Friday (November 27th) and the single from Walt Disney Records will be available digitally at various online retailers on Tuesday, December 8, 2009. Finally, Disney Channel will premiere the music video of the duet on Friday, December 4, 2009. Stay tuned for more details as they surface.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wembley's Egg Surprise

The Jim Henson Company and Lionsgate Home Entertainment plan to follow-up the release of their Christmas-themed Fraggle Rock DVD, "A Merry Fraggle Holiday," with a special Easter-themed DVD planned for release this spring. "Fraggle Rock: Wembley's Egg Surprise" is an upcoming single-disc DVD release that will contain three episodes from the classic Henson series and a sampling of related bonus features.

  • "Wembley's Egg" - Wembley finds the egg of a Baby Tree Creature in Fraggle Pond.
  • "The Great Radish Famine" Marjory the Trash Heap decides to teach the Fraggles, Doozers and Gorgs a lesson by magically making all the radishes in the Gorgs' garden disappear!
  • "The Finger of Light" - It's Ruler of the Rock Day, whoever is chosen by the Finger of Light becomes the Ruler of the Rock and gets to issue three commands for the betterment of all.

The 74-minute DVD will also include a selection of spring-themed bonus features - including a full-length episode from the animated Fraggle Rock entitled "The Great Radish Round-up." In the episode the Junior Gorg puts all the radishes on the top of a hill, which forces the Fraggle to lure them back. Other bonus features include a sing-along feature and a look at Jim Henson's "Animal Show with Stinky & Jake."

Bonus Features:

  • Animated Fraggle Rock episode: "The Great Radish Round-up "
  • Sing-along
  • A look at Jim Henson's "Animal Show with Stinky & Jake"

Lionsgate will release this special DVD title just in time for the Easter season - hitting stores on February 9, 2010. So celebrate and share the gift of Fraggle Rock this year -- celebrate Christmas with the perfect stocking-stuffer gift of "A Merry Fraggle Holiday" and welcome in spring with a great Easter basket gift of "Wembley's Egg Surprise."

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Google Celebrates Sesame Street’s 40th Anniversary

In honor of Sesame Street's 40th anniversary Google has partnered with Sesame Workshop to create a special week-long series of original "Google doodles." Starting today, the popular search engine will showcase special Google logos featuring the Sesame Street Muppets. The commemorative Google logos will run on the Google home page from November 4th through 10th.

Google has been creating "Google doodles," modifications to their logo linked to national holidays, major events and famous people's birthdays, since 1998. The partnership with Sesame Street will include a series of original logos to be featured on the Google home page and search engine in multiple languages and countries.

Of the partnership, Gary E. Knell (President and CEO of Sesame Workshop) remarked: "What an incredible way to head into our official anniversary! Sesame Street transformed the television landscape and Google has done the same in the world of technology."

Big Bird graced to logo of Google's main page on November 4th to kick-off the series, while international Muppets appeared on their corresponding international Google engines – such as Mexico, the Netherlands, India, South Africa, Israel, and Indonesia. New "Google Doodle" logos will be showcased each day throughout the week leading-up to Sesame Street's official 40th anniversary on November 10, 2009.

"Google doodles aim to celebrate events and anniversaries around the world, while reflecting the personality, interests, and spirit of Google employees," said Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products and User Experience. "We're excited to celebrate Sesame Street's 40th anniversary by featuring their well-known characters on the Google home page this week. Sesame Street is a wonderful partner, sharing our values of education, diversity and accessibility."

Monday, November 02, 2009

Muppets Visit Kimmel and Fallon

Sesame Street will celebrate its lankmark 40th anniversary next Tuesday. To promote the kick-off of show's big 40th season, the Muppets of Sesame Street will visit their friend on late night television to plug the show and celebrate the occasion.

Big Bird will be a featured guest on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! this coming Wednesday (November, 4, 2009). The giant yellow bird is scheduled to appear as a guest on Kimmel's late night talk show this Wednesday along with Joshua Jackson and musical guest Slayer. Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights on ABC at 12:06am (ET/PT) - check you local listings for details.

The NBC talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon will feature an appearance by Elmo and Rosita next Monday (November 9, 2009). The red and blue furry monsters are scheduled to appear as guests on Fallon's late night talk show on Monday night along with Laurence Fishburne. Elmo appeared on Fallon's Late Night show back in April; and Fallon is among the guests in the upcoming 40th season of Sesame Street. Late Night with Jimmy Fallon airs weeknights on NBC at 12:35am (ET/PT) - check you local listings for details.

So mark your calendars, program your VCRs and DVRs, prepare to stay up late, and be sure to catch these very special late night appearance by Big Bird, Elmo and Rosita!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sesame Street Muppets on "Are you Smarter Than a 5th Grader"

The Muppets of Sesame Street will make special appearances on the hit game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? this fall to help celebrate the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. Several Muppets will appear on the show during a week-long series of special guest appearances.

Grover, Prairie Dawn, Zoe and Cookie Monster will co-host the game thoughout the week of November 9, 2009 (check local listings for details). The world famous Muppets will appear alongside host Jeff Foxworthy as contestants try to prove that they are in fact smarter than a group of fifth graders.

So mark you calendar, set that VCR or DVR, and be sure to tune in to catch these very special Muppet appearances on Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series" Comes to DVD!

"Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock: The Complete Animated Series" is on DVD for the first time! Lionsgate Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company plan to release Fraggle Rock: The Animated Series - The Complete Series on DVD in January. The 2-disc DVD set will include all 13 episodes of the 1987 animated spin-off, plus all-new never before released special features. The set is planned for release on January 19, 2010. The set is expected to retail for around $19.98. I will keep you updated as more release information on this exciting Jim Henson title becomes available.

Episodes:
• "A Growing Relationship" & "Where No Fraggle Has Gone Before"
• "Big Trouble for a Little Fraggle" & "Necessity Is the Fraggle of Invention"
• "Gobo's Song" & "Homebody Matt"
• "Laundry Never Lies" & "What Boober's Nose Knows"
• "Mokey's Flood of Creativity" & "What the Doozers Did"
• "No Fraggle Is an Island"
• "Red's Drippy Dilemma" & "The Funniest Joke in the Universe"
• "The Best of the Best" & "Ambassador Gorg"
• "The Great Fraggle Freeze"
• "The Great Radish Round Up" & "Lucky Fargy"
• "The Radish Fairy" & "Fraggle Babble"
• "Wembley and the Bemble" & "A Fraggle for All Seasons"
• "Wembley's Trip to Outer Space" & "Fraggle Fool's Day"

Bonus Feautres:
• "Making Animated Fraggles" featurette with co-producer Michael Frith
• Character Galleries
• Original Opening Storyboard Squence

Monday, October 26, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

Sid the Science Kid Delivers New Vaccination Special

The Jim Henson Company and the US Department of Health and Human Services have partnered to produce a special episode of Sid the Science Kid to help answer children's questions about the germs, virus and vaccinations. Just in time for flu season, the special new episode is planned to hit PBS airwaves later this month. In the new episode, entitled "Getting a Shot: You Can Do It!", Sid and his friends learn the basic science behind how vaccinations work.

It's vaccination day at Sid's school, and Sid and his friends are a little apprehensive about getting a shot. Thankfully, a very special nurse will be giving the kids their vaccination -- Sid's Grandma! Throughout the special episode, Grandma, Teacher Susie, Mom and Dad all do their part to make vaccination day a fun learning experience filled with music, games and lots of laughs.

The Henson Company utilized the Henson Digital Performance Studio, the Emmy-winning real-time animation system, to deliver the full 30-minute episode in record time. While the typical production of an episode of Sid the Science Kid usually takes up to six months, in this case, the Company took only six weeks, from greenlight to delivery, to produce the special episode.

The special episode will debut on PBS on October 26, 2009 and will receive a prominent spot in the network's regular rotation thereafter (check local listins for details). Funding for the special came in part from the Deptartment of Health and Human Services, marking the first time the federal agency has funded an episode of Sid the Science Kid.

This also marks the first specially produced episode of Sid the Scince Kid outside of the show's regular week-long curricular cycles. The special show will join the library of 40 Sid the Science Kid episodes already in rotation on PBS Kids. I will be sure to keep you updated with more information regarding this new episode, and other Sid the Science Kid productions, as things develop.

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Merry Fraggle Holiday

The Jim Henson Company and Lionsgate Home Entertainment are giving Fraggle fans a reason to celebrate this holiday season with the release of "Fraggle Rock: A Merry Fraggle Holiday" on DVD. This upcoming single-disc DVD release will contain three episodes from the classic Henson series.

  • "The Bells of Fraggle Rock" - It's time for the Festival of the Bells, but while the other Fraggles excitedly prepare, the holiday has lost its meaning for Gobo.
  • "The Grapes of Generosity" - After finding enchanted fruit that compels anyone who eats it to share with others, Gobo decides to keep all the fruit for himself.
  • "The Perfect Blue Rollie" - Wembley is happy when he and Boober find a rare stone - the 'Blue Rollie' - but Boober does not want to share with his friends.

The DVD will also include a selection of holiday-themed bonus features - including a full-length episode from the animated Fraggle Rock entitled "The Great Fraggle Freeze." In the episode the heat goes out in Doc's workshop, it has a chilling effect on Fraggle Rock, so Gobo sets out on a mission to the center of the Mystical Magical Maze to set things right. Other bonus features include interactive Fraggle games and a look at other classic Henson holiday titles.

Bonus Features:

  • Animated Fraggle Rock episode: "The Great Fraggle Freeze"
  • "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas" sing-along
  • A look at "The Christmas Toy"
  • Traveling Matt's Holiday Trivia
  • Holiday Game

Lionsgate will release this special DVD title just in time for the holidays - hitting stores on November 3, 2009. You can already pre-order the disc for the low price of just $8.99. Also hitting retail shelves on November 3rd, is the long-awaited "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Final Season" (season 4) DVD set and a repackaging of the "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series Collection". Be sure to celebrate the holidays with the gift of Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Preview Sesame Street's 40th Season

New season premieres November 10, 2009 on PBS

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Follow that Grouch!

Today, Canada's Waste Reduction Week announced Sesame Street's beloved Oscar the Grouch would return for a second year as the program's spokes-Muppet. However Oscar is missing and Waste Reduction Week officials suspect the grouch is secretly learning about waste reduction in Canada.

In the midst of the announcement that Oscar and other Sesame Street Muppets would participate in promoting Wast Reduction Week, a number of unsubstantiated reports began surfacing, claiming that Oscar has actually gone missing. Oscar's Sesame Street neighbours believe he is secretly roaming the Great White North to learn why Canadians are so concerned about trash and reducing waste.

"Sesame Workshop will neither confirm nor deny Oscar's current whereabouts or position on waste reduction, but he was recently seen wearing a hat made from a discarded banana peel," said Risa Greenbaum, Sesame Workshop's Assistant Vice President of International Licensing.

Over the past few days, videos have surfaced claiming that Canadians have seen Oscar in different locations across the country. Although no one has been able to speak directly with Oscar to find out exactly what he is doing in Canada, it appears he has been leaving clues leading many to believe he is on a mission. The Canadians have started a grassroots viral campaign called OscWatch to help raise awareness of Oscar's whereabouts and expand the search. Videos posted on the OscWatch website show Canadians who claim they have seen Oscar to help establish a trail leading to his location.

The Waste Reduction Week program urges Canadians to do their part by reducing, reusing and recycling in every aspect of their lives - at home, school and work. The all-new promotional materal starring Oscar the Grouch, Big Bird, Elmo and othe other Muppets debuted in Canada this week to kick-off the 2009 campaign. Check out www.wrwcanada.com/oscwatch for more information on Waste Redution Week and keep checking back for updates on the whereabouts of Oscar.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Muppets Promote Community Service in New Disney Parks Campaign

Earlier today Disney Parks announced their new "Give a Day, Get a Day" program. The program is designed to provide certified volunteers with a one-day ticket to any Disney Park in 2010. The new Disney Parks campaign features the Muppets. Disney is premiering two unique television spots featuring the Muppets, the Disney Parks websites features new Muppet content, and the new "Give a Day, Get a Day" website is also hosted by the Muppets!

In the first television shop, watch what happens when the Muppets and James Denton join forces with community volunteers to construct a home.

In the second video, Taye Diggs inspires Mrs. Piggy and the Muppets to finish a volunteer project and then celebrate at Disney Parks.

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy appeared alongside Bob Iger, Teri Hatcher, and James Denton at a press event in Lynwood, CA earlier today to announce the program. Disney's "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program will begin on January 1, 2010 and countinue throughout the year. More information, videos, and Muppet fun can be found at DisneyParks.com, DisneyWord.com and the special "Give A Day" website.

Dancing with the Muppets

The Muppets' own Gonzo and Animal made a surpise appearance on ABC's Dancing with the Stars last night. Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff danced the quickstep to "The Muppet Show Theme". Animal provided an opening drum solo, while Gonzo closed the number with the blow of a trumpet. You can watch the entire appearance and Carter and Smirnoff's dance in the video below. Enjoy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sesame Street Presents "Old School" Music Collection

Just in time for Sesame Street's big 40th anniversary, KOCH Records and Sesame Workshop are proud to present the Sesame Street: Old School - Volume 1 music collection, a collectible reissuing of three early Sesame Street albums. This new CD collection features three classic albums - "The Original Cast Record", "Big Bird Sings", and "Bert & Ernie Sing Along" - fully restored, remastered, and even featuring the original artwork. These titles have never before been available on CD and will come packaged together in a collectible "Old School" slip case.

"The Original Cast Album", originally released in 1970, peaked at #23 on Billboard's Top LP's chart in 1970, and was certified Gold by the RIAA. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children. "Big Bird Sings" was originally released in 1974. "Bert & Ernie Sing Along" was released in 1975 and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children.

These CDs are sure to be a hit with collectors, fans, parents, and kids of all ages. This special music collection is planned for release from KOCH Records on November 10, 2009; and will be a perfect compainon to the collectible 40th anniversary book, the special 40th anniversary DVD set and the brand-new 40th annviersary season on PBS which are also planned to hit fans on November 10th (which is exactly 40 years, to the day, since Sesame Street premiered).

The Original Cast Album
1. Sesame Street Theme
2. ABC-DEF-GHI
3. I've Got Two
4. Goin' for a Ride
5. What Are Kids Called
6. Everybody Wash
7. One of These Things
8. Up and Down
9. Bein' Green
10. Somebody Come and Play
11. I Love Trash
12. A Face
13. J-Jump
14. People in Your Neighborhood
15. Rub Your Tummy
16. Number 5
17. Five People In My Family
18. Nearly Missed
19. Rubber Duckie

Big Bird Sings!
1. AB-C-DEF-GHI
2. The Noodle Song
3. The "J" Poem
4. Very, Very Special Letter
5. Big Bird Writes a Poem
6. How Do I Know I'm Here?
7. Everyone Likes Ice Cream
8. Y'all Fall Down
9. Everyone Makes Mistakes
10. The Sound of the Letter A
11. Just Three Colors
12. Ha Ha
13. No Matter What Your Language
14. Big Bird's Poem

Bert & Ernie Sing-Along
1. I Refuse to Sing Along
2. I've Been Working on the Railroad
3. Old MacDonald Had a Farm
4. A Really Good Feeling
5. Bats in My Belfry
6. Row, Row, Row Your Boat
7. I'll Give You a Song
8. Oscar Don't Allow
9. The Limerick Song (Come On and Sing Along With Me)
10. On Top of Old Smokey
11. Living Hand in Hand
12. What's the Name of That Song?
13. A Very Simple Dance
14. Morningtown Ride
15. Everyone Likes Ice Cream
16. C is for Cookie
17. Peanuts
18. John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith
19. She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain
20. What's the Name of That Song? (Reprise)
21. Sing

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Muppets at D23

Disney fans gathered at the Anaheim Convention Center this past weekend for the first ever D23 Expo. The event was full of exclusive presentations, exhibits announcements, and experiences for Disney fans and devotees. The unique gathering of all segments of the Walt Disney Company was billed as the ultimate fan experience. The Muppets were on hand to share in the festivities and share some big news from the Muppets Studios – including big news from Walt Disney Pictures that a theatrical Muppet film is indeed on the way!

The Muppets joined Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook on Friday at the D23 Expo during a presentation on the studio's forthcoming film slate. A cast of 24 Muppets performed "Rainbow Connection" aboard an old-fashioned steamboat as Cook announced that a new Muppet movie would be coming "very soon."

"It's called `The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made,'" Cook shared. No further details on the film or its production/release schedule were given at the expo, but Muppet Studios had plenty of other announcements for projects planned to reach fans throughout the next year.

The Muppets Studio General Manager Lylle Breier hosted a special Muppet presentation on Sunday. The presentation gave an overview of what fan can expect from the Muppets in the coming year – as well as highlighting some of their recent exploits and successes. Here is a run down of the big announcements made by the Muppets Studio.

Cooking with Cat Cora - The Muppets will star in a brand-new original online show with television chef Cat Cora. The original Muppet webseries is planned to launch in fall 2009.

Halloween Special - The Muppets are planned to produce an original Halloween special slated for release on ABC next year. This project was originally announced for Halloween 2009, however scheduling and production delays caused it to be bumped to 2010.

More Viral Videos - The Muppets are planning to release more viral videos on YouTube. The original web videos are planned hit the web in 2010. Video titles include "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Dust in the Wind," "American Woman," "Popcorn," "Carve O'Matic," "Carol of the Bells," "Stand By Me," "Pumpkin Carving", and "Ghost Hunting".

Muppet*Vision 3D Updates - The Muppets' classic theme park attraction will be receiving an upgrade in the coming year. The film is being remastered and upgraded to Disney Digital 3D. The attraction at Orlando's Hollywood Studios and Anaheim's California Adventure will also be receiving some new pre-show and queue elements - such as new Muppet parody posters. Posters include "Pirates of the Amphibian" (parody of "Pirates of the Caribbean"), "BEAK-E" (parody of "WALL-E"), "Hammah Montana" (parody of "Hannah Montana"), and "High School Mayhem"( a parody of "High School Musical").

Mobile Muppets - Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker's Muppet Mobile Lab has become a popular attraction at Disney resorts. The interactive Muppet unit is currently at Disneyland in Hong Kong and has become so popular that the Imagineers are working on building a Muppet Mobile Lab unit for the other parks. Additionally, development has begun on a second Muppet living character attraction. The Imagineers are working on the addition of a new mobile Electric Mayhem Band for the parks as well.

Whatnot Workshop Expands - Disney is expanding their successful Whatnot Workshop. The FAO Schwarz boutique will soon be joined by branches in both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. Additionally, new Whatnot features and accessories will be added to the workshop - including facial hair and monster parts. Disney will also be launching "The Muppet Whatnot Experience" contest. The contest winner will receive exclusive Muppeteer training and a chance to perform with their Whatnot in a YouTube video alongside the Muppet performers.

New Album - Muppets Studio is planning to release a new album entitled "Muppets Revisited." The new album will feature collaborations with some well-known musicians reinterpreting some classic Muppet songs - artists include Weezer ("Rainbow Connection"), The Fray ("Mahna Mahna"), Ami Lee ("Halfway Down the Stairs"), My Morning Jacket ("Our World"), and Andrew Bird ("It's Not Easy Being Green"), among others.

Statler & Waldorf Book - The Muppets' infamous curmudgeons, Statler and Waldorf, are writing their own book entitled "From the Balcony." The book, which is due out next year, will follow other such Muppet books as Kermit's "Before you Leap", Pepe's "It's Hard Out Here for a Shrimp," and Miss Piggy's "The Diva Code."

New Muppet Merchandise - The Muppets will be launching several new lines of merchandise. A new line of Muppet merchandise is planned to reach Disney Store within the next year. Also Disney Consumer Products is building their "Green and Lovin' It" line of products featuring Kermit the Frog. Kermit promotes a green message on the products which use organic and recycled materials. Additionally Macy's has become a licensing partner with the Muppets; exclusive merchandise is planned to hit Macy's retail stores in 2010. Steiff plush will follow up their collectible Kermit the Frog plush with a series of Muppet plush dolls. Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear dolls are said to be coming soon. They also showed designs for Muppet Vinylmation figures, Muppet Pook-a-Looz dolls, and new Halloween costumes.

Muppet iPhone Apps - The Muppets will release several iPhone applications in 2010. The unique Muppet apps include: "Animal's Drum Set" (October 2009), "Pepe's Love Meter" (February 2010), "Gonzo Grams" (Summer 2010), and "Statler & Waldorf's Theater App" (late 2010).

Muppet Mobile Comics - Building on the successfully series of BOOM! Studios comic books, the Muppets will soon star in a series of moving comics available for downloading to your phone and mobile device. The e-comics will enhance the reading experience with motion, music, sound effects and voices.

Upcoming DVDs - Disney plans to release "The Muppet Show: Season 4" on DVD in 2010. Additionally, "Studio DC: Almost Live!" - the collaboration between Muppets Studio and Disney Channel - is planned for release on DVD in 2010 as well.

More TV Appearances - The Muppets are planning more appearances for the coming next year - including appearances on upcoming episodes of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition", "America's Funniest Home Videos", "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon", and ABC's "Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade".

Kermit at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - Kermit the Frog will appear in the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. He will be performing the song "I Believe" with Disney Channel star Tiffany Thornton. Kermit sang the song solo at the parade last year.

Christmas with Andrea Bocelli - As previously announced, the Muppets will appear on Andrea Bocelli's upcoming Christmas album singing "Jingle Bells" with the famed opera singer. Additionally, Kermit will appear with Bocelli to sing "Jingle Bells" on "The David Foster Christmas Special" this Christmas on PBS.

And More! - It was also said that their any many more projects and secrets in the works that they just can't share yet - but expect even more to be revealed soon.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sesame Street Aniversary DVD Set To Include Wealth of Bonus Features

As previously reported, Sesame Street is going to celebrate its 40th anniversary this November with the release of "Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days", a brand-new 2-disc DVD set. Featuring nearly six hours of classic Sesame Street stories, songs, Muppets and celebrity segments, the 2-disc collectible set spans the renowned show's four decades, includes never-before-seen archival footage and a limited-edition hardcover commemorative book.

"Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days" features a wide selection of iconic segments of past and present from Ernie's bath-time song "Rubber Duckie" (season 1); to Kevin Clash's first episode as Elmo (season 17); to Maria and Luis' wedding (season 19); to Abby Cadabby's arrival on Sesame Street (season 37), and much more. Fans can also watch some of their favorite celebrity segments including such guests as James Taylor, Pattie Labelle, Smokey Robinson, Robert de Niro, Destiny's Child, Alicia Keys, and Feist!

Additionally, this set will include an array of exclusive bonus features including never-before-seen behind the scenes footage, cast and crew interviews, and so much more. The fine folks at Genius Products have provided us with a complete break-down of the special features to be found in this commemorative set. Enjoy!

DVD Bonus Features:

  • An interview with Jon Stone, Emmy-winning writer, director, and producer who was involved in the creation of Sesame Street, on research and curriculum, and the barriers the show broke.
  • An interview with legendary puppeteer Carroll Spinney on Oscar the Grouch.
  • Leslie Carrara-Rudolph and Jason Weber talk about the creation of Abby Cadabby,
  • Behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage of several songs including "Guess The Seasons," "Hello, Hello," and "Friendship Song".
  • Exclusive archival footage featuring incredible behind-the-scenes studio rehearsals with cast, puppeteers and crew including the making of the Muppet, Nobel Price, green screen passes of Elmo and other characters and even a production meeting discussion.
  • An interview with Kevin Clash about the origin of Elmo.
  • An on-screen pop-up trivia feature with fun facts about Sesame Street.
  • A special peek into how everyone's favorite characters come to life.
  • A limited edition, hard cover commemorative book.
  • And much more!

This collection is truly an amazing anniversary celebration for fans young and old. The commemorative two-disc DVD set "Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days" will be available on November 10, 2009 (the 40th anniversary, to the day, of the show's premiere) for only $29.93 - pre-order your copy today!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Muppets Offer Advice for Tough Times

The Muppets have been making the rounds to promote the upcoming television special Sesame Street: Families Stand Together. The new hour-long special is will air on Wednesday September 9, 2009 at 8:00PM on PBS. The program is designed to help families communicate during tough economic times. More information and additional resources are available online at www.sesameworkshop.org/toughtimes.

Elmo made a surprise appearance on the Sunday edition of NBC's Today to talk about the program.



Elmo returned to Today on Tuesday, this time bringing his mommy (May) to offer some advice for families.


Elmo dressed up to visit Bob Schieffer on CBS's Washington Unplugged on Friday to promote the show.



Additionally, Grover spoke about the program at the 2009 TV Critics Press Tour.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Muppet Show Comic Book Presents: Pigs in Space!

BOOM! Studios is planning to continue their series of Muppet Show comics with regular monthly installments. Roger Langridge's "The Muppet Show Comic Book" debuted in March with a 4-part mini-series; and currently BOOM is in the middle of their second 4-part Muppet Show mini-series, "The Muppet Show: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson" which kicked off in July. However starting in November (after the conclusion of the Peg-Leg Wilson story), BOOM! will re-launch the Muppets as a proper ongoing series (no more re-numbering every four issues). The prelude issue in the new series will be a one-shot "Pigs in Space" adventure which will start the new ongoing numbering series as issue #0. After which, the first issue of Langridge's next story arc, "The Muppet Show: On the Road", will kick things off as issue #1 and they will continue with monthly installments of new Muppet Show comics each month thereafter (and with sequental numbering).

"The Muppet Show Comic Book #0: The Muppets Present...'Pigs In Space!'" is being written by Roger Landgridge with artwork by Shelli Paroline (variant covers will feature artwork by Roger Langridge and David Alvarez). In the comic, Fozzie Bear and Rizzo the Rat try to pitch a "Pigs In Space" movie to a Hollywood producer. The 24-page comic is planned to hit comic book stores at the end of November.

Also be on the look-out for BOOM! Studio's other Muppet comic book series - "Muppet Robin Hood" and "Muppet Peter Pan" - in comic book stores as well. I will be sure to keep you updated with more information on all the upcoming Muppet comic books as more details become available.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Kermit the Frog & Miss Piggy Perform on "America's Got Talent"

The Muppets' Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will perform on the live results show of "America's Got Talent" on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 (9-10pm ET) on NBC. The show announced the couple as performers for Wednesday night's episode. It has also been announced that the Muppets' favorite curmudgens, Statler and Waldorf, will be on hand to provide their signature commentary during the show as well. You won't want to miss this special appearance by America's favorite frog and pig.

The Muppets - including Kermit, Piggy, Beaker, the Swedish Chef, Animal and some chickens - appeared on "America's Got Talent" back in 2007 accompanying ventriloquist Terry Fator and his puppets in the second season's finale. So be sure to set those DVRs and VCRs and tune in to catch the Muppets on the season finale of "America's Got Talent" this Wednesday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Henson Joins With Tiger to Bring "Me and My Monsters" to BBC

The Jim Henson Company has teamed up with independent TV production company Tiger Aspect Productions to produce a new BBC sitcom about a group of friendly monsters. The BBC has greenlit the production of 26 episodes of the half-hour comedy series "Me And My Monsters." The live-action series is currently set to air in the UK through the CBBC division; there is no word yet on whether the series will be seen in North America or elsewhere at this time.

The show focuses on an American family who rent the house of their dreams in London at an incredibly low price. Initially, the family can't understand why the rent is so low until they discover three friendly monsters living in the basement. The family desperately tries to conceal the presence of the monsters from their neighbours while dealing with the ups and downs of raising a family.

"Me And My Monsters" was created and written by former cartoonist Mark Grant. Tiger Aspect Productions developed the show with Grant and then approached the Henson Company, which came on board. "At the heart of the story are three monsters, which are loveable yet scary. The Hensons were the obvious people to go to," said Tiger managing director Andrew Zein.

Sue Nott, executive producer for the BBC, said: "It's a comedy that hinges on the relationship between the young boy in the family and the monsters. It's very visual and it's got that Henson look."

I will be sure to keep you updated as more details on this upcoming Henson venture become available.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days" DVD Details

As previously reported, Sesame Street is planning on celebrating its 40th anniversary this November. To mark the occasion, Sesame Workshop and Genius Products are planning to release "Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days", a brand-new 2-disc DVD collection, on November 10, 2009 (which is exactly 40 years, to the day, since Sesame Street debuted).

The 2-disc set will include over 5 hours of iconic Sesame Street segments from the past 40 years - including "Rubber Duckie," "Lady Bug Picnic" and Elmo's debut; the set will also feature such memorable celebrity guests such as Robert de Niro, Destiny's Child, Alicia Keys and many more!

Bonus features on the set include trivia, exclusive never-before-seen behind the scenes footage and a peek into how your favorite characters come to life. The deluxe set also includes a limited edition, hard cover commemorative book.

With over 5 hours of iconic moments, songs, segments and exclusive never-before-seen backstage footage, this commemorative DVD set is a must own for every Sesame Street fan! You can pre-order the limited-edtion collector's set for only $20.99 on Amazon. I will be sure to keep you updated as more details on this set, and other anniversary items, become available.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Sid the Science Kid Merchandise - Dolls, Books, DVDs, Apparel, Albums & more!

Since its premiere last fall, Jim Henson's Sid the Science Kid has gained a lot fans. Developed to inspire a lifelong curiosity and love for learning in young children, Sid the Science Kid appeals to preschoolers’ instinctive quest to figure out how things work, using humor and music as key teaching tools. Since its debut fans have been claimoring for Sid the Science Kid merchandise. Young scientists can rejoice, because fans will soon be able to connect with Sid and his friends in a whole new way with a slew of new products hitting stores this fall.

The Jim Henson Company has partnered with Hasbro Toys to produce a variety of Sid the Science Kid toys and games. Hasbro is planning to release a deluxe "Talkin' Sid the Science Kid" doll this fall. Fans will be able to cuddle with the large plush doll version of Sid that talks and sings. You can press Sids belly to hear six different phrases and to hear Sid sing songs from the show. The electronic talking Sid will also come packaged with a special DVD including "The Sticker Chart" episode of the Sid the Science Kid.

Fans will also be able to collect soft plush versions of Sid and all his classmates. You'll be able to play and cuddly with plush figures of your favorite characters. Hasbro plans on releasing a set of "Sid the Science Kid Mini Plushes" this fall - featuring plush versions of Sid, Gabriela, May and Gerald ($6.99 each).

Aside from toys, Sid will also be making his way into books. HarperCollins Children's Books and The Jim Henson Company plan to release a series of books based on the program. The first three titles, targeting pre-schoolers ages 3-6, will hit book stores in December.

In "Why Are My Shoes Shrinking?" ($3.99, pre-order) Sid finds that he can't wear his favorite shoes to school any more because they're too small. Sid learns his shoes aren't shrinking but instead, he's growing. The 24-page storybook is written by N. T. Raymond and illustrated with full-color stills from the series.

Sid learns what happens if you don't clean your teeth in the book "A Cavity is a Hole in Your Tooth" ($5.99, pre-order). With the help of his family, friends, and teacher, Sid finds out why is brushing your teeth so important in the 32-page Let's Read and Find Out book by Jodi Huelin.

When Sid's dad catches a cold, Sid has to be careful not to get sick too in "The Trouble with Germs" ($3.99, pre-order) Sid investigates germs in this 32-page I Can Read book by Jennifer Frantz.

Sid the Science Kid made its DVD debut earlier this month with two DVD releases from NCircle Entertainment. "Sid the Science Kid: Change Happens" ($9.99, order) and "Sid the Science Kid: The Bug Club" ($9.99, order) each featured four episodes from the series and hit stores on August 4th.

NCircle Entertainment is planning to follow-up these releases with a third Sid the Science Kid DVD on December 1, 2009. In "Sid the Science Kid: Weather Kid Sid" ($9.99, pre-order) Sid discovers that wind, rain and sun can be fascinating and fun! The single-disc release, which runs 115-minutes, will include four episode from the series - "Sid's Rainy Play Date", "Special Sunny Dad Day", "Sid's Holiday Adventure", and "The Wind Did It".

Earlier this summer TysToyBox.com, launched an online store for Sid the Science Kid. The store carries "print on demand" apparel, where customers can personalize t-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies, featuring Sid and his friends ($16.99 each, order). Fans can wear their favorite characters with a variety of designs, colors and styles.

Also earlier this year The Jim Henson Company released a collection of songs from Sid the Science Kid in an exclusive Amazon.com album. "Sid the Science Kid: Soundtrack - Volume 1" ($8.99, order) features 18 original songs from the show's first 20 episodes - covering such scientific topics as tools and measurement, transformation and change, the senses, and health. Hopefully "Volume 2" (featuring the songs from the second half of the 40-episode series) is not too far off.

The Jim Henson Company has also made a collection episodes of the series available via iTunes. Sid the Science Kid, Vol. 1 ($1.99 per episode, purchase) features the first 10 episodes of the show available for purchasing. You can download the Sid the Science Kid episodes dealing with tools, measurement, transformation, and change; now fans can watch Sid's adventures on their computers and portable devices.

I will be sure to keep you updated with details on these, and all the other upcoming, "Sid the Science Kid" products as more information becomes available.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lionsgate Brings Fraggle Rock Back to DVD

The Jim Henson Company and Lionsgate Entertainment have just signed a distribution deal for more than 350-hours of content from the Jim Henson Company library. The agreement gives Lionsgate the North American distribution rights to content from the Jim Henson Company's film and television library, including television series, specials and other home entertainment titles. Included in the deal are the rights to the beloved television series Fraggle Rock, among others.

Lionsgate has already announced plans for their very first Henson Company releases which include the long-awaited stand-alone release of the fourth season of Fraggle Rock, plus a special holiday-themed Fraggle Rock release. Lionsgate plans to release "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Final Season" and "Fraggle Rock: A Merry Fraggle Holiday" on DVD on November 3, 2009.

Available on its own for the first time, the 5-disc "Fraggle Rock: The Complete Final Season" box set will include all 24 episodes from the last season of the series, plus all the new "season four" bonus material featured in the Complete Series box set. "Fraggle Rock: A Merry Fraggle Holiday" will collect three holiday episodes of Fraggle Rock on a single disc along with a variety of Henson-related holiday bonus material (including an episode of short-lived animated Fraggle Rock spin-off).

I will be sure to keep you updated as soon as more details on these (and other) Henson DVD titles become available.

Pajanimals Soundtrack Hits Amazon

The Jim Henson Company has just released an all-new collection of songs from their hit PBS Kids Sprout series "Pajanimals" in an exclusive Amazon.com album. "Jim Henson's Pajanimals: Soundtrack" features 12 original songs from the show. You can purchase the entire album on CD or you can download the album as a whole or in individual MP3 singles.

The series features four soft cuddly lovies who snuggle together every night to sing sweet night time songs; there's Apollo (John Kennedy), Squacky (Victor Yerrid), Sweet Pea Sue (Donna Kimball), and CowBella (Alice Dinnean). The original, short-form musical series focuses on helping comfort preschoolers by dealing with bedtime themes and transitional issues such as separating from mom at the end of the day, healthy routines, sleeping through the night and being comfortable with the lights out. The songs for Pajanimals were written by Michael and Patty Silversher with lyrics by Rockwell and Judy Rothman.

I will be sure to keep you updated with the details on any other upcoming "Panjanimals" products as information becomes available.

Track Listing:
1. Pajanimals Theme Song
2. Night Will Sing us All to Sleep
3. Lights in the Dark
4. La-La-Lullaby
5. Jiggle Jumble Jump
6. Scary Dream
7. Stick to the Plan
8. Sleepy Head
9. Nighttime Playtime
10. Morning Time
11. Goodnight to Mom
12. Ode to Sleep

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sesame Street Kicks-Off 40th Season on November 10th

On November 10, 2009, forty years to the day since its premiere broadcast, Sesame Street will kick-off its landmark 40th season on PBS. Big Bird, Oscar, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, the Count, Grover, Bert, Ernie, Snuffy, Telly, Rosita, Baby Bear, Zoe and the rest of the gang will return this season with a whole new set of adventures, lessons, songs, games and sketches. This season will concentrate on the needs of children with a special nature-focused curriculum, "My World is Green and Growing," designed to create a love and understanding of the natural world.

This fall viewers will notice an all new show open and close as well as a new 'block' format hosted by "Word on the Street" Muppet, Murray, from real-world locations. In addition, resident fairy-in-training, Abby Cadabby, takes on a brand new look in the CGI animated segment "Abby’s Flying Fairy School" which aims to boost preschoolers’ critical thinking skills.

As always, the new episodes will feature well-known celebrity guests including: Oscar nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal, Today Show host Meredith Vieira, former New York Giants football player Tiki Barber, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, Late Night host Jimmy Fallon, comedian Ricky Gervais, and actors Paul Rudd, Judah Friedlander, Adam Sandler and Sarah Jessica Parker. New music meets the classic Sesame style with Grammy nominee Jason Mraz performing alongside Elmo and friends the appropriately rhymed song "Outdoors" to his hit-tune "I'm Yours." In addition, 26 new words will be introduced in the "Word on the Street" segments featuring explanations and definitions by celebrities like: Cameron Diaz, Julianna Marguiles, Hugh Jackman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Adrian Grenier, Eva Longoria, and of course, the Sesame Street Muppets.

But the celebration doesn’t stop there! Fans will be able to get nostalgic with a commemorative two-disc compilation DVD, Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days. The DVD set includes classic clips from the past 40 years. In addition, a fully illustrated coffee-table book entitled A Celebration: 40 Years of Life on the Street will also be available November 10th.

So mark your calendars and be sure to tune in for the gigantic 40th season of Sesame Street. I will be sure to keep you updated as more details on the 40th season and anniversary celebration become available.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Muppets Sing a Christmas Classic with Andrea Bocelli

Opera singer Andrea Bocelli has performed with the likes of Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera but this Christmas he'll be pairing up with far more seasoned performers - The Muppets.

Bocelli, who has sold 65-million albums to date, is currently in the studio with Kermit and pals recording a cover of "Jingle Bells" for his upcoming Christmas-themed album.

The album, set for release this November, is expected to contain Bocelli's interpretations of "White Christmas", "Silent Night", "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", "Oh Holy Night" and others; plus appearances by such stars as Natalie Cole and Mary J Blige.

The idea to sing with the Muppets was inspired by an appearance Bocelli made on Sesame Street in 2005 singing "Time To Say Goodnight" with Elmo. It was the amusing Sesame Street footage, which can be found on Sesame Street's YouTube channel, that gave Bocelli's team the idea for recording "Jingle Bells" with The Muppets.

I will be sure to keep you updated with more details of this upcoming holiday collaboration and release as soon as more information becomes available.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Sesame Street Helps Families During Tough Economic Times

Al Roker, Deborah Roberts, Elmo and Grover are teaming up for a new prime-time special entitled "Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times." The new hour-long special is scheduled to air on September 9, 2009 at 8:00PM on PBS - check your local listings for details. This original program is designed to help families communicate during tough economic times.

In today's economic climate, approximately two out of three middle class families are at high risk of sustaining or losing their economic security. Moreover, increases in job loss and income cuts have made families struggle with basic costs like housing, medical care, transportation, food, clothing, and child care. Too often, parents are being forced to make difficult decisions that affect their children's well-being. In response to these recent changes in family economics, Sesame Workshop produced "Families Stand Together: Feeling Secure in Tough Times". The all-new special aims to help families with children, ages two to eight, experiencing difficult economic circumstances by offering strategies and tips that can lead to positive outcomes for their children’s physical and emotional well-being during this tough economic climate.

The special features Al Roker and Deborah Roberts alongside Sesame Street's Elmo, Chris, Grover, Elmo's family, and others. The special also features advice from financial expert Jean Chatzky and parenting and relationship expert Dr. Joshua Coleman.

"For nearly 40 years, Sesame Workshop and our beloved Sesame Street Muppets have addressed educational and community needs through the creative use of media. We have never shied away from delving into deep and complex issues and finding accessible and age appropriate ways to talk about these issues with children and families," said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, Sesame Workshop.

Beyond the primetime special, Sesame Workshop will extend the initiative by providing additional resources online, in print and into local communities to help guide families during these tough times. Resources and materials will be available online at www.sesameworkshop.org/toughtimes beginning September 9, 2009 so that families everywhere can view the videos and download the information.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The Jim Henson Company's Wilson & Ditch Explore America Online

The Jim Henson Company and PBS Kids are partnering to produce an all-new original webseries to teach history, culture, and geography. "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America" will launch this fall on PBSKIDSGO.org. Produced by The Jim Henson Company, the series invites kids ages 6 to 10 on a cross country adventure with two comical gophers as they explore America's most famous (and perhaps not-so-famous) destinations. While learning about American culture, history and geography, brothers Wilson and Ditch ride in style in their green-powered van, sharing experiences and real world resources for families as they visit some of the country's top cities, national parks and attractions.

Animated webisodes will star Wilson and Ditch (performed by Brian Henson and Paul Rugg) and will be brought to life using the Emmy Award-winning Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, the proprietary technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digitally animated characters in real time. In addition to the webisodes, travel blog and on-location audio podcasts, Wilson and Ditch's new site will also feature original comics from the brothers' adventures.

"Wilson & Ditch: Digging America" was created by Joe Purdy and Craig Bartlett. The web content will be written by Purdy and the HDPS-animated segments will be directed by Bartlett. Bartlett will also create the site's original comic strip material.

I will be sure to keep you updated as details on this exciting new Henson project as more information becomes available.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Farscape Celebrates 10th Anniversary with DVD Megaset

"Farscape" fans will rejoice, as the award-winning series will commemorate its 10th anniversary with a deluxe DVD package of the beloved show. On November 17, 2009, the complete series, which ran from 1999-2003 on Sci-Fi, will be re-released in the "Farscape: The Complete Series Megaset". Featuring all 88 episodes on 25 discs, with original aspect ratios and 5.1 surround sound, the all-new Megaset delivers the venerated program to its legions of loyal fans and a new generation for the collectible price of $149.95. The deluxe box set will include over 15 hours of bonus material.

An imaginative fusion of live action, state-of-the-art puppetry, prosthetics and CGI, "Farscape," produced by The Jim Henson Company in association with RHI Entertainment, featured mind-boggling alien life forms, dazzling special effects, edge-of-your-seat thrills, irreverent humor and unforgettable characters - all brought to rich life by the creative minds at Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

The Complete Series Megaset Bonus Features:
• 29 Episode Commentaries (featuring such commentators as Rockne O'Bannon, Brian Henson, Ben Browder, Claudia Black, David Kemper, Anthony Simcoe, Lani Tupu, Peter Andrikidis, and others)
• Multiple featurettes and documentaries - including "In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson"; "Making of a Space Opera" and "Inside Farscape: Save Farscape".
• Multiple video profiles featuring archival clips and cast/crew discussing their characters and roles on Farscape.
• Over 90 minutes of deleted scenes.
• Slideshows and archival photo galleries, including character concepts and promo photos.
• Production design galleries featuring screenshots, rough drafts and concept slide shows.
• Behind-the-Scenes interviews with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey, Gigi Edgley, Paul Goddard (Stark), Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) and more.
• Original TV promos and trailers.

In addition to the complete Megaset, on November 17th, FARSCAPE will also be available in single season sets. Each re-packaged DVD release in Farscape: The Complete Seasons 1-4 will feature over 18 hours of entertainment - 22 episodes on six discs filled with hours of revealing bonus materials - for $44.95 each.