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New Syfy Series Keeps Up Jim Henson's Legacy THR

The NBCUniversal-owned cable channel Syfy has a new series in the works that will continue the legacy of Muppets creator Jim Henson.

The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports that Syfy ordered an eight-episode run for "Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge,' a reality competition show that will award the winner a $100,000 prize along with a job at the studio.

"Each episode will see 10 contestants competing to build mechanical characters and whimsical beasts and bringing high-end inanimate creature designs to life," THR reports. "Brian Henson, chairman of The Jim Henson Co. and Creature Shop, will serve as the lead judge on the series. Brian Henson is also an award-winning writer, director and producer as well as a creature designer who learned from his father, Jim. His credits include 'Labryinth,' 'The Storyteller,' 'Farscape,' 'Muppets Tonight' and 'Dinosaurs,' among countless others."

Mark Stern, Syfy's president of original content, said: "As 'Face Off' does with SFX makeup application, 'Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge' showcases the incredible imagination and artistry of lifelike creature construction. The Creature Shop has set the bar for a caliber of work that is unmatched in quality, design and sheer imagination."

THR adds: "Designer Peter Brooke, animatronics master John Criswell and fabrication/artistic specialist Julie Zobel -- all fixtures at the Creature Shop -- will serve as mentors on the series."

The story also notes: "Brian Henson will exec produce alongside his sister/Henson Co. CEO Lisa Henson, who during her tenure as Columbia Pictures president oversaw features including 'Men in Black.' Joseph Freed and Rob Bagshaw will also exec produce."

The series is set to roll out during the first quarter of next year.