'Pajanimals' Head To Sprout

Pre-schooler channel Sprout is headed into co-production of puppet series Pajanimals with The Jim Henson Co. and Northern Ireland-based producer Sixteen South Limited.

The series, about four cuddly musical puppets, will premiere on Sprout this fall as a U.S. exclusive and is being shopped at MIP-TV in Cannes for international television, digital and DVD distribution. Plans are to produce 26 half-hour episodes (or 52 11-minute episodes).

The characters -- Sweetpea Sue the pony, the excitable duck Squacky, the creative cow CowBella and the optimistic puppy Apollo -- were designed and built by Jim Henson's Creature Shop from original concepts by Los Angeles-based toy and clothing designer, artist Jeff Muncy (Pet Alien).

The series will follow the adventures of the four sweet and gentle characters. Through their imaginary journeys, the Pajanimals will model the skills preschoolers need to move through their days and nights successfully. Along the way, they discover how cozy and safe nighttime can really be when accompanied by friendship and songs.

Production will begin immediately in Northern Ireland, with funding assistance from Northern Ireland Screen.