As more and more of the world is slowly heading toward the Matrix-like future of existing solely in the Cloud, it’s no surprise that The Jim Henson Company is looking toward the internet for their next venture. Normally that means there’s a 50/50 chance we’d crawl out of the ToughPigs cave to report on it, but we’re intrigued because they’re opening up the show for your suggestions. Yes, you! And me. And your dog, probably.
In the new Amazon Original Pilots program from Amazon, TV producers are submitting animatic reels for shows they’d like to air. Regular folks like us then make comments as to what we think of the shows, suggestions to make them better, and whatever other ideas we might have. The best of the submissions will be picked up for an online-exclusive series, set to start this fall. The Jim Henson Company’s submission is Teeny Tiny Dogs, a preschool show all about small dogs in day care. Admittedly, we’re not exactly the target audience, but it’s still puppets and Henson and we really like it when people actually listen to our opinions, so what the heck.
We spoke to The Jim Henson Company’s Halle Stanford, who also serves as one of the Executive Producers on the show, and she revealed a bit more about the project. The initial idea for a show about dogs came from the memorable scene in the “Secrets of the Muppets” episode of The Jim Henson Hour when Jojo stumbles upon The Organization of Muppet Dogs. With the Muppets’ rich history in dog humor, the concept for the show had a sturdy foundation. Lucky for us, The Jim Henson Company’s YouTube account just uploaded the Organization of Muppet Dogs clip for us to watch and enjoy and compare.
Stanford also told us that although only one puppet appears in the video you’ll watch in a minute, there will be 4 lead characters and at least 15 dog puppets built to fill out the background. Everything will be filmed on the Jim Henson Studios lot in Hollywood, the production will mix and match different puppetry styles, and the cast will hopefully be performed by the puppeteers who worked on the pitch, including John Tartaglia, Bruce Lanoil, Colleen Smith, Victor Yerrid, and Donna Kimball.
If the feedback is good, Amazon will order thirteen 11-minute episodes to air this fall, and you’ll be able to look back and be like, “Hey, I helped make that show!” and it’ll kinda be true, but not really, but kinda!
Click here to watch the animatic pilot for Teeny Tiny Dogs, and then be sure to leave your feedback about the show. We’ve been assured that The Jim Henson Company will take all of your comments into consideration, so if you have some clever feedback, your voice will be heard! And really, isn’t being heard all that the internet is about?
Click here to prefer the rubber Wall Street Journal to the rubber Washington Post on the ToughPigs forum!
by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com