Picks and Pans Review: Jim Henson's the Ghost of Faffner Hall

updated 09/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HBO (Mon., Sept. 11, 8:30 P.M. ET)

B+

Sadly, Kermit isn't here. Nor is Miss Piggy or (my personal faves) Bert and Ernie. Henson created all new Muppets for this 13-part weekly series designed to give kids an appreciation of music. To read about this daffy show on paper ("a ghost named Fughetta Faffner inhabits the Gothic-style mansion which she built in the mid-19th century as a monument to sound and music") doesn't do it justice.

Henson obviously isn't mellowing. This show includes the Belly Bashers, who pound their stomachs to make music. But he still knows how to delight kids. For mere music lovers, Henson has stacked the deck, getting guest-star appearances from such diverse talents as Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, Bobby McFerrin, Dizzy Gillespie and James Taylor. This one sings.

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