Jim Henson's Creature Shop ChallengeAbout

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge is a competition series 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. The contestants compete for a prize worth up to $100,000 including the opportunity for the job of a lifetime - a contract working at the world-renowned Jim Henson’s Creature Shop™.  

Brian Henson, Chairman of The Jim Henson Company and the Creature Shop, will serve as lead judge on the series. He will be joined by additional judges Beth Hathaway (a Creature Fabricator who has worked on such projects as Jurassic Park, The Walking Dead and Edward Scissorhands) and Kirk R. Thatcher (a Creature Designer with credits such as Return of the Jedi, Gremlins and E.T.). Gigi Edgley, best known for her role on Farscape, will serve as host.

Serving as mentors on the series will be world-renowned designer Peter Brooke, mechanization and animatronics master John Criswell and fabrication and artistic specialist Julie Zobel. The three are longtime Creature Shop artists who have dedicated their talents to the Henson legacy. Their tenures with The Jim Henson Company span decades and they bring a specialized knowledge having collaborated directly with Jim Henson himself. Working alongside the creature creators inside their workplace at the Creature Shop, they will be available for consultation and hands-on assistance.

The creative challenges in the series will showcase the fascinating process behind creature building, from conceptual design to sculpting, fabricating and mechanization. Each episode will end with on-set performances involving the elaborate and life-like creations. The creature creators will be tasked to create everything from hand puppets to large-scale theatrical creatures that can master the balance between realism and fantasy.

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge is a production of The Jim Henson Company. Brian Henson will executive produce with his sister Lisa Henson, the company’s CEO. In addition to her time at The Jim Henson Company, Lisa’s prolific career in entertainment includes serving as president for Columbia Pictures where she oversaw films like Men In Black and The People vs. Larry Flint. Before that, she was a production executive at Warner Bros. where she worked on projects like Batman and Lethal Weapon. Lisa is currently in production on the upcoming family film Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. Also serving as executive producers on Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge are Joseph Freed (Little People Big World, Rachael Ray) and Rob Bagshaw (Paradise Hotel, Top Chef Masters, Project Runway All Stars).

Tell us what you think about your favorite NBCU programs by becoming a TV panel member.