New Muppets show crashes on to Disney+
Disney+ has ordered the first-ever Muppets streaming show, Muppets Now, a six-part unscripted series set to premiere on the service on 31 July.
The series is being produced by The Muppets Studio and Soapbox Films and will feature improvised comedy and celebrity guests, including entertainers, comedians, chefs, as well as all the usual unscripted Muppet mayhem.
The Muppets are an ensemble cast of puppet characters created by Jim and Jane Henson in 1955 known for their off-the-wall antics and comedy across TV, film and other media.
In their usual anarchic fashion, the Muppets themselves commented on the launch of the new series. Kermit the Frog said: “The Muppets are thrilled to be doing our first-ever unscripted show! It’s going to be extremely spontaneous and very surprising; almost as surprising as the fact that we ever actually used a script in the past.”
“I knew Muppets Now was coming to Disney+ but I did NOT know they wanted Muppets Now NOW, as in right away, as in ‘doesn’t anybody give a warning around here’!? Gotta go upload those episodes pronto! Wish me luck; I’ll need it,” added Scooter.
Australia’s Network 10 launches new channel
Australia’s ViacomCBS-owned Network 10 has unveiled 10 Shake, a new channel offering a split of kids’ TV and primetime shows for adults.
The new channel will include “ a mix of shows for people aged 0-40,” with children’s programming such as Bubble Guppies, Henry Danger and SpongeBob SquarePants airing during the daytime hours of 6am to 6pm, with more grown-up content for “big kids” like Catfish: The TV Show, The Charlotte Show and The Late Late Show With James Corden airing in the evenings.
Network 10 head of programming, Daniel Monaghan, said: “We are thrilled to be adding 10 Shake to our family of channels. It is a fantastic proposition for Australian viewers and includes a great array of content from ViacomCBS, a lot of which has never aired on free to air television before.
“10 Shake daytime will boast over 84 hours a week of the biggest kids’ TV shows on the planet including SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol and Henry Danger. It will provide a wonderful world of entertainment just for kids.
“10 Shake prime time will be the destination for mischievous big kids who love escapism television with plenty of bite, comedy and fun. With shows like The Charlotte Show, Catfish: The TV Show and Lip Sync Battle forming part of the schedule, it will be self-indulgent TV at its best.”
Veteran Batman producer Michael E Uslan has been brought on board at Genius Brands International to advise and help mine late comic book icon Stan Lee’s recently acquired IP “treasure chest”.
Uslan is best known as the originator and EP of the Batman movie series, starting with Tim Burton’s 1989 film Batman, through to Todd Phillips’ Joker last year and Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman.
Tne Stan Lee Universe, a joint venture between Genius Brands and Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, will draw from more than 100 of Lee’s creations to develop seven new franchises per year, primarily targeted for families and kids.
“Michael is the foremost expert today in comic book IP. Period,” said Genius Brands CEO and chairman Andy Heyward. “He is the only person we ever considered to guide us through the process of building franchises under the banner of his idol, mentor, and friend, Stan Lee.”
Uslan added: “In my world, there is no bigger honour than to be entrusted to carry the mantle of Stan Lee forward. This is taking the Olympic torch on the final leg up Mt. Olympus. We look forward to bringing the most talented writers and artists in our field to the next generation of Stan Lee creations.”
Super Simple Songs lands on HappyKids
OTT platform Future Today has added the Super Simple Songs content library to its HappyKids app and launched a new branded channel to showcase the content.
Super Simple Songs is a brand of educational video and music content that was started in 2005 by US teachers working in Japan and has since spread globally online. The deal with Future Today will see its content land on streaming devices such as Roku and Amazon Fire TV via the app.
“In recent years our content was mostly only available on YouTube. Now our content is on YouTube, Amazon Prime, the Super Simple iOS app, and we’re incredibly pleased to be partnering with Future Today to deliver our content to these additional streaming devices. They’ve been pioneers on the platform and we’re thrilled they’re helping us share our content with a brand new audience,” said Morghan Fortier, CEO of Skyship Entertainment.