HIT Entertainment is considering buy-out offers due to financial issues in their company. HIT Entertainment is the company that currently holds the distribution and marketing rights to the Jim Henson Family Showcase programming (including Fraggle Rock, Mother Goose Stories, Jim Henson's Animal Show, The Secret Life of Toys, Dog City, Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas, and many more). HIT retains the rights until April 2009; at that point contracts with Henson would need to be filed if they desire to continue the deal. I have been told that all current DVD and merchandise plans should not be affected if any deals take place. After a deal there will still be work, focus and support of the Henson properties by the acquiring owner. In fact many think that a new company may be able to back the Henson programming with even more support, resources, and energy than HIT has been able to in the past year. HIT has been suffering since late August after it issued a profit warning when their net profit dropped 57%.
Among the companies considering the idea of purchasing HIT are Classic Media, and Lions Gate Entertainment. These are all well established companies with a lot of resources and knowledge in producing quality products. Nothing official has been announced and no deals have been made yet. Hopefully the Henson properties don't burred under HIT's other popular properties (Barney, Bob the Builder, Thomas the Tank Engine, The Wiggles, and more). If any deals do take place, I'll be here to tell you all the details, and what it all means to the future of the Henson properties. Although their may be a hick-up in output of stuff while a new company adjusts to their newly aquired company, Henson fans should not worry; this deal should not hurt the Family Showcase programming – if anything it will be helping them get more resources, support, attention, and care. I'll keep you all posted as this story unfolds.