1 The Muppet Mindset: News Update: June 19, 2014

Jun 19, 2014

News Update: June 19, 2014

JUNE 19, 2014

The biggest news this week is that Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy will be appearing on PBS's annual A Capitol Fourth special celebrating the 4th of July. Kermit and Piggy will perform "Rainbow Connection" with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jack Everly. The appearance will be in conjunction with the promotion for Muppets Most Wanted on Blu-ray and DVD August 12th. A Capitol Fourth airs at 8:00pm EST on PBS on July 4th!

The O'Neill Puppetry Conference is one of, if not the most important puppetry conference and gathering of puppeteers. The Henson family, especially Jim and Jane Henson, were and are integral parts of the conference and have been since its inception. In honor of that, and Jim and Jane's influences on puppetry, The O'Neill Puppetry Conference will erect a new building named in honor of Jim and Jane Henson. According to our friends at ToughPigs.com, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut is currently constructing a new building to dedicate to the Hensons, set to be unveiled in 2015.

Last week, we reported that The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper had been added to Netflix instant streaming. We also said that they should add the other Muppet movies to Netflix... and lo and behold, The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island were added this week! Now, The Muppets, Muppets From Space, and Muppets Most Wanted are the only remaining Muppet features not on Netflix. Hopefully we'll see those and other Muppet productions will be added soon. But for now, you have no excuse not to watch Muppet movies!

As part of the promotional run for I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story, The LA Times profiled Caroll in a wonderful new article. The article shows, once again, how truly incredible Caroll is, stating that there's no way his final season performing on Sesame Street is coming anytime soon. "If you rest, you rust," Caroll says in the article. The article also sheds more light on Caroll's understudy for Big Bird, Matt Vogel, and has more info on the documentary that Muppet fans are dying to see. Be sure to give the exceptional article a read.

Yesterday Sesame Workshop announced an exciting new development for the future of Sesame Street. For their 45th season, Sesame Street will air both 60-minute and 30-minute versions of the show daily on PBS. The 60-minute show will continue to air in the mornings, with the 30-minute show airing in the afternoon. This allows Sesame Street to be watched by kids at home both in the mornings and afternoons. Below is some info from the official press release:

Furthering a commitment to using the power of media to educate and entertain America’s children, PBS KIDS and SESAME STREET will introduce a bonus half-hour program this fall on-air and on digital platforms. Starting Monday, September 1, the additional half-hour program will air on weekday afternoons on PBS stations, complementing the one-hour series that airs weekday mornings (check local listings). For the first time, selected full episodes of the 30-minute show will also be available for free online at pbskids.org/video, on the PBS KIDS Video App and on the PBS KIDS Roku channel.  By offering this bonus half hour of SESAME STREET in an additional timeslot and through a growing number of digital services, PBS KIDS hopes to reach even more children with one of America’s most beloved and educationally powerful children’s series.

“We’re thrilled to extend our reach on PBS. What better way to celebrate our 45th anniversary season than to touch more children’s lives,” added Terry Fitzpatrick, Chief Content and Distribution Officer at Sesame Workshop. “These days, families expect to be able to connect with their favorite SESAME STREET friends at any time of day. The new afternoon show is a great complement to our continuing efforts to reach more kids with engaging lessons that will help them grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

The half-hour version of SESAME STREET will help kids learn a variety of skills, including the school readiness skills – such as impulse control and socio-emotional lessons – for which parents are increasingly seeking resources.

Each half-hour episode of SESAME STREET is a shortened version of each one-hour program and will include a “Street Story,” a “Word on the Street” segment, a celebrity vocabulary segment, songs, spoofs, dance breaks and popular segments like “Cookie’s Crumby Pictures” or “Super Grover 2.0.”






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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