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Muppets move to center stage for Movies.com

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Curmudgeons don't come much more lovable than Statler and Waldorf, the grumpy old men who offered unsolicited and witty comments on "The Muppet Show." Now the puppet duo is getting a regular spot on http://www.Movies.com to share their inimitable reviews of upcoming films with online fans.

"Statler and Waldorf -- From the Balcony" kicked off Thursday with their remarks on Friday release "Bewitched" and "War of the Worlds," which opens next Wednesday.

Besides words, the puppets also have the "Snooze-O-Meter" for ranking a movie's interest level between nodding off during the opening credits to staying awake through the whole film.
Dan Sherlock, Movies.com. vp, said Statler and Waldorf did a screen test of sorts during the Oscars. User traffic and feedback was so positive that a regular feature was created.

"It strikes a chord of nostalgia with our target audience, 18-34, who remember the Muppets very well," he said. "After all, who could forget Statler and Waldorf?"

Besides the titular stars, each biweekly episode will feature a different Muppet guest star, such as Pepe the King Prawn (who reviews DVDs in the premiere episode), Rowlf the Dog and other favorites.

"We have access to a variety of the Muppet characters, but obviously certain Muppets lend themselves better to this forum, so we'll be gearing it toward those," Sherlock said.

He added that the initiative is "very much a partnership" with the Muppets Holding Co., so that they work together on such things as scripts and characterizations.

Movies.com and the Muppets are operated by the Walt Disney Co.

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