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Henson Signs Int’l Broadcast Licensing Deals

The Jim Henson Company has announced a slate of international broadcast license agreements for the company’s masterful, live-action fantasy feature films LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL, and its ingenious science-fiction series, FARSCAPE. All three titles will be offered to international buyers at this year’s MIP-TV.

Press release from The Jim Henson Company:

HOLLYWOOD, CA -- The Jim Henson Company’s Richard Goldsmith, EVP of Global Distribution, has announced a slate of international broadcast license agreements for the company’s masterful, live-action fantasy feature films LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL, and its ingenious science-fiction series, FARSCAPE.  All three titles will be offered to international buyers at this year’s MIP-TV.

“These properties have an incredible level of brand equity with consumers around the globe, which makes them valuable acquisitions for broadcasters everywhere,” said Goldsmith.  “The fan base for LABYRINTH, THE DARK CRYSTAL and FARSCAPE continues to grow with each new generation of young viewers embracing the amazing stories and engaging characters that comprise these films and series.  Broadcast outlets and new media platforms alike are quick to recognize the relevancy and popularity of these ageless Henson titles and are serving the audience by providing the content on multiple platforms.

THE DARK CRYSTAL, distinguished as the first-ever all puppet, full-length feature film, has been licensed in the U.S. to premium cable network Showtime, HD Net and Netflix; as well as to Spain’s SelectaVision; public broadcast network Ceske Televis in the Czech Republic; New Zealand’s pay television service Sky TV; Bolivia’s commercial broadcast network Red Uno and South Africa’s pay television network TopTV.

With 2012 marking the 30th anniversary of this celebrated classic, The Jim Henson Company is currently in development on a highly anticipated sequel to THE DARK CRYSTAL, which the film’s continually growing and loyal fan base supports wholeheartedly.  The 25th Anniversary edition of THE DARK CRYSTAL was released on Blu-ray by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2009.

Directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz, the innovative animatronics and unique soft puppets that star in the film were created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop™. DARK CRYSTAL quickly earned a place in cinematic history as a masterpiece of fantasy and continues to reign as one of the must-see classics of its genre.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary last year, the mesmerizing and enduring fantasy LABYRINTH, produced by The Jim Henson Company and Lucasfilm Ltd. which stars David Bowie and Academy Award-winner Jennifer Connelly, has been licensed in the U.S. to Showtime, HD and Netflix; Spain’s Selectavision, New Zealand’s Sky TV; Russia’s private free-to-air broadcaster TV-3; Hungary’s cable/digital network MTV; public broadcaster HRT (Hvratska Radiotelevizija) inCroatia; satellite network Viasat for airing in Estonia and Latvia and Red Uno in Bolivia.

Praised by film critics and moviegoers alike for its astonishing imagery and distinct characters, LABYRINTH has been celebrated for being wildly ahead of its time and was heralded as a groundbreaking cinematic experience at its release.  Directed by Jim Henson and executive produced by George Lucas, LABYRINTH’s distinct creatures were brought to life by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™, working closely with acclaimed artist and Conceptual Designer Brian Froud.

The film’s dedicated fan base has continued to grow over the years and today fans both young and old can find a vast array of LABYRINTH collectibles at retail outlets, as well as manga-style graphic novels (Return to Labyrinth), board games and a special 2-disc 25th anniversary Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Fusing live-action, state-of-the-art puppetry, prosthetics and CGI animation, FARSCAPE earned the distinction of being “one of television’s best cult shows ever,” according to TV Guide.  The pioneering, award-winning sci-fi series has been licensed in the U.S. to Netflix; pay TV network AXN for Central Europe; Italy’s public broadcaster RAI; Spain’s Selectavision; Russia’s TV3; Viasat in Estonia and Latvia; public broadcaster Seychelles Broadcasting, South Africa’s TopTV, and FX in the UK. The series has also been licensed to Digital Access Russia as part of its internet and mobile subscription video-on-demand offer. Following its US HD Blu-ray release in the U.S. the series will be available to broadcasters for the first time in HD.

Produced by The Jim Henson Company in association with RHI Entertainment, FARSCAPE challenges the senses with mindboggling alien life forms, a record number of dazzling special effects, edge-of-your-seat thrills, irreverent humor and unforgettable characters -- all brought to vibrant life by the creative minds at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™.

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 ascreators 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 HensonAlternative 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.

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.