Henson to Boost TV Production

The Jim Henson Co. is looking to get a hand in more network and cable production.

The company, which was built on the foam and cloth backs of such marionette/puppets (i.e., Muppets) as Kermit and Miss Piggy, has hired Eric Poticha as VP, television, and re-hired Halle Stanford as head of kids TV production.

Poticha, who had been VP of movies and miniseries for Fox Television Studios, will develop comedies, dramas and miniseries and TV movies, including Muppets projects for Disney, which owns the rights to the characters that the late puppeteer and TV pioneer Jim Henson parlayed into a TV empire.

Stanford, who formerly headed children's programming for the company, returns after forming children's entertainment consulting company 7 Crows Stories. She helped develop the Frances project, a pre-school program with HIT Entertainment  currently in post-production and featuring proprietary digital puppet technology.

Both will report to co-CEO's and second generation Hensons, Lisa and Brian.

The move comes as the FCC prepares to increase its digital-age requirements for entertaining/educational children's TV shows.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.