|First aired||April 14, 1989|
|Last aired||July 30, 1989|
|No. of episodes||12|
The Jim Henson Hour was an hour-long prime-time anthology series produced by Jim Henson as a showcase for a variety of Jim Henson Productions' television work. The short-lived series aired over the course of four months in 1989. During this time, nine episodes aired on NBC, at which point the low-rated series was cancelled. Two episodes made their US television premiere as specials on Nickelodeon in 1992 and 1993, and the last episode never aired in the US.
Before the show premiered, Jim Henson created a pitch tape which would be used to sell the concept to a network. This was followed by a short pilot called Inner Tube. In the same time slot a week before the series debuted, the special Sesame Street: 20 and Still Counting aired with the same closing credits font and closing logo as the series proper, and was referred to by critic John J. O'Connor as "really sort of the first installment of The Jim Henson Hour."
The anthology format of The Jim Henson Hour recalled Walt Disney's popular Sunday-night series known under various titles, including Disneyland, Walt Disney Presents and The Wonderful World of Disney. In April 1989, NBC aired The Jim Henson Hour on Friday nights and The Magical World of Disney on Sunday nights.
One of the show's regular segments was "MuppeTelevision," a half-hour comedy-variety show updating the classic Muppet Show. The show also featured regular visits with the StoryTeller, half-hour Muppet specials, and hour-long Creature Shop specials.
In a late 1989 interview with American Film magazine, Henson was asked if he would "try again" with The Jim Henson Hour. "I don't think so," Henson responded. "That was with NBC, and they cancelled us after the fifth show was on the air, so that was a bit of a frustration. Though we had six Emmy nominations from it, the ratings were quite bad. They put us in a time slot that they had been consistently not doing very well in, and we also did not do very well."