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Pajanimals Lull Preschoolers Gently Off To Sleep

PBS KIDS Sprout, a 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for kids ages 2-5, will debut PAJANIMALS, the newest group of puppet characters from The Jim Henson Company, Sunday, November 2, 2008 during Sprout's nighttime block, The Good Night Show.

The exclusive, short-form, live-action musical series produced by The Jim Henson Company and 4Kids Entertainment (the property's licensing agent) and commissioned by Sprout, features four soft, cuddly puppets created by L.A.-based artist Jeff Muncy (PET ALIEN) and designed and built by the world-famous Jim Henson's Creature Shop. PAJANIMALS entertains and comforts preschool viewers with original, bedtime-themed songs that focus on typical issues such as sleeping through the night and being comfortable with the lights out.

PAJANIMALS features Sweetpea Sue, a shy, smart pony who never forgets her bedtime routine of brushing her teeth, washing her face and putting on her PJs; Squacky, an excitable duck who sometimes has a hard time settling down at night; Cow Bella, a creative, well-mannered cow with an Italian accent who encourages the rest of the bunch to "do the right thing" around bedtime; and Apollo, an upbeat, optimistic puppy who loves space adventures but experiences separation anxiety.

The Jim Henson Company's co-CEOs Brian Henson and Lisa Henson, as well as Halle Stanford, the Company's senior vice president of children's entertainment, exec produced the project with Muncy and Alex Rockwell (BEAR IN THE BIG BLUE HOUSE). Music is from Michael and Patty Silversher (WINNIE THE POOH, ANIMAL JAM) with lyrics from Rockwell and Judy Rothman (STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE).

Pediatric sleep specialists, family therapists and coauthors of The Sleepeasy Solution, Jill Spivack, LCSW and Jennifer Waldburger, LCSW are the content consultants on the show, lending their expertise to the bedtime themes and song lyrics which cover topics such as encouraging preschoolers to stay in bed, dealing with nightmares, and missing your parents at night.

"Every parent knows that bedtime battles are no fun for anyone and it is our hope that PAJANIMALS will help our young audience transition from daytime into a peaceful evening routine," said Lisa Henson.

"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. "In response, we created our signature nighttime block, The Good Night Show, which helps parents wind down their kids after a busy day ... and PAJANIMALS is the perfect addition to that block. The sweet, loveable characters and instantly contagious songs are sure to resonate with both preschoolers and parents alike."

In addition to PAJANIMALS airing as a short-form musical series on the Sprout linear channel, five 10-minute segments featuring professional, practical sleep advice from Spivack and Waldburger will be available for parents and caregivers of preschoolers on Sprout On Demand.

For additional information on Sprout programs or schedules, visit SproutOnline.com. To find out where Sprout is available in your area, call 1.866.9.SPROUT.

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