The Jim Henson Company announced recently that it’s deep in production of the new digital puppet-animated series Sid the Science Kid. Produced with Los Angeles PBS station, KCET, the 40 half-hour series will premiere September 1 on PBS Kids. Billed as the Henson Company’s first curriculum-based series, the series uses the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, a proprietary technology that allows performers to puppeteer and voice digital characters in real time.
Sid the Science Kid is centered on an inquisitive five-year-old character who tackles ideas found fascinating by typical preschoolers. We’re talking puzzling topics such as ‘Why do bananas go bad?’ and ‘How does my juice box straw work?’
‘The company is buzzing with activity to bring Sid and all of his friends to life and it has been gratifying to get such fantastic support from PBS and its affiliates as well as the retail and licensing community,’ says Lisa Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company and the show’s exec producer. ‘Our puppeteers, artists, computer engineers, writers and staff are looking forward to introducing preschoolers to Sid’s world in September as he explores science topics in true Jim Henson Company style’with wonder, enthusiasm and a healthy dose of humor.’
Kids can also enjoy the little guy’s adventures on the Sid the Science Kid Web site, which will launch simultaneously with the series at pbskids.org/sid. The site will feature three discovery zones: The Super Fab Lab at Sid’s school, the playground, and Sid’s kitchen. Each zone will host numerous games that together encompass all of the series curricular themes. Sid’s site will also feature a child-friendly video player that lets kids view show clips, including songs and real-world segments; easy-to-use mentoring tips for parents, teachers, and caregivers, and a book of printable activities.
‘PBS KIDS has the exceptional opportunity to convey more science, discovery and exploration themes to our preschool audience through Sid the Science Kid,’ says Linda Simensky, senior director of children’s programming at PBS. ‘KCET and The Jim Henson Company’s commitment to providing engaging, educational content to kids is a perfect fit with PBS KIDS and the innovative production technique through the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio is sure to make the show stand out among other children’s series.’
Sid the Science Kid is a co-production of The Jim Henson Company and KCET/Los Angeles for PBS KIDS. Brian Henson, Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Company, along with Bradley Zweig, serve as executive producers. Joyce Campbell is executive producer for KCET. Mary Mazur is executive in charge of production for KCET.The Web site is being produced by KCET New Media which is partnering with multimedia design studio FableVision. For more info, visit www.henson.com.