6:40am PT by Hilary Lewis
Julie Andrews to Star in Netflix Kids Series
Julie Andrews will star in a new Netflix kids series, the streaming service announced Thursday.
Julie's Greenroom, a 13-episode, 30-minute series from the Jim Henson Company, will feature new puppets learning about the performing arts and is set to premiere in early 2017.
Andrews, who will serve as executive producer, created the series with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and Judy Rothman-Rofe.
“This project represents the fulfillment of a long-held dream to educate children about the wonder of the arts," Andrews said in a statement. "I am thrilled to be partnering with my daughter and longtime co-author, Emma, to bring this show to life along with our co-creator, Judy Rothman-Rofe. We could not be more honored to be working with the extraordinary Jim Henson Company. We are equally delighted to be premiering as a Netflix original production."
Added Netflix's director of global kids content Andy Yeatman: “It’s been an incredible treat to work with Julie on this project. This show is all about awakening children's interest in the performing arts while introducing a new era of puppets to the viewers.”
Said Jim Henson Company CEO Lisa Henson: “The best of the best have joined together to bring Julie’s Greenroom to Netflix. Our award-winning director, Tony-nominated puppeteers, Broadway composer and accomplished guest artists, led by the incomparable Julie Andrews, together will inspire kids to explore, appreciate and celebrate all forms of performing arts.”
Julie's Greenroom began filming in May on Long Island. Andrews will play Ms. Julie, the director of the Wellspring Center for the Performing Arts, where she teaches performing arts workshops in the theater and its greenroom. Ms. Julie and her assistant Gus (Giullian Yao Gioiello) will bring the performing arts to a diverse group of new kid puppets, known as the Greenies. Mesmerized by the arts and creativity, the Greenies will create their own show over the course of the season, incorporating mime, music, dance, improv, circus arts, singing and more.
The series will feature a number of well-known guest stars including Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, Joshua Bell, Tituss Burgess, Carol Burnett, Chris Colfer, Robert Fairchild, Josh Groban, David Hyde Pierce, Bill Erwin, Ellie Kemper, Idina Menzel, Tiler Peck and Stomp.
Hamilton and Steve Sauer will executive produce the series alongside Andrews, with Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford serving as exec producers for the Jim Henson Company. Emmy-winning actor and writer Joey Mazzarino is co-producer and director, Tom Keniston serves as producer and Emmy-winner Bill Sherman is the composer.
Julie's Greenroom joins a roster of kids series on Netflix that features several DreamWorks Animation shows including All Hail King Julian and Turbo FAST as well as other children's series such as Inspector Gadget and Popples and the upcoming Beat Bugs, Lalaloopsy, Stretch Armstrong and The Greenhouse. Netflix's order also comes after HBO inked a deal to offer Sesame Street on its various platforms, bringing the long-running children's series to HBO Go and HBO Now. Kids programming has become increasingly important in a multiplatform media universe, with Amazon also launching a number of original children's series.
Watch a video announcing the launch of the series, featuring appearances from some of the Greenies, below.