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)











[10/23/14 - 06:20 PM]
ABC Gives Additional Episodes to Eight Series
Among the pickups: Wednesday comedies "The Middle," "The Goldbergs," "Modern Family" and "Black-ish," all of which will now produce 24 episodes this season.

[10/23/14 - 02:43 PM]
Video: "The Americans" - Flying Colors
FX releases its first tease of the new season, premiering in January.

[10/23/14 - 01:40 PM]
World Series Game 2 Powers FOX to Second-Straight Prime Time Victory
FOX Sports spins the numbers for Wednesday, October 22.

[10/23/14 - 12:53 PM]
CBS News Announces 2014 Election Coverage
Look for a special one-hour broadcast at 10:00 PM, ET/PT on Tuesday, November 4.

[10/23/14 - 12:33 PM]
A New Cast of Characters Is Ready to Join the Party When "Party Down South 2" Premieres Thursday, November 20 at 9 P.M., ET/PT
Marking the beginning of a franchise for the hit series, the one-hour, 12-episode season follows this rowdy group of eight as they arrive in Biloxi, Miss. ready to shotgun the summer.

[10/23/14 - 12:20 PM]
Discovery Channel Serves Up Global Multiplatform Experience & Content as Fans Count Down to "Skyscraper Live with Nik Wallenda"
Discovery has launched SkyscraperLive.com, a global digital destination available in 60 countries and 14 languages, taking viewers to the edge of all of the heart-pounding excitement.

[10/23/14 - 12:11 PM]
Football Helps ESPN Win the Night 11 Times among all Viewers
ESPN spins the numbers for the season to date.

[10/23/14 - 11:00 AM]
Additional Talent Confirmed for "The Concert for Valor," To Be Presented Live on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, Nov. 11
New additions to the live music lineup include The Black Keys and Jessie J.

[10/23/14 - 11:00 AM]
Courtney Love Joins "Empire" on FOX - Singer-Songwriter/Musician/Actress to Appear as Recurring Guest Star
She'll play a hard rock powerhouse, who is part of Empire Entertainment's stable of artists.

[10/23/14 - 10:42 AM]
WE tv's Scripted Supernatural Thriller, "South of Hell," Begins Production in Charleston, SC - Mena Suvari Cast in Lead Role
Zachary Booth, Bill Irwin, Drew Moerlein, Lamman Rucker and Paulina Singer will also star in the eight-episode series, which will premiere in 2015.

[10/23/14 - 10:41 AM]
"The Tonight Show" Defeats ABC, CBS Late-Night Competition in 18-49, Total Viewers for Week of Oct. 13-17
NBC spins the numbers for the week of October 13-17.

[10/23/14 - 10:24 AM]
LMN Presents New Original Documentary "Footsteps in the Snow" Premiering Wednesday, November 12 at 8PM ET
Weaving together the gripping tale dating back to 1957, the two-hour special recounts the chilling story of the coldest case in American history ever to be solved - the murder of Maria Ridulph.

[10/23/14 - 10:22 AM]
Get Real Stories About Life Beyond the Spotlight from Former Reality Show Phenoms When "True Hollywood Story: Life After Reality" Premieres This Thursday, October 23rd @ 8:00PM ET/PT on E!
Tila Tequila, Jay McCarroll, Megan Hauserman, Terry Fator and Tracy DiMarco Epstein are among those featured in the one-hour special.

[10/23/14 - 10:17 AM]
"House of Lies" Welcomes Mary McCormack and Alicia Witt
McCormack will play Denna Altshuler, a tough, highly successful white knight investor who Marty (Don Cheadle) recruits to help save Kaan & Associates.

[10/23/14 - 09:48 AM]
Video: Pop Group Sensation Fifth Harmony Performs a Remix of New Kids on the Block "The Right Stuff" on an All-New "Faking It" Airing Tuesday, October 28 at 10:30 P.M. ET/PT on MTV
In the episode, Shane, Amy and Lauren attend an underground dance party where an all-girl band takes center stage.