Sesame Workshop to develop new channel with Comcast, HIT

Phillip

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Looks like Classic Sesame Street may be returning as soon as next year.

http://www.muppetcentral.com/news/2004/060904.shtml

The deal would include all of Sesame Workshop's and HIT's library. Keep in mind that HIT also owns the distribution rights to all of Henson's Muppet World properties not sold to Disney (like Fraggle Rock). So it's possible both Sesame and Fraggle could end up on the same channel.

Pretty good news, eh? :excited:
 

Cheebo

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Wow, just wow. Fraggle Rock (hopefully) AND Sesame Street? This is a Muppet fans dream come true. If its indeed 24 hours then that means late night Sesame Unpaved....maybe.
 

The Count

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So how do we know this won't end up like a second Noggin? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Phil, when you say it'll have all of SW's content, are we talking "all" of their content even when they were still known as CTW?

All 35 Seasons of Sesame Street
The Electric Company
3-2-1 Contact
Square One TV
Encyclopedia
Cro
Play With Me Sesame

And just what Henson productions are still withing the vaults of HIT after the pillaging commited by Disney? Hope to hear from you soon and have a good day.
 

Phillip

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The Count said:
So how do we know this won't end up like a second Noggin? Guess we'll have to wait and see.
Well, we don't know *for sure* at this point, but keep in mind that when Sesame Workshop owned 12.5% of Noggin back in 1999, they aired lots of classic programming: Sesame Street Unpaved, The Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact and more. It was only after Sesame Workshop sold their stake in Noggin, that the shows began to slowly disappear. Since SW will once again own part of their own channel it's very likely these shows will return, especially if they will be airing preschool shows 24 hours a day. Reaching the adult nostalgia crowd at night when the kiddies are asleep is a great way to do that.

The Count said:
Phil, when you say it'll have all of SW's content, are we talking "all" of their content even when they were still known as CTW?
I would think so, yes. Obviously, there could be an issue with recent Sesame Street episodes. I believe SW has a four-year contract with Noggin for recent Sesame episodes. We are in year three of that new deal that began in 2001.

The Count said:
And just what Henson productions are still withing the vaults of HIT after the pillaging commited by Disney?
Basicly, it's anything Muppety that Henson retained after the Disney deal. From the announcement earlier this year, we know it's... "The 440 hour strong Family Classics portion of Henson's catalogue includes the ACE Award-winning titles Fraggle Rock and Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas, BAFTA Award-winning Jim Henson's The Hoobs, BAFTA nominated Jim Henson's Construction Site, Jim Henson's Mopatop's Shop, and Emmy Award-winning Jim Henson's Mother Goose Stories. The deal does not include titles involving the Muppets or Bear in the Big Blue House, the rights to which were recently acquired by The Walt Disney Company." Things like Faffner Hall weren't mentioned specificly but more than likely it's under HIT's roof now as well.

http://www.muppetcentral.com/news/2004/040104.shtml
 

The Count

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Thanks for the update Phil. I'll be very excited when this new SW half or fractionally-owned channel debuts. Interested in some of the stuff mentioned like the Hoobes and Mopatops.
As for that deal you mentioned between SW and Noggin, just how recent are the episodes under that deal? The thing is that I thought Noggin was airing episodes three years behind the current airing on PBS. For example, since PBS is on Season 35 episodes, I thought that Noggin would be showing Season 32 episodes almost exclusively with no airing of episodes from Seasons 30 and/or 31. But someone on these boards shot down that theory o' mine.
Well, thanks for the heads up once again, and good to know that there's light at the end of this tunnel.
 

Phillip

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The Count said:
As for that deal you mentioned between SW and Noggin, just how recent are the episodes under that deal?
I think they are all 1999-2000 episodes. I haven't watched 123 Sesame since last year, but I think they are still airing these currently from what people on the boards have said.
 

KGJC

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Cool old Sesame Street episodes.

Wait............. Now Sesame Street and Barney and Friends will be the same company oh yeah yes yes yes. I have always wanted Sesame Street and Barney and Friends to be the same company.
 

ssetta

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Okay, I just have to say that this is like the best news I have ever heard this year, and I hope that it comes true. And also, I hope they have a lot more episodes than Unpaved. :smile:
 

BoyRaisin2

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Phillip Chapman said:
Well, we don't know *for sure* at this point, but keep in mind that when Sesame Workshop owned 12.5% of Noggin back in 1999, they aired lots of classic programming: Sesame Street Unpaved, The Electric Company, 3-2-1 Contact and more.
Actually it was Henson that had a 12.5% stake in Noggin, which was sold by EM.TV along with the Sesame Street characters. Noggin was started as a joint venture between Nickelodeon and the then-Children's Television Workshop.

But man, this is some amazing news. Even more weird with the Comcast-Disney-Henson-HIT-Sesame connection.
 

BoyRaisin2

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Here's another article, by the way

Comcast in talks over 24-hr toddlers' channel -WSJ

NEW YORK, June 9 (Reuters) - Comcast Corp. <CMCSA.O> is in advanced talks with the Public Broadcasting Service, Sesame Workshop and Britain's HIT Entertainment <HTE.L> to develop a 24-hour TV network for preschool children, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The network would carry no commercials and would have rights to shows such as "Sesame Street" and "Barney & Friends," the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Rights to those shows are now owned by the nonprofit Sesame Workshop and HIT, a UK-based producer of children's programming, the newspaper said.

A Sesame Workshop spokeswoman, Beatrice Chow, told Reuters that "Sesame Workshop is in discussions with a number of media outlets including Comcast and Noggin to find the best home for Sesame Workshop library material on digital cable."

Noggin, owned by Nickelodeon, is an educational channel dedicated to preschoolers that broadcasts 12 hours a day, according to information on Noggin's Web site.

Neither Comcast nor PBS, a government-backed non-profit broadcaster, was immediately available for comment on the report. HIT Chief Executive Robert Lawes declined comment.

Comcast, PBS and the two programmers each would own stakes in the network, which has not yet been named, the Journal said. The proposed network would be a digital channel, meaning it would only be available to cable subscribers who pay about $10 extra for additional channels and a sharper-quality picture, the newspaper said.

The newspaper, citing people involved in the talks, said negotiations could be finalized within weeks and that the network could launch sometime next year.
 
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