It’s the era of nostalgia and children of the 1980s and 1990s get spoiled on a regular basis with everything from retro products to re-boots of their favorite cartoon, television and film franchises. The theater marquee today can still display retro properties like Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and soon Power Rangers in big budget films.
The latest franchise to be brought back to television will be Jim Henson Company cult classic Fraggle Rock. The announcement came today that HBO is the o the classic puppet-driven series back to the small screen, to the delight of fans everywhere.
It wasn’t long ago that the mult-generational fan-favorite children’s show Sesame Street left PBS for the premium cable pastures of HBO. It was the first Jim Henson classic series to make the move and now it seems that Fraggle Rock has discovered the entrance to cable television, as well, and in high definition. It’s not a terribly surprising turn of events, since Fraggle Rock actually made its original five season American run on HBO from 1983 to 1987. The series, which was co-produced by a british television company, was always intended to be an international series, broadcast in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom etc. It finally hit syndication on the networks by 1988 and enjoyed a new audience of children without premium cable access, which accounted for the vast majority of viewers at the time. The series was popular for a time, even spawning a McDonald’s Happy Meal promotion, along with a variety of products, from books to comics and apparel.
Originally dubbed The Woozles, Fraggle Rock was the brainchild of Jim Henson. He envisioned the series as a focus on friendship and unity, featuring interconnected societies of underground Muppet characters. Henson himself described the series in a 1983 book as “a high-energy, raucous romp.”
The 96-episode series also spawned spinoffs like a short-lived animated series that ran on NBC’s Saturday Morning in 1987 and inclusion of the Fraggle Rock characters in the 1987 television special, A Muppet Family Christmas. Jim Henson was a pioneer and a legend in children’s programming and film, having made puppets come to life in a way that had never been seen before. He is most famous for Sesame Street, The Muppets and Fraggle Rock, but he is also the mind behind the cult classic film Dark Crystal, the 1991 television show Dinosaurs, the Muppet Babies cartoon and the David Bowie helmed 1986 fantasy classic film Labyrinth.
The legacy of Jim Henson lives on through his son Brian and the Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. They have continued Henson’s tradition by building creatures for films like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, MirrorMask, The Hangover and the upcoming film adaptation of the popular Five Nights at Freddy’s video game. The Muppets enjoyed a short-lived revival on ABC and the Syfy Network recently aired a reality contest show called Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge, giving amateur puppet and creature makers the chance to earn a contract to work for the famed company. There are also plans for a Fraggle Rock movie, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, still in development.
There’s no word yet about any extras that may be included or the re-premiere date of the vintage series on HBO. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Fraggle Rock.