The Jim Henson Company announced a deal to partner with the 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout and Northern Ireland’s Sixteen South Limited for the co-production of 26 half-hour episodes of the new preschool series, “Pajanimals.” The series will debut this fall on Sprout in the US and also be sold to the international market.
Sprout, a digital channel which has been operating since 2005, is a unique partnership among NBCUniversal, HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop. Now available in over 50 million homes, Sprout is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for children ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers.
Production on Pajanimals will begin immediately in Northern Ireland, with funding assistance from Northern Ireland Screen. The Jim Henson Company’s CEO Lisa Henson and Executive Vice President of Children’s Entertainment Halle Stanford will serve as Executive Producers for the series, along with designer Jeff Muncy and long-time Henson producer Alex Rockwell. Serving as Executive Producer for Sprout will be Senior Vice President of Programming Andrew Beecham, while Lisa O’Brien, Sprout’s Vice President of Original Programming and Development, will serve as Executive in Charge of Production. Sixteen South’s Colin Williams will serve as producer for the series, with Michael and Patty Silversher composing the music. The Jim Henson Company is handling all ancillary use of the property including licensing, video and merchandising.
Pajanimals characters — Sweetpea Sue the pony, the excitable duck Squacky, the creative cow CowBella and the optimistic puppy Apollo — were designed and built by the world-famous Oscar and Emmy Award-winning Jim Henson’s Creature Shop from original concepts by Los Angeles-based toy and clothing designer, artist Jeff Muncy.
The series will follow the amazing adventures of the four sweet and gentle characters. Through their imaginary journeys, the Pajanimals will model the skills preschoolers need to move through their days and nights successfully. Along the way, the characters discover how cozy and safe nighttime can really be when accompanied by friendship and songs.