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EM.TV to sell 49.9% of Henson to Dean Valentine

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Dec 24, 2002.

  1. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    It is ? I wasn't aware of that ?
  2. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    It's cool, Luke--I thought you were getting onto me. I tucked my tail!!

    According to the current report at MC News, the value of the JHC is about $125 million, so that would equal out to $500/person if 250,000 people want to get together to buy the company!!

    Unless they include tax in that sale, in which case we may need a few more thousand folks...:(
  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    That scenario sadly is my definition of a 'material breach' and a call for a jihad holy war. So glad that didnt happen!

    Heh, the mouse has it's far reaching tentacles everywhere the world over.

    Who cares. It's convenient and makes sense for some...heck, remember Bitterman in VMM? You need an evil foreign corporation oppressor.

    Being that the Muppets and JHC are such a part of our makeup, fibre, heritage, and lineage...this isnt a bad idea!
    My dream would be for the fans to buyout the 50.1%. EM.TV obviously only cares about the almighty Deutch Mark, so give the fuher what they want.

    Um...well depends what you mean by fans. By casual definition there is probably one billion Muppet fans...I mean how could ya at least not like Sesame street? In 50 years the Muppets have been seen by infinitely more folks than Star Wars, Star Trek, and others combined...but yet their core following remains grossly small and underground. Very odd.

    Btw, you guys are right, that quote from Valentine is pretty comforting...but you know how PR's go. If Valentine's vision is as forward and as aggressive as what Rivkin has been doing, then we're good. However, that 50.1% thing...argggghhhhh!

    Exactly...I remain undetered in declaring 2003 the glorious rise and triumph of the Muppets. I have a clear feeling good thigns are ahead, and finally a move away from the murky past decade can begin.
  4. monkeymuppet

    monkeymuppet Well-Known Member

    I was searching for more information about Valentine and the sell on the internet. He's some random stuff I found.

    While at Disney, Mr. Valentine was responsible for picking such shows as "Home Improvement," "Soul Man," "Recess," "Pepper Ann," running established series and dragging the company (often kicking & screaming) to try more edgy and sophisticated Original for Video Animated productions (OVAs).

    While there Mr. Valentine developed the reputation of being an intelligent, creative executive who respected talented artists and understood their needs in order to create great work.

    ''The Muppets has a great tradition but probably doesn't have the audience it should,'' said Bill Cella, chairman of Interpublic Group's Magna Global. ''The thing is, there's a lot of kids' programming out there. He's going into a very competitive environment.''

    Mr. Valentine views the Jim Henson assets as the basis for a startup production venture whose initial focus would be on direct-to-video releases, the Hollywood Reporter said Dec. 6.
  5. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    Well, I don't know if it's official, but a Reuters article said a person familiar with the matter said EM.TV was separately trying to sell the Creature Shop.

    Which would be a load of $#!+ (sorry). If you're selling Henson, Muppets AND Creature Shop better be included. Although, sorta off-topic, if I absolutely HAD to make a choice between JHC's programming library or their characters and future programs, I wold choose the former 'cause Henson's "best/better" days are clearly behind them. Rambling...
  6. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Perhaps to some...this past 12 years has been a murky one, but I would disagree. I believe the future could be very bright if only they had the right muscle and leadership, and visionary forward thinking behind them.

    As that article pointed out, perhaps Valentine could just be the saviour were looking for. As for the 'video market' stance, that could just be a part of it...nothign wrong with that as long as that is not the focus.

    For those that say the Muppets are old hat, has beens, nostalgia...I say jump off this ship now. Because the future indeed looks bright...its like the Never Ending Story...sure the adventure looked bleak, but with hope...and these great fans, anything is possible.
  7. BoyRaisin2

    BoyRaisin2 Well-Known Member

    I have never really thought of the Muppets as "nostalgia," I'd rather have the pre-1990 shows than the post-1990 shows.

    And I think another thing that needs to be considered (I don't even understand what I'm about to say) is what people mean when they want more, oh what's the right term, "productivity" at Henson. I mean when people say Muppets, do they mean "The Muppets" or "The CLASSIC Muppets/Muppet Show Muppets," the "Muppets," as in well, Muppets, or just more stuff out of The Jim Henson Co. (which itself is sometimes referred to as the Muppets).

    I mean, here in the US anyway, the only Henson show on the air is BITBBH. Sure "Farscape" is coming for its supposedly last season and Animal Jam and the Fox series are coming next year. I mean, is the main focus the Classic Muppets/The Muppets or actually diversing its character portfolio into more brands like Fraggle Rock, BITBBH, Hoobs, what have you. Are we looking for a bigger Classic Muppet presence (which luckily seems to be happening, possibly a factor in EM.TV keeping a stake) or just a bigger Henson/Muppet presence, like we had with Farscape. If the Creature Shop (supposedly it stays at Henson) could do more fantasy projects, that'd be great. I don't the "Muppets" and "Bear..." need to be the only working brands. And I'm not counting "Sesame Street."

    And that's my two cents, and now my wallet's empty...hey that was pretty good.
  8. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member


    i didn't really understand what you said either, to a point...I think we should just be happy that the Muppets are still around! The company could have just dissapated (ooh i doubt that's spelled right) when Henson died. I try not to complain, though i do sometimes, I just remember that we are lucky to still have the Muppets in our lives!-Sarah
  9. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    hey! i just read the latest news thing and Valentine looks like he knows what the muppets need! I think he is a good candidate for the muppets!!!!!-Sarah (who needs to read the news before she opens her mouth)
  10. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Well, it's a fact that EMTV cooked the books, lied about it and hid them from their investors if you go by every article from the Associated Press etc. Now, about internal dealings with Henson - we don't really know any official info, but we know that they are pretty shady. (Thinks of the Nazi on Laugh In) ;)
  11. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    hmm almost makes me think they aren't to be trusted.....just a question. what would happen in they were caught in a scandal like enron what would happen to the muppets? would Valentine get it if the whole 49.9% thing goes through, or would they disappear into obivion....just wondering!
  12. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Two people at the top of the company, and a few executives were involved in that. The company was spread a lot more widely - into a lot of joint ventures with people like Kirch and they had some great people working for them with good intentions. Obviously things haven't looked good from how they've been reported publicly but from what i gather (unofficially of course ;)) they didn't bother Henson that much until towards the end. That said some of the dodgy financial dealing involved their financial projections for Henson so i guess that'll all be coming out in court. I agree with you they haven't been ideal - i'm just saying i don't think they (the company as a whole) set out to handle their ownership of JHC in this way, it's just how events went and the kind of people they had in charge. Sometimes (and i guess the media is to blame for working a stereotyped angle) it just sounds like some war movie's being played out - the dirty Germans and the yankie doodle dandies.

    BTW Froggy, don't underestimate what we know - we are on one of those Muppet internet fan sites y'know ? Remember Kermit in the movie - we know all this kinda stuff ! ;)
  13. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    LOL! I don't think the Muppets have anything to do with EMTV's shady dealings. They are not a factor IMHO. I just object to any such company involved in such swindling to be associated with the Muppets. Wish we could just "Snoop" them. ;) I realize it's only a couple people who were guilty of shady practices, but it was the people running the company. Therefore we can paint the whole corporation that color. I actually know some good people who worked for Enron (I am from Houston and am there right now) but that doesn't mean they are a good or worthy company. So - I agree and disagree with you. It's 2 "crazy Germans" and not a whole company of them - but they did run the company so that's enough for me to write them off.
  14. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    There is no mistaking it...the "Muppet Show" Muppets are the flagship property and cornerstone of JHC. In 50 years there have been 4 major brands: Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and Bear in the Big Blue House.

    Don't think for a moment since JHC doesnt 'own' Sesame anymore it is not Muppet or JHC related...that is all legal technicality, but I will always consider Sesame JHC...and disregard the EM.TV snafu invalid.

    Sadly, a lot of people(not you! but others) are stuck in this idea
    that the Muppets are hasbeens. You see em on here, but they are not real fans...since they are not looking towards the future.
    Yes, the Muppets have not truly been in top form since the last great year of 1989...and ye si thas been a murky and uncertain last decade plus. But I think new times are a coming. But here is the amazing thing...a true testament to JHC and The Muppets.
    They really got the ball rolling to relaunch the Muppet brand into the spotlight. It started reallyw ith Muppetfest, a kind of mecca summit if you will. And since then it's been a really big whirlwind campaign. Now then...what we want is the continual global revolution of evertything JHC.

    Why Disney is now even using patend Creature Shop technology. Some of the biggest films of the last couple years have involved JHC creature shop. Like him or not Elmo remains one of the biggest sellers out there eclipsing even Barney. The Weezer thing really got the Muppet brand out to a larger more 'hip and young' market. Farscape, while cancelled by the sci fi gestapo, remains one of the greatest sci fi shows ever...it's dedicated following illustrates this(sadly not sure how many farscape fans are also hardcore muppet fans, but i digress) This year we saw so many things: LJS commercials, Mastercard, Dennys, Walk of Fame, Nascar, the takeover of Macy's Thanksgiving parade with the Muppets and Sesame, the NBC movie, the figures, etc.

    So despite the uncertainty and financial turmoil of JHC...the Muppet brand and JHC franchises astonishingly continues to flourish. This has hands down been the most productive post 1990 year for The Muppets...and finally I do believe next year will mark their glorious return. For those that balk at Pepe as not a 'real' classic Muppet, or think the Muppets have had their time...I say stay in the past...as the real Muppet fans, while
    reflecting ont he glorious past, are moving on toward the bright future.

    Err, and some of us fans know more than we should;) *whoops*

    GOOD POINT! That actually is the crux of it all...sure the 12 years since 1990 has been mired in financial crisis and uncertainty...but through it all, half a century later the Muppets are here, and coming back stronger than they have been in a long time.
    So yes, for those that write off the Muppets as nostalgic pop culture fodder or kiddy stuff...then they truly have lost sight of the vision, imagination, and wonder.
  15. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    aww i almost beg to differ....other caracters other than the main ones have come through in the past 10-12 years...(especially pepe hehe) we've seen other caracters and develop in great ways! golly i am in a really good mood today all i've done is be nice :D i think well i don't really know what i think!!!!!!!!!! just happy thoughts!
  16. Bean Bunnysan

    Bean Bunnysan Member

    I really hope your right.
    Because its sad to see the muppets get little if any PR, unlike Disney or Hello Kitty gets:(
  17. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    The Henson projections which enabled EMTV to make such a high offer for the company were named as one of those those that Haffa was (allegedly) fiddling, and continued to (allegedly) fiddle back in Germany after the sale. I'm not suggesting Henson people were part of it but it'll all definitely get brought up in court. You haven't heard of the investor meeting where Haffa held up the JHC financial projections for 2002/3 for like 0.23 seconds and then practically wet himself when asked to give people a better look ? :D
  18. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    I don't know what to make of Valentine. One minute he's saying the NBC movie was a good start and he wants to relaunch the franchise; the next he's saying he wants to make Muppet programs because people who grew up with the Muppets "have kids of their own now." In other words, he wants to make the stuff for the kids. Why can no one grasp the concept of FAMILY entertainment anymore? Stuff that's truly for adults and kids? He's also re-emphasizing the direct-to-video stuff. I shudder again. Well, we'll just have to wait and see. Nothing's set in stone yet.

    Taking a cue from Jamie, it's all "very interesting...but schtupid!" ;)

    Regarding the earlier question about Muppet "brands" (I think I can answer this): They may (and should) continue to expand the Muppet universe with new productions like BITBBH. However, that side of the company (with other productions like Hoobs and Mopatop's Shop) has been doing very well anyway. When Valentine talks about needing to revive the "dormant" brand of the Muppets, he's talking about the classic TMS family. We should be seeing more of them in the coming year...and if that's the case, more power to him!
  19. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member


    Well, I think that the new NBC Christmas movie had humor in it that was alot like TMS humor...but without the laugh tracks! If he bases his ideas on how The Muppets should be run on that movie, and even moreso on TMS, he'll be going in the right direction.

    Like I've always said, they need to all sit back, study and investigate what they did in the past, find out what it was that DID make them famous and entertaining, learn from that and those who were there in the early days, and begin again with a modern approach. THEN I think we'll be okay.

  20. Zack the Dog

    Zack the Dog Well-Known Member

    I agree! i don't know what to make of this either...so what? EM TV own"s the rights to fraggle rock and Valentines Day (joke) owns he muppet show? is it like that? and and then we got Disney with BITBBH and CTW with SS but it was always like that.

    I have dreams of a giant Kermit head popping out of the ground and then a Jim henson land popping out under it with all the rights belonging to one company with the extra MFC song rights too. then this giant theme park becomes bigger then Disney and the Muppets are the big name then....oh and also the Jim Henson land is on a floating island and travels all over the world so everyone can go to it and....hmmm, i think i got unrealistic when i got to the giant kermit head, either that or the " bigger then Disney part";-)

    Zack)Rowlf the, hey, it could never happen,Dog.

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