SPROUT PREMIERES PAJANIMALS, A NEW SERIES CO-PRODUCED WITH THE JIM HENSON COMPANY AND SIXTEEN SOUTH TELEVISION

Debuts Exclusively in the U.S. on Sprout, Monday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Philadelphia, PA, September 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout will premiere the Pajanimals, a new, full-length series co-produced by Sprout, the Jim Henson Company, and Northern Ireland’s Sixteen South Television, on Monday, October 10 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Airing exclusively on Sprout in the U.S., Pajanimals was designed to help parents and caregivers with a bedtime routine for their preschoolers. Through their imaginary journeys, the Pajanimals model the skills preschoolers need to move through their days and nights successfully. Along the way, the Pajanimals discover how cozy and safe nighttime can really be when accompanied by friendship and songs.

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 (Pet Alien). This inseparable quartet forms a nighttime community in the comfort of their magical, shared bedroom.

“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. “Much like the short-form version of Pajanimals we debuted in 2008, this new full-length series provides more of these loveable characters modeling the typical day-to-bedtime transitions that preschoolers encounter every day. From separation anxiety to nightmares, the Pajanimals will tackle these challenges together every night with our viewers.”

“Puppets are a great way to connect with young children and encourage them to explore their fears and curiosity,” said Lisa Henson, CEO of The Jim Henson Company. “With Pajanimals, we’ve created a safe world with four of the sweetest puppets to come from our Creature Shop. These cuddly friends will welcome viewers to snuggle up for a story and a song.”

Produced in Ireland as a co-production between The Jim Henson Company, Sprout and Northern Ireland’s Sixteen South Television, production on the Pajanimals series has obtained funding assistance from Northern Ireland Screen. The Jim Henson Company’s CEO Lisa Henson and Executive Vice President of Children’s Entertainment Halle Stanford serve as Executive Producers for the series, along with long-time Henson producer, Alex Rockwell (Bear in the Big Blue House, Elmo in Grouchland) and Jeff Muncy. Serving as Executive Producer for Sprout is Senior Vice President of Programming Andrew Beecham, while Lisa O’Brien, Sprout’s Vice President of Original Programming and Development, serves as Executive in Charge of Production. Sixteen South’s Colin Williams (Big and Small, Sesame Tree) serves as producer for the series, with Michael and Patty Silversher (Winnie the Pooh, Animal Jam, Dinosaur Train) composing the music. Pajanimals was created by Jeff Muncy and Alex Rockwell. The series airs in the U.S. on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout. The Jim Henson Company is handling all ancillary use of the property including licensing, video and merchandising.

For additional information on Sprout programs or schedules, or to play games, download free coloring pages or find great activities for kids, visit SproutOnline.com. To find out where Sprout is available in your area, call 1.8.SPROUT.411 or go to SproutPlease.com.

About Sprout®
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. 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 a preschooler from breakfast to bedtime with its distinctive, interactive programming and original hosted blocks. Sprout’s VOD offering is the #1 on demand service for younger children with over one billion views.

Sprout is a partnership among NBCUniversal, HIT Entertainment, PBS and Sesame Workshop. Its program lineup of gold-standard, curriculum-based preschool shows includes: Sesame Street®, Bob the Builder™, Barney & Friends™, The Wiggles®, Thomas & Friends™, Caillou®, The Berenstain Bears™, Roary the Racing Car™, dirtgirlworld and more.

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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 digital animation. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets, Henson has received over 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Recent credits include the Emmy® nominated "Sid the Science Kid," "Dinosaur Train," "Wilson & Ditch: Digging America" and "Pajanimals." Features include "The Dark Crystal," "Labyrinth," "MirrorMask," and "Unstable Fables" and television productions include "Fraggle Rock" and the sci-fi cult series "Farscape."

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 postproduction 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’s Henson Alternative brand has recently launched the national tour of "Stuffed and Unstrung," a live puppet improvisational show named one of the top 10 “Best Stage Shows of 2010” by Entertainment Weekly.

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About Sixteen South Television
Based in Northern Ireland, Sixteen South Television loves making high quality, compelling children’s programming for UK and international broadcasters and works in live action, puppetry and animation. Recent productions include the third series of the award winning Big and Small, in partnership with Kindle Entertainment. Sixteen South also created Sesame Tree, a co-production with Sesame Workshop in New York, and BigCityPark, a co-production with BBC Scotland, all of which were commissioned by CBeebies for UK broadcast. Sixteen South continues to develop fresh properties for international markets.

www.sixteensouth.tv
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www.twitter.com/sixteensouth

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