Is Disney rebooting The Muppet Show? A pilot episode is in the works

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Ever since Disney bought the rights to The Muppets from the Jim Henson Company, there has been a call from fans to bring the Muppets back to prime time TV with a new variety show. There’s a whole new generation just waiting to see their generation’s celebrities creatively collaborating with Jim Henson’s creations.

So there was more than a little excitement when ABC announced today that it has approved a budget for a pilot episode for a revival of The Muppet Show. Details are scarce, but we have learned that Bill Prady, co-creator of the wildly successful sit-com The Big Bang Theory, is lined up as Executive Producer and co-writer. Prady is family with The Muppets having written for a number of their specials over the year.

Bob Kushell (Anger Management) will be the showrunner. Randall Einhorn will be directing the pilot. He’s worked on a lot of recent sit-coms including The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Modern Family).

So far there’s no official name announced for the new show, but look for a lot more info on the show as soon as the upfronts for potential advertisers in May.

This would actually the second attempt to bring The Muppets back to prime time TV. The 1996 series “Muppets Tonight” only lasted 10 episodes before being canceled. Do you think this new version will do better?

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3 thoughts on “Is Disney rebooting The Muppet Show? A pilot episode is in the works

  1. Tom

    The most promising rumor/report I’ve read so far was I think on Deadline, where it spoke of the new show being more in the genre of a “late-night talk show”. And i think that sort of fresh take on the old Muppet variety show would not only work today but actually be needed to survive.
    The original Muppet Shows did the whole “variety show” shtick that was popular on tv a long time ago. But this is a new generation. Variety shows are long dead. And imagining the Muppets were actual people, you ask, what sort of show would Kermit and the gang actually put on in the modern day tv world? A late night talk show sounds perfect. Real stars could come on, and obviously the emphasis would be about all the behind the scenes shennanigans with the rest of the muppets.

    Also, it being on ABC primetime instead of Disney Channel is a really really good and promising start IMO.

  2. Disney Mike

    I love the Muppets. I really do. But Kermit just isn’t right without Jim Henson. I guess for people younger than about 35, that’s not really an issue, though.

    The idea of a variety show isn’t so far-fetched, if they do it right. Think of Robot/Chicken, rather than Carol Burnett. The parodies and sketches are just too good to give up for a different format, like a talk show.

  3. Mr. Sig

    And let’s not forget that they have to keep it family-oriented. I know Jim Henson never worked on anything similar to shows with a heavy reliance on innuendos and crass material, which is why I idolize him.

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