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July 22, 2014

JimHenson

Disney holds its first ever Disney Con

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 14th 2009 11:30AM
The Walt Disney CompanyDisneyland hosted its own Disney Convention, called D23, in the style of Comic Con this past weekend. The name comes from the year Walt Disney moved to Hollywood and the event was held at the Anaheim Convention Center across the street from Disneyland . Among other announcements was that of a new Muppet movie called The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made (hopefully it's a working title). There was also a live performance by Miley Cyrus, whom Disney owns the soul of.

Admittedly, it's a pretty good idea which caters to the real Disney enthusiasts out there (having met a few, I know they certainly exist). Disney is one of the few companies that is large enough to have its own version of Comic Con. While the convention had announcements for most of its franchises, I noted the absence of any mention of the recently-acquired Marvel Comics.

On the other hand, the company already has a Disney convention open all year round. It's called Disneyland (or Disneyworld for the East Coast). What do you think of this development?

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Buy Wilkins Coffee or we'll shoot this Muppet

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jun 19th 2009 9:02AM
Jim Henson's Muppets doing a commercial for Wilkins Coffee

Everybody in television has to start at the bottom, even the Muppets.

Jim Henson's Muppets got their big break in the 1950s as two spokesmuppets for the Wilkins Coffee Company in a series of eight-second commercials featuring the most ballsy commercial concept of all time: buy Wilkins Coffee or we will shoot you in the face.

I'd like to see Billy Mays take on that concept.

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Jim Henson Company getting on the Dinosaur Train

by Brad Trechak, posted May 14th 2009 6:11PM
Sesame StreetThe Henson Company, along with some other entertainment companies including Singapore's BIG Communications, is teaming with PBS to create a new show called Dinosaur Train, which is intended to spark an interest from the kiddies in science and paleontology. Considering that this is the same team-up that brought us Sesame Street, hopes are high.

The series has one or two major detriments from the start. To begin, Jim Henson is long gone and it seemed that a lot of the magic died with him. All the efforts by the company since then have been a shadow of its former self. Second, the new series is CGI and not puppets. While I'm sure the kiddies pay more attention to CGI nowadays, it's still a little disappointing.

On the other hand, the Henson Company has worked with dinosaurs before. Plus, anything that gets the kids' attention that isn't owned and monopolized by Disney or Nickelodeon is fine by me.

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Could The Muppet Show really return to TV?

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 29th 2008 8:04AM
MuppetAre Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy poised for a comeback? Jason wrote about it in June, and now there's more news if you believe this item from the UK Telegraph. Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper reported that How I Met Your Mother's star Jason Segel has written a script that brings Jim Henson's Muppets to the big screen, setting up a return to television. It sounds like a great idea, but without confirmed sources, I'd take the whole thing with a grain of salt.

Disney owns the rights to the Muppets and they would produce the picture. Segel's story picks up with the Muppets reuniting long after their TV show has ended. They agree to put on one big variety show to save the studio. Should this come off as planned and the film is a hit, the Muppets would then come back to series TV.

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The Muppets take the Smithsonian

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jul 15th 2008 8:01AM
The Muppets at the SmithsonianI knew they'd end up there sooner or later. On Saturday, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington unveiled its latest exhibit: "Jim Henson's Fantastic World."

The exhibit features 14 of Henson's Muppet creations, including Bert and Ernie, Kermit the Frog, and others from the long-running Sesame Street. The exhibit is scheduled to remain at the Smithsonian until October, then leaves on a three-year tour to seven other cities.

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12 unexpected deaths of TV personalities

by Richard Keller, posted Jun 17th 2008 11:58AM

The death of Jim Henson rocked the emotions of people who didn't even know him.I didn't know Tim Russert on a personal level. I rarely even saw him in his own element as host of NBC's Meet the Press. However, when he suddenly died last Friday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the fact that he was a huge presence on television, particularly during this year's Presidential election. It made Russert feel like he was a part of the family.

So it has been with many television personalities that have left this earth before their time. It's the intimacy of the industry and the fact that this person has come into our homes night after night, week after week, that the unexpected death of these personalities hits us much harder than, say, movie stars. Unfortunately, there have been a number of these surprising deaths over the last few decades. Here are 12 such deaths that affected millions of television viewers.

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Why television is great - The Muppets

by Paul Goebel, posted Apr 16th 2008 11:26AM

Jim Henson and his early friendsIn my line of work (whatever that is), I am often put in the position of defending the medium of television. There is a large section of the population who is convinced that television is inferior to film and all types of print media. These people love to use a host of specious arguments to prove their point. Some choose advertising, others go with reality TV, I once argued with a guy who said, "Two words...Jerry Springer" and walked away.

I'm not going to use this blog as a way to refute these arguments, instead I'd like to give specific examples to defend the medium that I have come to love.

Television is great because it is directly responsible for the creation of the Muppets.

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Puppet Up clips on TBS site

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 9th 2007 3:03PM

muppet aliensYou can watch clips of the Jim Henson Company's Puppet Up! Uncensored improv shows on TBS' Laugh Lab site. New sketches will be added every Wednesday.

Puppet Up! Uncensored is an improved stage show from the Jim Henson Company that's essentially Who's Line Is It Anyway?, but with puppets. A Puppet Up! special was shown on TBS not long ago, and I found myself enjoying it, albeit intermittently.

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Henson kids program debuts on Christmas Day

by Anna Johns, posted Dec 13th 2006 2:21PM
the hoobsWhen the kids are wiped out from playing with their new toys and they've come down from their sugar highs, plop them in front of the television set this Christmas. Jim Henson Co.'s The Hoobs makes its American debut on PBS KIDS Sprout on Christmas day. The award-winning preschool series marathon will air from noon to 6 pm (EST), giving you plenty of time to cook a turkey, clean up wrapping paper and take a nap.

Since I've never seen the series, I'll let the PBS press release explain what it's all about: "Set in the sunny, colorful Hoobland, The Hoobs are great explorers who learn about the planet by posing different questions to all the children that they encounter along the way." I can't be sure what it all means, but a Hoobpaedia, a Hubba Hubba Hoob and a Hoobmobile are involved, too. Sounds like your typical Jim Henson-style goofy fun with a hidden educational element. There's a clip of the show here.

Following its mega-debut on Christmas, The Hoobs will air every day at 2 pm on PBS KIDS Sprout.

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Fraggle Rock feature film is on the way, says Henson Company

by Joel Keller, posted Oct 20th 2006 8:02PM
Fraggle RockEvery child of the '80s that had HBO shares an idelible memory from that time period... Shannon Tweed's breasts from Hot Dog: The Movie. Somewhat less indelible, but pretty memorable in its own right, was the Jim Henson series Fraggle Rock. Now comes word from the folks at the Henson Company that a full-length feature film version is in the works, written and executive produced by none other than Ahmet Zappa.

In the movie, Gobo, Wembley, Mokey, Boober and Red finally leave the underground world of Fraggle Rock and go into what the Hensons call "outer space", otherwise known as the outside world. In fact, they'll actually interact with (gulp) human beings (what are the odds that one of them is going to be Kelly Ripa?). Zappa is involved to not only help write the screenplay, but the music for the movie, as well. No word on a title or release date just yet.

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Jim Henson retrospective in D.C.

by Adam Finley, posted May 21st 2006 6:31PM

dark crystalHey, did you wake up this morning and find yourself inside the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.? If so, you should stick around because the museum is hosting a Jim Henson retrospective through September 4. You'll be able to check out creatures from as far back as Sam and Friends, the show which would portend the Muppet aesthetic, as well as animatronic creatures from The Dark Crystal. Some of the classic Muppets such as Kermit, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, and the Swedish Chef, all originally voiced by Jim Henson, will also be on display. Now i just have to try to get out to D.C. before this disappears.

[via Muppet News Flash]

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Kermit The Frog turns 50

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 11th 2005 3:44PM

Kermit The FrogWow, it seems like only yesterday that Kermit was...well, actually, to be honest, I never gave a second thought about what his "age" "really" "was." He's just green felt controlled by someone else's hands and I never really thought he was any age. But he turns 50 next month, and he gives an interview to the AP about hitting the half century mark and also plugs the new Muppet Show DVDs.

He doesn't get into any of his past adventures, like that affair with Liza Minnelli or his stay in rehab, but he does mention having exotic strippers at his party. LeBlanc, are you listening?

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