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)









[12/19/14 - 12:47 PM]
"Whale Wars" Returns to Animal Planet January 2 with a World Premiere Three-Hour Event
Under legal siege, Captain Paul Watson is forced to hand the mission over to youthful veteran Peter Hammarstedt following a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

[12/19/14 - 11:58 AM]
Velocity and Discovery Channel Announce the On Air Team for Barrett-Jackson Live
Coverage begins Tuesday, January 13 from 6-8 PM ET on Discovery Channel and continues through Sunday, January 18 from 2-7 PM ET on Velocity.

[12/19/14 - 10:12 AM]
"Night Will Fall," Revealing the Untold Story of a 1945 Film Detailing Concentration-Camp Atrocities, Debuts Jan. 26, Exclusively on HBO
The film juxtaposes horrific raw footage and scenes from the 1945 documentary with insights from the survivors, the soldiers who liberated them and the filmmakers who recorded these appalling images.

[12/19/14 - 10:02 AM]
USA Network Announces Series Pick-Up for New Drama "Mr. Robot"
The series stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin and Martin Wallstrom.

[12/19/14 - 10:02 AM]
Starz Releases New Video and Image from "Outlander"
The release is part of Starz's 25 Days of #OutlanderOfferings that has been giving fans something extra special for the holidays to get them through the #Droughtlander.

[12/19/14 - 10:00 AM]
AMC Casts International Film Star Daniel Wu as Lead of "Badlands" (WT)
The series tells the story of a ruthless, well-trained warrior named Sunny (Wu) and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.

[12/19/14 - 09:20 AM]
"@midnight" Moves to 11:30 p.m. for Two Weeks Only; Comedy Central Premieres "Ari Shaffir: Paid Regular" and "This Is Not Happening" in January
The premiere episode of "This Is Not Happening" will be available on Amazon Instant Video on January 12 and in the Comedy Central App on January 13.

[12/19/14 - 08:41 AM]
"The People Magazine Awards" Generates NBC's Biggest Audience in Its Slot, Excluding "Peter Pan Live!" and NFL, Since October 23
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, December 18.

[12/19/14 - 08:39 AM]
Emmy(R)-Winning Series "Banshee" Returns for Third Season Jan. 9, Exclusively on Cinemax
New guest stars this season include Denis O'Hare, Chaske Spencer, Tom Pelphrey and Meaghan Rath.

[12/19/14 - 08:25 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: Comedies Power CBS to Top Spot
A repeat "The Big Bang Theory" and a new "Mom" lead the night among adults 18-49.

[12/19/14 - 08:08 AM]
Season Two of "My Big Redneck Family" Premieres Saturday, January 17 at 9 P.M., ET/PT
Tom Arnold is back to host the 13-episode second season as this lovable gang faces more parenting problems, marital misadventures and questionable career moves than ever before.

[12/19/14 - 08:03 AM]
First-Time People's Choice Award Nominee Iggy Azalea and Last Year's People's Choice Award Winner Fall Out Boy to Perform at "People's Choice Awards 2015"
They will join the lineup with recently announced performers Lady Antebellum.

[12/19/14 - 08:00 AM]
FOX's TV Everywhere Content Now Available to More Than 20 Million DirecTV Customers Nationwide
In addition, DirecTV will make the feeds of FX, FXX, FS1, FS2, National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD available for out-of-home streaming on the DirecTV Everywhere platform.

[12/19/14 - 07:28 AM]
Travel Channel's Andrew Zimmern Gives Viewers a Tasty Look at Foods That Define Global Locations on New Series "Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations"
The 13-episode series, an extension of the popular "Bizarre Foods" franchise, takes viewers on an international journey to iconic cities around the world for a taste of their quintessential, not-to-be missed dishes.

[12/19/14 - 07:00 AM]
BBC America's "Broadchurch" Premiere Date Change
Season two will now premiere Wednesday, March 4 at 10:00/9:00c.