Happy Hoobidays! PBS KIDS Sprout(SM) Launches New Series Jim Henson's The Hoobs on December 25 - Video and Photos Available

Marks U.S. Debut of Award-Winning Preschool Series Created by The Jim

Henson Company

Dec 12, 2006, 00:00 ET from PBS KIDS Sprout

    PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- PBS KIDS Sprout, the first and
 only 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online
 for kids ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers, is launching the
 award-winning preschool series The Hoobs on December 25 with a "Happy Hooby
 Holidays" marathon from noon - 6 p.m. EST, marking the series' U.S.
 television debut. The Hoobs' Tula and Groove will appear on-air as the
 special guest hosts for the marathon, as they are introduced to the world
 of Sprout where parents and "tiddlypeeps" (the Hooby word for children)
 interact, learn and discover new ideas together. Created by The Jim Henson
 Company and licensed by HIT Entertainment, The Hoobs was Britain's largest
 ever commission of a preschool show from an independent producer when it
 launched in the UK in 2000.
     To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:
     Set in the sunny, colorful Hoobland, The Hoobs are great explorers who
 learn about planet Earth by posing different questions to all the children
 that they encounter along the way. In each episode, they try to find the
 answer to a question which they put into the great Hoobopaedia created by
 Hubba Hubba Hoob back in Hoobland. The four main Hoobs - Tula, Groove, Iver
 and Roma - live in the Hoobmobile and travel to all parts of the world in
 their quest for discovery and learning.
     "The Hoobs' passion for knowledge is contagious," said Andrew Beecham,
 senior vice president of programming, PBS KIDS Sprout. "This age group is
 all about learning and discovery, and The Hoobs encourage preschoolers to
 ask questions, explore new ideas, think creatively and communicate with
     Lisa Henson, co-CEO of The Jim Henson Company, said, "The Hoobs is a
 great example of our company's philosophy to create educational programming
 that is entertaining and engaging for children as well as parents. Young
 audiences around the world have enjoyed learning about the power of being
 curious from The Hoobs and we're thrilled to introduce them to U.S.
 audiences through PBS KIDS Sprout."
     Following the December 25 launch, The Hoobs will air every day at 2:00
 p.m. EST in its regular time slot. Viewers can also ring in the New Year
 with The Hoobs when the "Happy Hooby Holidays" marathon repeats on Sunday,
 January 1 from noon - 6:00 p.m. EST. For more information on The Hoobs and
 other Sprout programs, go to http://www.sproutonline.com.
     About Sprout
     PBS KIDS Sprout(SM), the first and only 24-hour preschool destination
 available on TV, on demand and online for kids ages 2-5 and their parents
 and caregivers, was created as a partnership among Comcast Corporation, the
 country's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications
 products and services; HIT Entertainment, a leading provider of quality
 entertainment for young children; PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), the
 most trusted distributor of award-winning children's programming; and
 Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame
     Since debuting its video on demand (VOD) service in April 2005, PBS
 KIDS Sprout has become the #1 Kids On Demand service, generating over 100
 million orders since launch. The 24-hour digital channel, which launched in
 September 2005 along with the website (http://www.sproutonline.com), is
 available on digital cable and satellite to 20 million committed
 subscribers. The network's program lineup of gold-standard,
 curriculum-based children's shows includes: Sesame Street(R), Bob the
 Builder(TM), Barney & Friends(TM), Thomas & Friends(TM), Angelina
 Ballerina(TM), Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese Cat(TM), Caillou(TM), The
 Berenstain Bears(TM), Jay Jay the Jet Plane(TM), Teletubbies(TM), Dragon
 Tales(TM), Pingu(TM), Make Way For Noddy(TM), Jakers! The Adventures of
 Piggley Winks(TM) and more.
     About HIT Entertainment
     HIT Entertainment, owned by private equity investment group Apax
 Partners since June 2005, is one of the world's leading independent
 children's entertainment producers and rights-owners. HIT's portfolio
 includes internationally renowned children's properties, such as Bob the
 Builder(TM), Barney(TM), Thomas & Friends(TM), Pingu(TM), Rubbadubbers(TM)
 and Angelina Ballerina(TM). HIT acts as a representative for The Wiggles(R)
 in the UK, U.S. and Canada and as worldwide representative for The Jim
 Henson Company's library of classic family brands, including Fraggle
 Rock(TM). HIT also owns the Guinness World Records(TM) publishing and
 television property and Fireman Sam(TM), a joint venture with S4C. Launched
 in 1989, HIT's lines of business span television and video production
 (including studios in the U.S. and the UK), publishing, consumer products
 licensing and live events. With a catalog of more than 1,000 hours of young
 children's programming, HIT sells its shows to more than 240 countries
 worldwide, in more than 40 different languages and has operations in the
 UK, U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Japan. In 2005, the Company joined Comcast
 Corporation, PBS and Sesame Workshop to launch PBS KIDS Sprout(SM), a
 24-hour digital cable channel and VOD service for preschoolers. For more
 information, visit http://www.hitentertainment.com.
     About The Jim Henson Company
     The Jim Henson Company has remained an established leader in family
 entertainment for over 50 years and is recognized worldwide as an innovator
 in puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics. Best known as creators of
 the world famous Muppets (the rights to which are now owned by The Walt
 Disney Company), Henson is the recipient of over 50 Emmy Awards and nine
 Grammy Awards. Credits include the Saturn Award-winning Farscape and the
 features MirrorMask, Five Children and It and Good Boy!. With additional
 locations in New York and London, The Jim Henson Company is headquartered
 in Los Angeles on the historic Charlie Chaplin lot complete with soundstage
 and post-production facilities. The Company is also home to Jim Henson's
 Creature Shop, a pre- eminent character-building and visual effects group
 with international film, television and advertising clients, as well as
 Henson Recording Studios, one of the music industry's top recording
 facilities known for its world-class blend of state of the art and vintage
 equipment. The Company recently launched The Jim Henson Company's Puppet
 Up! - Uncensored, a live puppet improvisational show that has played to
 sold out crowds in Aspen, Hollywood and Edinburgh and premiered as a
 special on TBS. The Company also announced the creation of Jim Henson
 Designs, a merchandise collection inspired by Jim Henson's earliest
 sketches. The Jim Henson Company's website is located at: