'Dance your cares away': Production of new Fraggle Rock series underway in Calgary
CALGARY -- Perhaps a postcard from Uncle Travelling Matt alerted The Jim Henson Company to some of the benefits of filming in Calgary.
As of Monday, production of Fraggle Rock, a new version of the beloved series is officially underway in the city.
Chris Lytton, COO of The Jim Henson Company, says Calgary was an obvious choice for the production given Alberta's "fantastic rebate structure."
"In summer of 2020, with the COVID-pandemic in full swing, the pressure was on for us to find a home where we could produce our green-lit series Fraggle Rock," said Lytton in a statement released Monday. "We were delighted to discover the Calgary Film Centre, a first-class facility that could accommodate our timing."
The company says fans can expect the Fraggle Rock reboot to uphold the same spirit as the original, and will centre on the classic characters of Gobo, Wembley, Red, Boober, Mokey and Uncle Travelling Matt.
Lytton expressed his gratitude to Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alberta's Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer for welcoming the Fraggle Rock production to Calgary.
Both Nenshi and Schweitzer —self-admitted fans of the show — touted the mutually beneficial arrangement.
"It's great news for Calgary and Alberta," said Nenshi."We are very proud of the talent in our film sector here, as well as Calgary's reputation as a world leader in the art of puppetry. How exciting that Jim Henson's vision is being continued right here. I can't wait to see the further adventures of the Fraggles and the Doozers, with a Calgary touch."
"I grew up with Fraggle Rock and I'm excited that a new generation will get to experience a new vision of the show, filmed right here in Calgary," said Schweitzer. "Alberta's plentiful advantages in scenery, location and talent, as well as our Film and Television Tax Credit, mean that we are just scratching the surface of our potential as a global hub for film and television productions."
Fraggle Rock is not the lone production underway in southern Alberta.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 212 confirms several series are currently in production including APTN's Tribal, CBS' Guilty Party starring Kate Beckinsale, a Paramount series called Joe Pickett and the third season of Jann Arden's comedy Jann.