Unscripted

Jim Henson Company developing activism-focused content

The Jim Henson Company is aiming to empower six- to 11-year-olds to be active citizens with a new puppet-led series and special. Citizen Squad is a live-action musical one-off that encourages kids to ...
July 18, 2022

The Jim Henson Company is aiming to empower six- to 11-year-olds to be active citizens with a new puppet-led series and special.

Citizen Squad is a live-action musical one-off that encourages kids to change the world for the better, providing them with ways that they can be good citizens in their communities. It features puppet character Mari learning about agency and discovering how even one person can make big changes. The series comes from Rana DiOrio, author of picture book series What Does It Mean to Be…?, and activist Jeannine Harvey, with Kellen Hertz (Tenney) writing.

The prodco is also putting a kid twist on historical figures with History Remixed. This unscripted live-action series features kids sharing real and humorous stories about contemporary figures who have changed the world, acted out by celebrities. Stephanie Burns (Weird But True), of Pennsylvania-based Steve Rotfeld Productions, created the series concept, which is being developed in 22-minute episodes. The first-season volume hasn’t been finalized yet.

Henson is producing both projects to teach kids that they are the future of democratic systems, said TV president Halle Stanford (pictured) in a release. They’ll join several other activism-focused kids shows that have hit the market lately. In 2021, Netflix debuted animated musical series We the People, about rights and responsibilities, and Sesame Workshop released music video Proud of Your Eyes to tackle anti-Asian racism.

By Ryan Tuchow, Kidscreen

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.

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