In order to increase its network and cable programming portfolio, The Jim Henson Co. has hired Eric Poticha as vp of Television and Halle Stanford as head of children's television. Poticha will develop new comedy and drama series, miniseries and features for television as well as develop future Muppet projects to be produced by Henson for The Walt Disney Co. Stanford will lead development and production of all preschool and children's programming for both television and direct-to-video projects in animated and live-action formats. She will also work closely with HIT Entertainment on pre-school programming for the co-production agreement recently announced by the two companies. Both will report to Lisa Henson, co-ceo of JHC.
Poticha was vp of movies and miniseries at Fox Television Studios where he helped build the division into one of the top suppliers of longform programming. He conceived of and developed the FX original movie 44 MINUTES: THE NORTH HOLLYWOOD SHOOTOUT, the highest rated program in the network's history, and the Fox network reality show, GIRL NEXT DOOR, he co-created with Hugh Hefner. Poticha also originated the development of MUPPETS' WIZARD OF OZ, a made-for-television feature from Touchstone Television and The Jim Henson Co., now in post-production.
Stanford returns to JHC after founding 7 Crows Stories, a children's creative company responsible for consulting on such upcoming projects as KRYPTO and BABY LOONEY TOONS, two animated preschool series for Warner Bros, Animation Studios, as well as exec producing the PAT THE BUNNY DVD series for Classic Media. Previously at Henson, she led the children's television division with projects like ANIMAL JAM, which she also exec produced and is airing on Discovery Kids, and the successful franchise, BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE, which was sold to Disney earlier this year. She also initiated Henson's acquisition and development of FRANCES, an animated preschool project currently in post-production that features JHCs proprietary digital puppetry technology.
"Eric and Halle are the perfect leaders for our company's growing television development slate," said Lisa Henson. "From working with Eric on MUPPETS' WIZARD OF OZ, we know that he can not only create exciting quality programming but also has the strong relationships in the creative community essential to bringing such projects through production. Halle has a proven record with our company of seeking out exciting talent and material that can be nurtured into strong brands that resonate with the kids market."
The Jim Henson Co., an established leader in family entertainment for nearly half a century, is recognized worldwide as a leader in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of the world famous Muppets (the rights to which are now owned by The Walt Disney Co.), Henson is the recipient of nearly 50 Emmy Awards and nine Grammy Awards. Headquartered in Los Angeles with offices and production facilities in New York and London, The Henson Website is located at: www.henson.com.