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Netflix Sets ‘Julie’s Greenroom’ Preschool Series From Julie Andrews, Jim Henson Co.

Netflix is taking aim at “Sesame Street’s” turf in a deal with Julie Andrews and the Jim Henson Co. for a live-action series about the arts aimed at the preschool demo.

“Julie’s Greenroom” is designed to introduce pint-size viewers to various aspects of the performing arts. Andrews will play the leader of a performing arts company who works with a host of new puppet characters created by the Henson Co.

The series, which began lensing in New York last month, will feature original music and guest stars including Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, Joshua Bell, Tituss Burgess, Carol Burnett, Chris Colfer, Robert Fairchild, Josh Groban, David Hyde Pierce, Bill Irwin, Ellie Kemper and Idina Menzel. Netflix has ordered 13 half-hour episodes that are set to debut early next year.

Andrews created the series with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and Judy Rothman-Rofe. Andrews, Hamilton and Rothman-Rofe have penned a series of children’s books in recent years.

The puppet troupe on “Julie’s Greenroom” will be known as the Greenies. Andrews’ Miss Julie character will work with the youthful puppets throughout the season to create a stage show that incorporates mime, music, dance, improv, circus arts and singing.

“This project represents the fulfilment of a long held dream to educate children about the wonder of the arts,” Andrews said in announcing the show.

The high-wattage talent assembled for “Julie’s Greenroom” underscores the investment that Netflix has made in kidvid in order to keep its subscribers happy with a broad menu of programming beyond the adult-oriented movies, TV series and library shows.

“It’s been such an incredible treat to work with Julie on this project,” said Andy Yeatman, Netflix’s director of global kids content. “This show is all about awakening children’s interest in the performing arts while introducing a new era of puppets to the viewers.”

Children’s programming is a competitive arena among premium nets Netflix, Amazon and HBO. HBO made headlines last year by cutting a  groundbreaking deal to gain exclusive rights to new episodes of the venerable “Sesame Street” franchise, while still allowing the show to maintain its presence on PBS.

Jim Henson Co., of course, is the shop behind “Sesame Street’s” beloved Muppet characters. Netflix will undoubtedly be a strong platform for showing off the company’s latest creations.

“The best of the best have joined together to bring ‘Julie’s Greenroom’ to Netflix,” said Henson Co. CEO Lisa Henson.

Jim Henson Co. is the production entity behind “Julie’s Greenroom. Andrews, Hamilton and Lisa Henson are exec producers with and Steve Sauer and Halle Stanford. Joey Mazzarino is co-producer and director, Tom Keniston is producer. Bill Sherman will serve as the series’ composer.

 

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