Is Kermit worthy of the Kermit Channel?
Nancy Eilers-Hughes and Phillip Chapman
This article reveals some new information about the upcoming Kermit Channel. For the first time officially, "Europe" has been mentioned as the third prospect for the Kermit Channel after Asia and Latin America.
"Although Kermit is an American frog and the Muppets are an American success story, the Kermit Channel will not be seen in the United States." How could this be? No Kermit Channel for us? "That's right,'' said Henson's chief operation officer Rivkin. "Kermit is extremely well-known and loved worldwide. An international icon. What we're talking about today is launching Kermit in Asia and Latin America. Those regions are the current plan,'' Rivkin said. Both Henson and Hallmark hope to launch a domestic service. But not the Kermit Channel."
However Rivkin gave us a hint of hope... "Keep your eyes open,'' Rivkin suggested. "We hope to make another announcement within the next six months.'' Said Rivkin, "The U.S. market has a whole different economic equation than these international channel launches. We would need different types of partners. ...That means the exclusion of the Kermit Channel in America has nothing to do with previous agreements to sell Henson product to American channels or networks. We are free to put our own material on a domestic channel if we decided to launch one."
At the end of the interview Rivkin said some REAL INTERESTING NEWS... "We expect to begin production on two Muppet movies this year for release in 1999.'' Now we know one of them is for sure Muppets in Space and the other is probably Elmo in Grouchland (if he includes Sesame Street as a Muppet movie which seems kind of unusual. The Henson Company has never really counted Sesame Street movies as Muppet stuff, in the sense that it's not the classic Muppets, and everything but the Muppets on the show are copyright of Children's Television Workshop). However, last February the Henson Company bought the rights to a Muppet movie script in which the Muppets (playing themselves) are living the high life in Hollywood until Kermit decides they've lost their purpose in this greedy world. So he takes them all back to the swamp. In 1996, Jim Henson pictures and partner Sony Pictures signed an agreement to produce between 10 and 15 new movies in the next four to five years. Their goal is to have possibly three of these to be new Muppet movies. We'll have to wait and see, but hey, ANY 2 Muppet movies next year will be awesome!