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October 24, 2014

jim henson

NBC Buys Puppet Sitcom From Henson Co., 'Buffy' Smartphone and More TV News

by Chris Harnick, posted Nov 22nd 2011 12:30PM
NBC LogoWhat if your neighbors were puppets? According to EW, the Peacock network is working on a script with the Jim Henson Co. about a human family who lives next door to a family of puppets.

'The New Nabors' comes from '30 Rock' veteran John Riggi and John Hoffman of 'Afterlife.' Jim Henson's daughter, Lisa, will serve as executive producer on the project.

Interest in Muppets is at an all-time high with the new film hitting theaters Nov. 23. The Muppets also appeared with Jason Segel on 'Saturday Night Live.'

In other TV news ...

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Adult-Oriented Muppets on GSN with 'Late Night Liars'

by Brad Trechak, posted May 5th 2010 5:00PM
Late Night LiarsJim Henson has sadly passed on, but his company is still thriving and adapting to the times.

According to the LA Times
, GSN announced today that Henson Alternative (the adult division of the Jim Henson Company) will be making a game show called 'Late Night Liars,' which stars a group of alcoholic puppets.

The premise of the game show is this: Contestants (who are human) will have to distinguish between fact and fiction, as told by the aforementioned drunk puppets, as they compete for various cash and prizes. Characters include Shelley Oceans, Sir Sebastian Simian and William A. Mummy (get it?).

Actor/comedian Larry Miller will host.

"Jim Henson made a great discovery many years ago when he realized that pretending puppets are people is far easier than dealing with people who are puppets," Miller said in a GSN statement.

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'Sesame Street' 40th Anniversary: A Retrospective (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 9th 2009 4:00PM
Sesame Street, Big Bird'Sesame Street' has always been one of the hippest places on the planet, and it promises to get even cooler in its 40th -- yes, 40th! -- season, premiering Nov. 10, 2009.

After four decades on the air, you might think we'd know just about everything there is to know about the famous neighborhood. But just in case you missed anything, we've compiled a few tidbits about Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie and the whole gang -- and some of our favorite videos from over the years.

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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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NBC will broadcast a Muppets Christmas

by Brad Trechak, posted Sep 8th 2008 11:03AM
John Denver and the MuppetsIt looks like the Muppets will be back again for Christmas. The NBC television special will star Whoopi Goldberg, "The Sopranos" alums Tony Sirico and Steve Schirripa, "Harry Potter" regular Richard Griffiths and Madison Pettis as well as your favorite cast of colorful characters created by Jim Henson.

I'm a huge fan of the Muppets, but the passing of Jim Henson did somehow lessen the franchise. The stuff they've produced since has been hit-and-miss. I liked Muppets Tonight and It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, but most of the other stuff (especially the theatrical films) have fallen flat.

I do hope that Jason Segal and Nicholas Stoller will be able to breathe new life into the franchise. I did enjoy Forgetting Sarah Marshall (particularly the puppet musical), but I'm not sure how well that translates to the Muppets. My fingers are crossed.

How dare Jim Henson leave us all like this! I'm sorry. I still haven't gotten over it.

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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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TNT has 14 new shows in the works

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 4th 2008 1:40PM

TNT logoIt's always intriguing when a cable network has two or three original shows they're working on. But TNT has gone project crazy this year, with a whopping 14 shows in development.

It's an interesting mix of shows too. You have your dramas, including a mystery series set in Boston, based on the novels of Tess Gerritsen; a drama about a family in 1950s Indiana; an espionage drama titled Leverage; a drama from Robert Redford titled Generations, which focuses on several families who have lived in the same house over the decades; and Truth In Advertising, which sounds a lot like a modern-day Mad Men (not that I'm complaining) and stars Eric McCormack, Tom Cavanagh, and Monica Potter. Comedies include a show about a single, middle-aged woman, from Betty Thomas and Elaine Pope.

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Muppet stuff: Fraggle music and vintage Henson

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 25th 2007 6:01PM

fraggle rockSheesh, I guess I haven't checked out Muppet News Flash in awhile, and wound up missing out on some cool Muppet news.

First, a Fraggle Rock album will hit stores in October. There's pretty much zero information on Fraggle Rockin', except that it will contain music from the series. Amazon doesn't even have an album image. Did I mention it's a three-disc set? That's all kinds of awesome.

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A Jim Henson short film - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 4th 2007 12:01PM

jim hensonYou'll note that I didn't call it a "Muppet short film," because there are no Muppets to be found in the eight-minute short below. It does, however, feature a young Jim Henson. The short, called Time Piece, was nominated for an Oscar in 1966.

Something tells me I would have appreciated this short more when I was in college. Back then I lived for surreal, nonsensical stuff like this: tearing it apart, trying to figure out what it all means. I'd borrow films like this and Un Chien Andalou from the college media center and revel in how different it all was.

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Muppet Show season two coming August 7

by Anna Johns, posted Jun 14th 2007 10:24AM
miss piggy; the muppet showAs the ranking #2 fan of The Muppets here at TV Squad (Adam definitely has me beat), I'm happy to announce that season two of The Muppet Show will be available on DVD on August 7th. It's been about 2 years since season one came out on DVD and fans have been not-so-patiently waiting for more.

Season two is a 24-episode set with classic guest appearances by Bob Hope, George Burns, John Cleese, Milton Berle, Elton John, Bernadette Peters and Julie Andrews, just to name a few. The bonus material includes The Muppets Valentine Day Special, a pilot which aired two years before The Muppet Show came on air. It features Kermit and Mia Farrow, and is hosted by little-known Muppet 'Wally'.

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