The 'Muppet Babies' are back and cuter than ever
The primetime version of The Muppets was apparently a little too grown up for some viewers (the mockumentary sitcom was cancelled by ABC after one season), but Disney is hoping that a revival of Muppet Babies will hit the nostalgia sweet spot for longtime fans and their kids.
SEE ALSO: Kermit, Miss Piggy have first tension-filled interview together since break-up
The new CG-animated series is set to debut on Disney Junior in early 2018, and will feature the playroom antics of Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and Miss Nanny.
The series will be geared towards kids from 4-7, with each episode comprised of two 11-minute stories.
"We are proud, and a little bit giddy, to begin production on our new version of the much-loved 'Muppet Babies.' Parents will delight in seeing their favorite Muppets in the mixed animation style they remember from the original series, and kids will be introduced to this warm and zany world made just right for the Disney Junior audience," said Nancy Kanter, Disney Junior's General Manager and EVP of Original Programming.
The new show is a collaboration between Disney Junior, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media's (DCPI) Content & Media group, and The Muppets Studio.
Disney noted in the show's press release that the decision to revive Muppet Babies was prompted by "the nostalgia, fandom, and demand" that they observed for the property via the digital and social media channels that are run by DCPI's Content & Media group.
Tom Warburton (The 7D) will serve as executive producer, and SpongeBob SquarePants writer Eric Shaw is story editor.
The original, hand-drawn animated series, Jim Henson's Muppet Babies, aired for eight seasons from 1984 to 1991 on CBS.
Fun fact: Full House's Dave Coulier and TV host Howie Mandel lent their voices to the original, both playing Baby Animal and Baby Bunsen at various points over the show's run, while Nanny was played by Barbara Billingsley.
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Conjoined twins from Braidwood successfully separated in New York surgery | abc7chicago.com
NEW YORK (WLS) -- Conjoined twins from Illinois were successfully separated overnight by surgeons in New York. One of the boys came out of surgery early Friday morning. Doctors are still working on his brother.
Jadon and Anias McDonald were born connected at the head 13 months ago. It's a very rare occurrence. Conjoined twins occur once in 200,000 births. They shared 1.5 centimeters of brain tissue.
After a grueling surgery that lasted about 16 and a half hours, Jadon and Anias were separated for the first time in their lives.
The twins' mother, Nicole McDonald, posted an update to her Facebook page around 3:40 a.m. Friday. She said they will be intubated for at least a week and their family is facing a new future.
"We are standing on the brink of a vast unknown," she wrote.
McDonald said Dr. James Goodrich, the world's leading surgeon in craniopagus separation, considered this his most difficult procedure ever. He told her the boys shared about four times more brain tissue than high-tech imaging systems could show.She said there was a point where he debated stopping the whole procedure, because it was just too risky.
"But an opening presented itself and they went for it. It ended up being the right call," McDonald wrote.
With no plan to cut so much tissue, Goodrich made the final cut based on his instinct. McDonald said Anias, who has had more difficulty in the boys' short life, "really got rocked in this procedure. It now is up to God in terms of how he recovers."
Doctors predict he may not be able to move one or both sides of his body, based on the area of brain that was dissected.
"Twenty-four hours ago he was so rambunctious, full of life. God, please give me my baby back," she wrote.
McDonald called Jadon a "rock star" who maintained his vitals through the whole procedure. She posted a photo of Jadon on Facebook around 7:30 a.m., just after hospital staff wheeled him into the Intensive Care Unit.
Nicole; her husband, Christian; their 3-year-old son, Aza; and the twins are originally from Braidwood, Ill., which is about 60 miles southwest of Chicago. The family moved to the Bronx in February, to prepare for the life-changing procedure.
After a huge leap of faith, it's back to taking baby steps from here forward. The boys were essentially reborn Friday. In many ways, they need to start infant development all over again.
A doctor said Friday the boys have been on their backs their entire lives, so they will need to learn motor control and how to take steps after they recover from the operation.
"This is an amazing, amazing family. They come from a small town in Illinois. They moved their entire lives to the Bronx, all for the love of their children, and they're making it work. We're going to keep tabs on them," the doctor said.
This is much welcome news for their family back in Braidwood. They had been waiting anxiously for an update.
"I just never knew that there was that many caring and generous people," said John Taylor, the twins' great grandfather.
"Nicki is so inspirational. She's been my hero. She has inspired so many of us, through her faith, through her dedication," said Debbie Burroughs, a family friend.
The family set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses related to the surgery and future medical needs.
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