The Jim Henson Company, an American entertainment organization, traces its origins to the founding of Muppets, Inc. in 1958 by puppeteer Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets.[1] The Muppets helped the company gain worldwide acclaim in family entertainment for more than four decades.[2] The company's units include Jim Henson's Creature Shop, a renowned animatronics and visual-effects workshop.[3]

Template:As of Jim Henson's children Brian, Lisa, Cheryl, John and Heather run the company: Brian and Lisa serve as co-chairs and co-CEOs.

The Jim Henson Company used to include a short-lived international television distribution arm, Henson International Television (founded in 1989); it became HiT Entertainment in 1990.

Henson originally founded his company as Muppets, Inc. Template:Citation needed The name later became Henson Associates (commonly abbreviated as ha!), then Jim Henson Productions in 1988, and finally "The Jim Henson Company" in the late 1990s.Template:Citation needed In 1999, the company, along with Hallmark Entertainment, launched Odyssey Network (a cable-television channel). In 2000, the Jim Henson Company sold its interest in the channel to Crown Media.

Nine months before Jim Henson's death on May 16, 1990, he had started negotiating the sale of his company to The Walt Disney Company for a reported $150 million.[4][5] However, the deal fell through after his passing and the company remained independent.[6] In 1996–1998, the firm made The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, including blue–screen technology and digital recording, under the direction of Jonathan Meath.

The purchase of The Jim Henson Company by the German media company EM.TV & Merchandising AG for $680 million was announced on February 21, 2000.[7] Soon after, EM.TV's stock began to plummet — it put the Henson Company up for sale a year later.

On May 7, 2003, the Henson family repurchased the Henson Company for $78 million.[8] Nine months later they sold the rights to the classic Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House to The Walt Disney Company (15 years after the announcement of the first Disney-Muppet deal).

Kermit the Frog served as the mascot for The Jim Henson Company until the sale of the Muppet characters to Disney.

Charles Chaplin built the Chaplin Studios - later the Jim Henson Company Studios) - at La Brea Avenue in Hollywood in late 1917 and sold them in 1953. The site once housed A&M Records. In 1993 itTemplate:Clarify got together with Columbia Pictures to form Jim Henson Pictures.

In February 2004, The Jim Henson Company transferred[9] the rights and ownership of The Muppets and the Bear in the Big Blue House characters to The Walt Disney Company.[10]

List of shows and moviesEdit

This list excludes pre-2001 Sesame Street co-productions outside the United States.

From 1969 to 2001, Jim Henson Productions contracted to create and provide Muppet characters for Sesame Street. With the exception of occasional appearances in The Muppets franchise, the characters were used exclusively for Sesame Workshop, but The Jim Henson Company technically owned the characters they created. In 2001 Sesame Workshop bought the rights to all Muppets used on Sesame Street, except Kermit the Frog. After Henson's death Kermit rarely featured. Because Henson had not created Kermit for the exclusive use of Sesame Workshop and Kermit was the main character of Muppets as well, his case would have required a special agreement. Sesame Workshop owns all footage of Kermit on Sesame Street, and new and previous episodes of Sesame Street can continue to use that footage. This deal ended any affiliation between the Jim Henson Company and Sesame Street. The deal also ended any direct affiliation between The Muppets and Sesame Street with two exceptions: using many of the same puppeteers, and the agreement that Sesame Street may still use the term "Muppet". Also, The Jim Henson Company can continue to design and build newer Muppet characters for Sesame Street.[11]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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