Ashanti Joins Muppets for ‘Oz’ on ABC

Aug 26, 2004  •  Post A Comment

ABC announced Thursday that recording artist Ashanti will star as Dorothy in the original TV movie “The Muppets’ Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as part of its Saturday night franchise “The Wonderful World of Disney.” Ashanti joins Queen Latifah, who is playing Auntie Em, in the modern interpretation of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s book.

The TV film will also feature characters from the Jim Henson Co., which The Walt Disney Co. bought earlier this year. Miss Piggy will take on the roles of all four witches. Kermit the Frog will play the Scarecrow, The Great Gonzo will play the Tin Man and Fozzie Bear will play the Lion.

“The Muppets’ Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is slated to begin production Sept. 20 in Vancouver, British Columbia. An airdate has not been set.

Lisa Henson and Brian Henson are executive producers. Martin Baker and Warren Carr are producers and Bill Baretta and Kristine Belson are co-producers. The telefilm is being directed by Kirk Thatcher (“It’s a Merry Muppet Christmas Movie”) and produced by The Jim Henson Co. in association with Touchstone Television and Muppets Holding Co., the Disney subsidiary responsible for managing the overall Muppets franchise.