Syfy Greenlights Competition Series ‘Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge’

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The British got a Jim Henson inspired game show, so it’s only fair that we get some puppet fun stateside. Ours will be coming in the form of Syfy’s new reality competition series Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

The series has been greenlit for an 8-episode first season featuring “ten aspiring creature creators competing to out-imagine one another in a series of challenges where they will build everything from mechanical characters to whimsical beasts, bringing high-end inanimate creature designs to life.” Each episode will end with a performance by the creatures the competitors bring to life. Up for grabs is a $100,000 grand prize and a contract working for Henson’s renowned creature shop. The late Jim Henson’s son, Brian Henson will serve as lead judge. The younger Henson’s extensive resume includes roles in Labyrinth and The Storyteller. He also led his father’s shop to new innovative heights with digital puppeteering technology.

“As Face Off, Syfy does with SFX makeup application, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge showcases the incredible imagination and artistry of lifelike creature construction,” said Mark Stern, President of Original Content in a statement. “We are honored to partner with The Jim Henson Company and Brian Henson on this series. The Creature Shop has set the bar for a caliber of work that is unmatched in quality, design and sheer imagination.”

Longtime Henson Shop innovators Peter Brooke, mechanization, animatronics master John Criswell and fabrication and artistic specialist Julie Zobel will serve as mentors.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop is set to premiere in 2014.