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    Jim henson updated the muppet show in this hour long series.

    The Jim Henson Hour was modeled after the old Walt Disney Presents specials, in which every week Disney would show off the latest innovations and creations of his production company. At the beginning of each episode, Jim Henson would enter an oddly-decorated set (alongside the lion puppet from his series The Storyteller) and introduce the evening's show. Beyond that, the series never had a set structure.

    Three of the thirteen installments were hour-long mini-movies: The faux film noir "Dog City", narrated by Muppet Rowlf the Dog; "Monster Maker", in which an alienated teenager begins secretly working at a special effects company; and "Living with Dinosaurs", in which a young boy's stuffed Dinosaur comes to life and helps him deal with a troubled family life. Other shows, like "Secrets of the Muppets", went behind the scenes at Henson studios, showing how the Muppets are built and operated.

    Ordinarily, however, the hour was split into two thirty-minute segments. These shows would always start with a modernized variation of The Muppet Show, entitled MuppeTelevision (see below). That would often lead into more serious and sometimes darker content, such as an episode of The Storyteller. Occasionally, a light-hearted story or more Muppet antics would close out the hour.

    The very first episode produced - Sesame StreetÂ… 20 Years & Still Counting - ended up being aired as a lone special at the last minute, for reasons unknown. Henson's series officially premiered a week later.

    MuppeTelevision regularly occupied the first half of The Jim Henson Hour. It was an updated version of the classic series The Muppet Show, the new twist being that the Muppets were now running an entire cable television network rather than a single variety show. Regulars included past favorites Kermit the Frog, The Great Gonzo and Link Hogthrob, in addition to new characters Digit, Leon, Vicki and Waldo C. Graphic.

    Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy appeared only intermittently, as their performer Frank Oz was busy with a directorial career. Miss Piggy did get her own thirty-minute special in one show, called Miss Piggy's Hollywood, in which she and Gonzo tried to interview unwilling celebrities.

    The house band for MuppeTelevision was called Solid Foam, taking the place of the pyschedelic Electric Mayhem band that had appeared in most previous Muppet projects.


    Electric Mayhem regulars Zoot and Animal did eventually creep into Solid Foam. Only Clifford, the purple bass guitarist performed by Kevin Clash, would sustain any existence outside of MuppeTelevision.

    Continuing in The Muppet Show tradition, every episode had a celebrity guest star. Louie Anderson, Ted Danson, Smokey Robinson and k.d. lang were among those who got a chance guest appear in the show's brief run.

    The show frequently acknowledged its own low ratings, with segments offering satirical takes on what viewers would rather watch -- violent movies, ridiculous stunts, etc. In the end, the show produced just thirteen episodes, three of which did not make it to air before cancellation.

    In 1992, children's cable network Nickelodeon aired Secrets of the Muppets, one of the lost episodes. They followed with another unaired episode, Living with Dinosaurs, in 1993. The final hour - a MuppeTelevision installment entitled "Food", and the Storyteller episode "The Three Ravens" - aired in the UK in 1990. It is the only episode of The Jim Henson Hour that was never aired in the US.

    After The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppets would not have another prime-time TV show until Muppets Tonight, seven years later and long-past the death of their creator.

    Today, the MuppeTelevision segments are bundled with the original Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight episodes into a single syndication package.