New Short-Form Series “Pajanimals” Debuts on PBS Kids Sprout
SPROUT® SET TO DEBUT PAJANIMALS, AN EXCLUSIVE NEW MUSICAL SERIES FROM THE JIM HENSON COMPANY AND 4KIDS ENTERTAINMENT
Making its world television premiere on Sprout on Sunday, November 2, 2008, Pajanimals entertains and comforts preschool viewers with original, bedtime-themed songs
Philadelphia, PA, Hollywood, CA and New York, NY – October 6, 2008 — PBS KIDS Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for kids ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers, will debut Pajanimals, the newest group of puppet characters from The Jim Henson Company, Sunday, November 2, 2008 during Sprout’s signature nighttime block, The Good Night Show. The exclusive, short-form, live-action musical series produced by The Jim Henson Company and 4Kids Entertainment (the property’s licensing agent) and commissioned by Sprout, features four soft, cuddly puppets created by LA-based artist Jeff Muncy (Pet Alien) and designed and built by the world-famous Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™. Pajanimals entertains and comforts preschool viewers with original, bedtime-themed songs that focus on typical issues such as sleeping through the night and being comfortable with the lights out.
Pajanimals features Sweetpea Sue, a shy, smart pony who never forgets her bedtime routine of brushing her teeth, washing her face and putting on her PJs; Squacky, an excitable duck who sometimes has a hard time settling down at night; Cow Bella, a creative, well-mannered cow with an Italian accent who encourages the rest of the bunch to “do the right thing” around bedtime; and Apollo, an upbeat, optimistic puppy who loves space adventures but experiences separation anxiety.
The Jim Henson Company’s co-CEOs Brian Henson and Lisa Henson, as well as Halle Stanford, the Company’s senior vice president of children’s entertainment, executive produced the project with Muncy and Alex Rockwell (Bear in the Big Blue House). Music is from Michael and Patty Silversher (Winnie the Pooh, Animal Jam) with lyrics from Rockwell and Judy Rothman (Strawberry Shortcake). Pediatric sleep specialists, family therapists and coauthors of The Sleepeasy Solution, Jill Spivack, LCSW and Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW are the content consultants on the show, lending their expertise to the bedtime themes and song lyrics which cover topics such as encouraging preschoolers to stay in bed, dealing with nightmares, and missing your parents at night.
“Every parent knows that bedtime battles are no fun for anyone and it is our hope that Pajanimals will help our young audience transition from daytime into a peaceful evening routine,” said Lisa Henson. “Sprout is an established destination for preschoolers and their adult co-viewers and is an ideal home for these new characters.”
“Parents have told us that bedtime is one of the most challenging times of the day,” said Andrew Beecham, senior vice president of programming at Sprout. “In response, we created our signature nighttime block, The Good Night Show, which helps parents wind down their kids after a busy day… and Pajanimals is the perfect addition to that block. The sweet, loveable characters and instantly contagious songs are sure to resonate with both preschoolers and parents alike.”
“We are delighted to mark our first production and licensing partnership with The Jim Henson Company on such an engaging property,” said Alfred R. Kahn, chairman and CEO, 4Kids Entertainment. “Pajanimals is poised to become a compelling and vibrant brand for parents and preschoolers, as well as retailers and promotional partners.”
In addition to Pajanimals airing as a short-form musical series on the Sprout linear channel, five 10-minute segments featuring professional, practical sleep advice from Spivack and Waldburger will be available for parents and caregivers of preschoolers on Sprout On Demand.
For additional information on Sprout programs or schedules, visit SproutOnline.com. To find out where Sprout is available in your area, call 1.866.9.SPROUT.
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PBS KIDS Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for kids ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers, was created as a partnership among Comcast Corporation, HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop. Since debuting its video on demand (VOD) service in April 2005, Sprout has become the #1 On Demand service for younger children, generating over 450 million orders. The 24-hour digital channel, which launched in September 2005 along with the website (SproutOnline.com), is the only channel that follows the day of child from breakfast to bedtime with its distinctive programming. Currently, Sprout is available in 44 million unique households.
The network’s program lineup of gold-standard, curriculum-based children’s shows includes: Sesame Street®, Bob the Builder™, Barney & Friends™, Thomas & Friends™, Angelina Ballerina™, Caillou®, The Berenstain Bears™, Jay Jay the Jet Plane®, Teletubbies™, Dragon Tales™, Pingu™, Make Way For Noddy™, The Hoobs™, Fifi and the Flowertots™ and more.
About The Jim Henson Company
The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets (the rights to which are now owned by The Walt Disney Company), Henson is the recipient of over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Credits include the Saturn Award-winning “Farscape” and the features “MirrorMask,” “Five Children and It”, “Good Boy!” and the recently released direct to DVD feature “Unstable Fables: 3 Pigs and a Baby”. With additional locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot complete with soundstage and post-production facilities. Independently owned and operated by the five adult children of founder Jim Henson, the Company is also home to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, a pre-eminent character-building and visual effects group with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry’s top recording facilities known for its world-class blend of state of the art and vintage equipment. The Company is currently in production on 40 episodes of “Sid the Science Kid,” a new science readiness animated series for preschoolers scheduled to debut on PBS KIDS in September 2008, and recently launched “Puppet Up! – Uncensored,” a live puppet improvisational show that has played to sold out crowds around the world and premiered as a special on TBS. The Company has also announced the creation of Jim Henson Designs, a merchandise collection inspired by Jim Henson’s earliest sketches. http://www.henson.com
About 4Kids Entertainment
With U.S. headquarters in New York City, regional offices for its trading card business in San Diego, California and international offices in London, 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE) is a global organization devoted to the creation, development, production, broadcasting, distribution, licensing and manufacturing of children’s entertainment products.
Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, 4Kids produces animated television series and films, distributes 4Kids’ produced or licensed animated television series for the domestic and international television and home video markets, licenses merchandising rights worldwide to 4Kids’ owned or represented properties, and operates Web sites to support 4Kids’ owned or represented properties. Through its majority owned trading card company and website company, 4Kids produces and markets collectible trading card games. Additionally, the Company programs and sells the national advertising time in a four-hour 4KidsTV block which airs on nearly 200 affiliated FOX television stations Saturday mornings as well as the national advertising time in TheCW4Kids five-hour Saturday morning block on The CW Television Network.
Additional information is available on the www.4kidsentertainment.com corporate web site and at the www.4kids.tv game station site.