The Muppets of Oz: According to Variety, Alphabet is readying a Muppet-ized version of "The Wizard of Oz" with producers Jim Henson Prods. and Fox TV Studios

Telepic would likely be the first major production to emerge from Disney's deal to take control of Muppets brand and characters (Daily Variety, Feb. 18) -- though the project was actually in the works long before the sale was announced.

Debra Frank and Steven Hayes are writing a script for the pic, which will feature familiar Muppet characters retelling the classic "Wizard of Oz" story. It's possible the movie will include a human character as well, most likely Dorothy, insiders said.

The telepic will be based on the original L. Frank Baum novel "The Wizard of Oz," and not the classic 1939 MGM musical. That means no ruby slippers, and no chance of Miss Piggy belting out "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.