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The Jim Henson Co. are the masters of puppetry, and it’s where the best in the business bring pieces of plastic and fabric to life and bring joy to children and adults alike. Between The Muppets and Sesame Street, generations have been touched by the work of these master puppet makers, and now  they’re opening their doors to find the next great puppeteer.It shouldn’t surprise anyone, that after the success of their SyFy show ” Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge” they’ve decided to return  to television with a show that introduces creators and their lovable creations to a world-wide audience. Find out more after the jump.

NBC is teaming with The Jim Henson Co. and collaborating with The Voice production company Talpa Media and Universal Television Alternative Studios for Top Puppet, a new competition special with the goal of finding the next great puppet act. The show is currently looking for competitors to take part in the special. As of now, the program is being developed as a one-off, single-episode. If it brings in a large viewership, it could lead to a full on season , a-la Face-Off  or America’s Got Talent.

Puppeteers and ventriloquists have been part of NBC’s competition programs before, but they’ve never been given their own show. This special will allow the full spectrum of puppeteering to be displayed, and in addition to the traditional hand puppets, we’ll see giant walkers, marionettes, humanettes, singing hand puppets and yes, ventriloquists.

It’ll be a definite feast for the eyes to see what kind of unique talent comes out for a show like this, along with what kind of characters will become public icons. Of course, the big  questions is, will any signature puppets or puppeteers be involved? As of now, no big names are tied to the projec outside of  Craig Ferguson, who’s been tapped to host the show. That alone is fun on a sandwich bun, given his following experience.

It is safe to assume that one or more of the judges for the competition will be people from The Jim Henson Co., but that remains to be seen. If anything a part of me wants a Muppet as a judge. Is that a little much? I of course think it would make the deliberation more entertaining than ‘The Muppets’ sitcome (yeah I took that pot-shot), and if the show ends up being something kids enjoy, that could add to its appeal.

The only difficult thing about a show like this would be gauging someone who has skills like a Jeff Dunham or a Terry Fator against those who are looking to do work with puppet-centric programming that doesn’t require ventriloquism skills. Of course, as we get more information on the program and what’s to come with it, we’ll keep you informed.

Category: TV

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