Henson teams with Kwame Alexander, Common

EXCLUSIVE: Jelly Bean Dream Machine is a new live-action puppetry series focused on poetry and music.
July 26, 2021

The Jim Henson Company has joined forced with New York Times bestselling poet and Newbery medal-winner Kwame Alexander (pictured) and Oscar-, Grammy- and Emmy-winning musician Common to develop a new series called Jelly Bean Dream Machine.

For kids ages four to eight, the live-action/puppet series follows along with Maya and Ellington, whose dad takes them and their friends on a poetry adventure each weekend in his refurbished school bus. The show explores different types of poetry, including haiku, free verse and rhyming couplets.

Jelly Bean Dream Machine was created by Alexander, who will also executive produce with his Big Sea Entertainment partner Arielle Eckstut. Children’s book author Anne-Marie Stephens is developing the show with Alexander, and will serve as its educational consultant as well. Alexander has been busy in the TV world lately, having recently signed a deal with GBH Kids to create and produce new multiplatform project Acoustic Rooster with the pubcaster.

Jelly Bean Dream Machine is a Henson production, and Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford will executive produce, with animation and mixed media SVP Sidney Clifton leading the project for the prodco.

Marie Cisco and Common are also on board as EPs, with Common doing double duty as the show’s music executive producer, and Randy Preston serving as music director.

Henson underwent some leadership changes in May, when Chris Lytton was promoted to president and COO, taking over the role from Lisa Henson, who is serving as CEO now.

About The Author
Alexandra Whyte is Kidscreen's News & Social Media Editor. Contact her at



Brand Menu