The Great Muppet … War?

The Muppets and Sesame Street face off in new episodes and updated storylines, all airing beginning in the fall. Time Warner took over the rights for Sesame Street and will be airing new episodes on HBO while Disney has the rights to The Muppets and will be airing new 30-minute programs on ABC-TV.

All those fuzzy characters teaching and joking, laughing, grouching, and in general having a Muppet good time. This should make for some interesting rating battles as they square off while also building on each other’s hype. Every Muppet is a creation of the late Jim Henson and his studio. The original Muppet, Kermit the Frog, has appeared in both series and movies for The Muppets and was a frequent guest on Sesame Street. He’s not alone. Many of the characters have spent time on both sets, so the fuzzy frenzy coming up should make for some really fun PR.

Kermit recently announced at an ABC press conference that he and Miss Piggy have broken up, and the new show may make for some difficult moments. Kermit mildly asked, “I don’t know if you’ve ever dated a pig before ….” Oh, the fun there is to be had as the lead up to these series gets into full PR swing.

The original Muppets series spoofed the many variety shows of the 70’s and 80’s. The new Muppets is a little edgier and spoofs behind the scenes of late night talk shows. Just in time for all the new and newer hosts of current late night talk shows to be a bit of friendly fodder in their quest for ratings.

HBO’s version of Sesame Street will continue with the characters children have grown to love since it originally hit PBS channels in 1969. But HBO will double the number of shows in production, create a spinoff from the original show and make the episodes available on the web. That’s a pretty big step up for a Muppet monster hit show.

All we can say is we’re looking forward to seeing more of Kermit, Fozzy, Grover, Cookie, Big Bird and all the other favorites from both shows. We can’t wait to see the next round of press releases about developments in the characters’ lives and relationships. From this day forward, the letters of the day on Sesame Street are “P” and “R”.

Ronn Torossian is the founder of New York based Public Relations firm, 5W PR.