or


[08/26/04 - 12:00 AM]
The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz' Release

[via press release from ABC]

GRAMMY AWARD WINNER ASHANTI IS SET TO STAR ALONG WITH KERMIT THE FROG, MISS PIGGY AND THE WHOLE GANG IN "THE MUPPETS' WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ" (wt)

Academy Award Nominee Queen Latifah to Star as "Auntie Em"

Academy Award Winner Quentin Tarantino Set to Make Hilarious Cameo as Himself

Production to Begin in September

International R&B super star Ashanti is set to make her leading lady debut as "Dorothy" in the original telefilm, "The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz," for the ABC Television Network. Joining her in this madcap adventure movie are actress/rapper/producer superstar Queen Latifah ("Chicago," "Barbershop 2") as her beloved guardian "Auntie Em" and action film master, director Quentin Tarrantino ("Kill Bill," vols. 1 and 2) in a cameo as himself. "The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is slated to begin production in Vancouver, BC on September 20 and will air in the 2004-05 season as part of the hit family franchise, "The Wonderful World of Disney."

Of course the biggest star in the telefilm - she's absolutely certain - is Miss Piggy, who will take on the roles of all four witches: Wicked Witch of the East, Wicked Witch of the West, the Good Witch of the North and Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Kermit the Frog is the Scarecrow, in search of a brain; The Great Gonzo is the Tin Man, in search of his heart, and Fozzie Bear is the Lion looking for some courage. Pepe the King Prawn takes on the role of Toto, Dorothy's constant - and constantly chattering - sidekick.

"We're excited to be working with these award-winning and talented artists on our first project since the Muppets joined The Walt Disney Company earlier this year," said Chris Curtin, general manager and vice president, Muppet Holding Company. "I know that Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppet gang, together with Ashanti and Queen Latifah, will certainly add a one-of-a-kind twist to this classic story and will entertain and inspire television audiences everywhere."

Based on the book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum, the Muppets version gives the story a couple of twists and tweaks without ever losing the central meaning of the classic story. Contemporary teenage Dorothy is a girl with dreams of showbiz that seem far from coming true in the Kansas trailer park where she lives. When she's transported to the magical land of Oz, she joins with the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion to fight the Wicked Witch of the West and journey to the Wizard, who, she hopes, will make her a star!

The last Muppets telefilm, "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie," won its time-slot with a 3.8 rating and over 11 million viewers. The numbers are just as impressive for Ashanti. In 2002 her debut album, "Ashanti," topped the Billboard Album Chart and also won the Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album. Her follow-up release, "Chapter II," debuted in the no. 1 slot on the Billboard Album Chart and spawned two Top-10 singles. She is certainly no stranger to television, having performed on virtually every music awards show from the American Music Awards to the Grammys, the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Europe Awards, the Soul Train Awards and the Kids' Choice Awards.

"This one movie brings together three of entertainment's most recognizable franchises," said Quinn Taylor, senior vice president, Motion Pictures for Television and Miniseries, ABC Primetime Entertainment. "'The Wonderful World of Disney," the Muppets and the story of 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.' It's thrilling to have a project where there is something to motivate literally every single demographic to watch."

Lisa Henson and Brian Henson are executive producers of "The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz." Martin G. Baker and Warren Carr are producers and Bill Baretta and Kristine Belson are co-producers. The telefilm is being directed by Kirk R. Thatcher ("It's a Very Muppets Christmas Movie.)" "The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is being produced by The Jim Henson Company in association with Touchstone Television and Muppets Holding Company, the Disney subsidiary responsible for managing the overall Muppets franchise.





  [august 2004]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S


· IT'S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE (NBC)
· MUPPETS' WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ (ABC)
· WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY, THE (ABC)





[07/30/14 - 01:05 PM]
American Heroes Channel New Original Series "Hardcore Heroes" Showcases Extraordinary Feats by Everyday People
Premiering Wednesday, August 6, this action-packed series follows these courageous fighters as they battle the elements, save hundreds of lives, and ultimately, change the course of history forever.

[07/30/14 - 12:45 PM]
ESPN's Dan Shulman, John Kruk to Call "Sunday Night Baseball" atop Green Monster at Fenway Park Aug 3
The duo will be joined by ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney who will provide reports from the field.

[07/30/14 - 12:38 PM]
Discovery's Hit Series "Bering Sea Gold" Returns for Its Fourth Season with Crews Battling Against Extreme Conditions and Each Other for the Ultimate Payout
The series returns Friday, August 22 at 9:00/8:00c on the cable channel.

[07/30/14 - 12:00 PM]
TNT Renews Real-Life Crime Series "Cold Justice" for Third Season
Season three is slated for early 2015 and will feature both new states and types of cases never seen on the show before.

[07/30/14 - 10:51 AM]
Paramount Digital Entertainment Announces New Original Comedy Series "Resident Advisors" Produced by Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman
The series will star Ryan Hansen, Jamie Chung, Alison Rich, Andrew Bachelor, Graham Rogers and features Anna Camp.

[07/30/14 - 10:30 AM]
LMN Premieres the Second Season of the Original Series "Ghost Inside My Child" Saturday, August 16 at 9PM ET
The series features stories of children who claim to have lived before, often having died violently in a past life, and whose parents struggle to make sense of their child's memories of a former life.

[07/30/14 - 09:59 AM]
First Lady Michelle Obama to Guest Star on the Hub Network's "Kid President(R): Declaration of Awesome" Discussing the Importance of Healthy Eating and Exercise, Airing August 9
The episode also includes celebrity appearances by Christina Applegate, Reggie Watts, Carrie Brownstein and the PS22 Chorus from New York.

[07/30/14 - 09:43 AM]
"Squidbillies" and "Mr. Pickles" Debut September 21st on Adult Swim!
These two series are guaranteed to leave you loving Sunday night and hating Monday morning even more than you already do!

[07/30/14 - 08:51 AM]
NBC Wins Tuesday Night in 18-49 and Total Viewers Among the Big 4
NBC spins the numbers for Tuesday, July 29.

[07/30/14 - 08:41 AM]
"Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart," Exploring the Role of the Media in the First Murder Trial Televised Gavel-to-Gavel, Debuts Aug. 18 on HBO
An official selection of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, the project explores how the media coverage of the case may have influenced the trial and sentencing.

[07/30/14 - 08:24 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: "America's Got Talent" Keeps NBC on Top
The Peacock doubles second place ABC among adults 18-49.

[07/30/14 - 08:17 AM]
"Baseball Tonight": Trade Deadline Special Airs Thursday
ESPN.com's MLB trade deadline content will be headlined by Rumor Central and a live, interactive chat with ESPN Insiders beginning at 10 a.m. and running through 5 p.m.

[07/30/14 - 08:16 AM]
ABC's Tuesday Unscripted Series Grow - "Extreme Weight Loss" Ties a 2-Month High
ABC spins the numbers for Tuesday, July 29.

[07/30/14 - 07:58 AM]
NBCSN Is TV's Fastest Growing Sports Network Since Debut of Premier League on August 17, 2013
NBCSN spins the numbers for the past 50 weeks to date.

[07/30/14 - 07:37 AM]
Giants and Bills Kick Off Preseason in NFL/Hall of Fame Game on "Sunday Night Football" This Sunday at 8 PM ET
Sunday night's telecast will also feature live interviews with members of the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of 2014.