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August 31, 2015

Could The Muppet Show really return to TV?

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 29th 2008 8:04AM
MuppetAre Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy poised for a comeback? Jason wrote about it in June, and now there's more news if you believe this item from the UK Telegraph. Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper reported that How I Met Your Mother's star Jason Segel has written a script that brings Jim Henson's Muppets to the big screen, setting up a return to television. It sounds like a great idea, but without confirmed sources, I'd take the whole thing with a grain of salt.

Disney owns the rights to the Muppets and they would produce the picture. Segel's story picks up with the Muppets reuniting long after their TV show has ended. They agree to put on one big variety show to save the studio. Should this come off as planned and the film is a hit, the Muppets would then come back to series TV.

Segel's love of puppetry -- and the Muppets in particular -- was on display in his hit film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, in which he not only starred, but wrote the screenplay. One of the funniest sequences in that movie was the vampire musical he created and performed all with puppets.

The Muppet Show was a comedy-variety show with lots of irreverent humor mixed in with music. It ran from 1976 to 1981 and was big hit in syndication, both here and in England. The show lead to half a dozen feature films, including The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppet Christmas Carol, et. al. There's been many other chances for the show to come back before this one. In 2005, an American Idol/Muppet Show was talked about for the very next year. Then, in January 2007, a pilot for a new Muppet Show was shopped as a mini-series, but nothing came of it.

And now there's this. I like Jason Segel a lot. He's very talented and could be the driving force behind this project, however, one key element is missing -- the late Jim Henson. In 2007, Henson Studios denied rumors of a new show, but that was before Segel.

If they're able to put this together, I would like it to be with the blessing of Henson's family and reflect sensibility. Another necessary ingredient must be Frank Oz, a director and voice of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and others.

Finally, anything like this at Disney would surely include the involvement of John Lasseter, the chief creative officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and the guy who directed Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Cars.

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I agree with Sean. Some things are best left alone. Kermit isn't Kermit any more (his recent sightings on tv struck me as being pretty obnoxious) and really, the Muppets had their day, and this is the 21st century. Even the idea of a new movie leaves me kind of cold. As for Jason Segal, doesn't he make R-rated movies? And he wants to make a Muppet movie? Is he serious? Or just nuts?

August 30 2008 at 1:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Muppets lost their soul when Jim Henson passed away. I hate to say it, but Kermit should have been retired. Jim Henson was Kermit. I find the attempts to keep it going fairly sad.

Now, I have no objection to new Muppets being created, perhaps with one reflecting someone else's personality. I would welcome that.

But really, what happens when Frank Oz retires and dies? He is Miss Piggy. How much more do we need?

August 29 2008 at 1:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony Scida

There is a new show/special on the Disney Channel with the muppets, called Studio DC Almost Live.

August 29 2008 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wocca wocca wocca!

August 29 2008 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I certainly hope something new is coming. Maybe those Muppet viral videos were actually meant for something:

August 29 2008 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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