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Muppet make-over: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy reintroduced this fall

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The result: viral videos of the Muppets parodying R-rated movies, such as "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Hangover Part II," and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" music video; some of the Muppets stepping into the ring on WWE's "Monday Night Raw"; and a compilation CD featuring classic Muppet songs covered by bands like My Morning Jacket and Andrew Bird.

"Sesame Street," Henson's flagship creation, which is launching its 42nd season this fall, is also expanding its appeal beyond its target preschool demographic: Last year Cookie Monster guest-hosted "Saturday Night Live" with Jeff Bridges; this spring Elmo sang a controversial duet with Katy Perry; and the show launched a YouTube channel geared for adult nostalgia featuring classic clips and celebrity cameos.

The freshening of both former Henson enterprises comes at a time when the traditional divide separating youth entertainment from adult entertainment is shrinking thanks to the troubled economy, which is allowing young adults to hold on to their adolescence longer than their parents did, and the proliferation of home technology, such as sophisticated video-gaming consoles and mobile devices, that not only delivers more around-the-clock entertainment but requires users, even young children, to be both savvy programmers and consumers.

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