Weinsteins Land Bert, Ernie, Cookie Monster, Et Al
The Walt Disney Co. may now own the rights to Kermit and Miss Piggy, but Bob and Harvey Weinstein -- Disney's old nemeses -- now own the rights to distribute the shows featuring Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird. The Weinsteins-controlled Genius Products announced Tuesday that it had entered into a long-term distribution and co-production agreement affecting four Sesame Workshop franchises, including Sesame Street, which premiered in 1969. In a statement, Harvey Weinstein said, "I consider this to be one of the most important acquisitions I've ever been involved with, both on an artistic and commercial level." At the time that Disney bought the Jim Henson Co. in 2004, the companies observed that the transaction did not include the Muppets created for the Sesame Workshop.