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Jim Henson fans will be able to dance their cares away once the new year rolls around. Apple TV+ has announced a full-on series reboot of Fraggle Rock, which is subtitled Back to the Rock. The platform's latest collaboration with the Jim Henson Company arrives on the heels of a number of star-studded Fraggle Rock shorts (aptly named Rock On!) that premiered in 2020.
"Jim Henson’s fun-loving, musical Fraggles are back!" reads the official synopsis provided by Apple. "Join Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey, Boober, and new Fraggle friends on hilarious, epic adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world."
Check out the first teaser trailer below:
Showrunners Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson serve as executive producers alongside Lisa Henson, Halle Stanford, John Tartaglia, Yariv Milchan, and Michael Schaefer. Dave Goelz and Karen Prell are co-executive producers, with Harvey Mason Jr. occupying the role of executive music producer.
Speaking with Collider last year, Tartaglia (the voice and puppeteer behind Gobo) revealed that the decision to revive the '80s-era cult classic was mainly a byproduct of the sense of loneliness brought on by endless weeks of COVID-related isolation.
"The Fraggles’ whole message of interconnectedness, spending quality time with each other, appreciating each other and what everyone brings to the table, and how music is such a powerful uniter, all felt very much in tune with what we’re all discovering, being apart, but also still still trying to find ways to be connected," Tartaglia said. "So, of course, when Apple called and was like, 'Would you guys wanna do this?,' we were all like, 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' So, it was really their idea to bring the characters back, and we were so happy to be asked."
He also discussed the possibility of doing a feature film based on the up-and-coming franchise. Henson — who passed away too soon in 1990 at the age 53 — was able to build movies around creations like The Muppets and the Dark Crystal universe, but the cave-dwelling and musically-inclined inhabitants of Fraggle Rock never made it onto the silver screen (the original show ran for a total of five seasons between 1983 and 1987).
"Obviously, there’s proof now that people want the Fraggles, so I think anything is possible now, which is exciting for me . . . Because of the way that we all communicate, with the internet and YouTube, there’s so much more awareness now for the show, than there was, even 10 years ago," Tartaglia added. "And I will say that the movie is still in development. We knew that people were gonna be excited to have the Fraggles back, but I couldn’t have predicted the amazing reaction that these shorts have gotten. People are just so hyped up about it."
Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock lands on Apple TV+ Jan. 21, 2022.