EM.TV merchandising head stays true to old form

BERLIN — Thomas Haffa, head of EM.TV & Merchandising and new owner of the Jim Henson Co., has big plans for Kermit and the gang.

In an interview with German daily the Suddeutsche Zeitung, Haffa said viewers can expect an all-new Muppet show to hit the small screen by next year and expressed a desire to put a Muppet stage show on in every major European city.

“We’d build a theater in Berlin where the Muppets could always have prominent guests on their show. Carlos Santana goes on tour, and he’d make a guest appearance. It would be a great PR gag for Santana and for the Muppets and a grand spectacle for viewers,” explained Haffa.

As for the planned TV show, it is currently under development, and Haffa said it will be very similar to the classic 1970s show, saying it would be a sin to change anything. “Everybody who knows the Muppets loves them for how they were.”

The new show will have Frank Oz, beloved sketches like “Pigs in Space” and the opera ball, Haffa said.

EM.TV is Europe’s biggest family entertainment provider, with a rights catalog of 30,000 half-hour episodes of children’s programming, including regional and international merchandising rights.

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