There’s a certain feeling that comes to mind when someone mentions the name, Jim Henson. For me it’s comforting, nostalgic, and familiar. I’m guessing many of you have those same feelings. Nowadays The Jim Henson Company is creating a legacy that our kids will look back on with the same fondness. I sat down with Halle Stanford, the Executive Vice President of Children’s Entertainment for The Jim Henson Company for some insights on how they plan to do that.

halle stanford

As I was sitting in her office I couldn’t help but notice how everything on the Henson lot created those same feelings I had about the shows. Halle told me that was also part of the Henson legacy and explained why the history on the studio lot is so important. She also shared how she rose to such a prominent position in children’s television and how hands-on she is in the development of new shows.

The Henson Company actually sold the rights to The Muppets and Sesame Street several years ago. With their 2 biggest properties gone, they found themselves in an exciting position: creating brand new shows that kids would love just as much as the classics. A tall order but from what I can tell, Halle was instrumental in making this happen.

dinosaur train

She leads the Company’s development and production of all preschool and children’s programming for television, home entertainment and digital media in animated and live-action formats. A nine-time Emmy-nominated children’s television producer, she currently serves as an executive producer on the award-winning series Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train, which currently air daily on PBS KIDS® in the U.S. and in multiple markets around the world, as well as Doozers, a CG-animated preschool series inspired by the wildly popular characters from the classic Henson series Fraggle Rock which debuted as the first Hulu Original for kids in 2014 and currently airs on Sprout.

jim henson company

She also talks about the new show she’s developed called Dot, based on Randi Zuckerberg’s popular book. It’s currently also airing on Sprout. And as if that’s not enough, she’s currently in production on the groundbreaking marine biology series Splash and Bubbles for PBS KIDS® and the Netflix Original preschool show Julie’s Greenroom starring award-winning actress Julie Andrews.

splash and bubbles

She is also developing an untitled children’s series based on children’s books from Al Yankovic. Stanford co-authored a book series, “Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters,” a collection of fantastical comedy-adventure stories for girls published by Bloomsbury and currently in series development with Cyber Group Studios.fraggle rock

I had to admit to her that with all these amazing shows to choose from, my favorite has always been Fraggle Rock. It’s probably because the lead girl was named “Red” and that was my nickname growing up. Isn’t it funny what kids relate to in shows? I think that’s why it’s so important to have a wide variety of characters, and stories to expose them to because you never know what they’ll connect with. And if connecting with kids is the goal, I have no doubt Halle and The Jim Henson Company will continue this legacy well into the future.

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