Microsoft Enters Exclusive Agreement With Jim Henson Productions, Inc. To Develop Original Family Programming for The Microsoft Network

Jim Henson Productions, Creator of the Muppets, Selects MSN As the Exclusive Online Home for Interactive Projects

LOS ANGELES and REDMOND, Wash. – Jan. 22, 1997 – – MSN TM , The Microsoft Network today announced an exclusive relationshipwith Jim Henson Interactive, a division of Jim Henson Productions, Inc., to develop original interactive programming. The announcement was made jointly by Bob Bejan, executive producer of MSN, Brian Henson, president and chief executive officer of Jim Henson Productions, and Charles Rivkin, president and chief operating officer of Jim Henson Productions.

As part of an exclusive online development agreement, MSN will work with Jim Henson Interactive to create family entertainment programs that will be found only on MSN. The agreement calls for interactive programming that will feature the Muppets
as well as original characters created especially for new online, interactive programs. Both companies expect the first set of shows to debut this summer on MSN.

“We are very excited to be working with Microsoft to redefine the boundaries of interactive entertainment and deliver high-quality family programming for this new medium,”
Brian Henson said.
“MSN is a highly creative environment, and we are certain this is the right place for Jim Henson Interactive.”

The Henson agreement extends the commitment by MSN to delivering original entertainment programming through a broad offering of family- and children-oriented Web shows. The growing list of content development relationships with MSN already includes Paramount Digital Entertainment, Black Entertainment Television and Cobalt Moon, producer of Second City TV.

“Our relationship with Jim Henson Productions is the beginning of a new era in online entertainment and programming,”
Bejan said.
“The concept of a company like Jim Henson Productions coming together with MSN to create great ‘made for the medium’ programming is fantastic. There is a level of collaboration here that has not existed on the Web before.”

Jim Henson Interactive, together with the rest of the creative and technical staff at Jim Henson Productions and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop
, will be responsible for creating the interactive shows featuring the classic Muppets as well as new characters.

The three-year development plan calls for two joint projects in the first year of the agreement, three in the second and four in the third year. Under the agreement, Jim Henson Interactive, in conjunction with MSN, will create home pages for the company’s divisions, including Jim Henson Productions, Jim Henson Pictures and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

About Jim Henson Interactive and Jim Henson Productions Inc.

Jim Henson Interactive was launched in 1994 to produce quality interactive products that combine the Muppets’ unique brand of fun with cutting-edge software designed for family entertainment. Current products include The Muppet CD-ROM: Muppets Inside, available from Starwave; Muppet Treasure Island, available from Activision; Muppet/Brighter Child software series, available from Brighter Child Interactive; The Muppet Calendar, available from Softkey, which also includes a Muppet screen saver; and Muppets on the Go, available from Sega.

Jim Henson Productions, an established leader in family entertainment for more than 40 years, is an independent multimedia productions company; one of the top character licensers in the industry; a leading publisher of children’s books; and home to Jim Henson Pictures and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Jim Henson Productions is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices and production facilities in New York and London.

About MSN and Microsoft

MSN is the third-largest online service worldwide, offering high-quality information, entertainment and communications on the Internet. With the new Web-based version launched in December 1996, MSN also makes available hundreds of special-interest bulletin boards and such online services, programming, and Web shows as the Microsoft® Encarta® multimedia encyclopedia, the Expedia
travel service, Star Trek: Continuum
, Slate
online magazine, the CarPoint
online car-buying guide, and up-to-date news and information from MSNBC News. The MSN home page can be reached at ( . An MSN CD with a free* one-month unlimited trial can be obtained by calling (800) FREE-MSN (373-3676).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, MSN, Encarta, Expedia, Slate and Carpoint are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Muppets and Jim Henson’s Creature Shop are trademarks of Jim Henson Productions, Inc.

StarTrek: Continuum is a trademark of Paramount Pictures.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

The Microsoft Network is operated by Microsoft Corp. on behalf of Microsoft Network LLC.

Note to editors : If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

*One-month free trial is available to new MSN members in the United States or Canada only. A credit card is required. MSN premium charges, access charges (if access is purchased from a provider other than MSN), long-distance or toll charges may apply. Offer expires Dec. 31, 1997

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