Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We Remember Jerry...

Jerry Juhl
Jerry Juhl
Muppet writer, visionary, inspiration,
creative genius, storyteller, and friend.

Jerry Juhl passed away on
Monday, September 26, 2005.
Our heartfilled love and support
goes out to his family and friends.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Around the World with Kermit

The Muppets Holding Company officially announced today that Kermit the Frog is taking his 50th year celebration on the road with a whirlwind tour of 50 destinations around the globe. The world's most beloved frog will kick off his worldwide adventure on October 14 in the aptly named town of Kermit, Texas. Through the end of 2006, Kermit will meet fans, participate in major events, visit famous attractions, and enjoy local celebrations in 50 destinations.

The globe-hopping star will see renowned monuments such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the Great Wall of China, among others. The frog will touch down at NASA's Johnson Space Center, brave a Frog Leg Festival in Fellsmere, Flordia, as well as run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Other activities will include a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland, a performance with the Rockettes and Kermit's first-ever USO appearance, where he'll bring a smile to service men and women abroad.

"Kermit is truly an international star, with a fan base that reaches thefar corners of the globe," added Dave Burchianti, director of marketing, The Muppets Holding Company. "We're taking Kermit's celebration to places both far and near -- and everywhere in between."

Those who can't meet Kermit frog-to-face along his journey can follow him on this new subpage of Fans will be able to download pictures and videos from Kermit's 50 stops, as well as look at Kermit's "FrogBlog." Kermit will also allow his beloved fans to determine his final destination via an online vote. More news on this globe-hopping journey as it comes in.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Classic Sesame Street DVD Sets - You Can Make Them Happen!

For years fans have been wondering if Sesame Workshop will release classic episodes, or even a collection of the classic segments of Sesame Street on DVD. And for years, the prospect of ever seeing such releases has looked grim. However there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for nostalgic fans. I recently e-mailed Sesame Workshop about releasing the classic material in a box set or other forum – as these types of products are becoming more common and more desired. They responded with some hopeful news.

“...Thank you for your inquiry... Releasing past, "classic" episodes and/or segments in a collective boxed set of DVDs is something we are considering... [We] can keep your email address on file and send you any information when we are ready to make an official release... I hope that this is has been helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact us with further questions, comments, or concerns...”

As of right now, there are no plans for such sets, and there is no news to report on the subject. However with your help, there could be. History has shown us that when a company is considering a release such as this that a little letter can go a long way. By sending a letter, making a phone call, or shooting them an e-mail can show them that there is a demand for a product, and that people want it – and want it now. So I urge everyone to write and call Sesame Workshop and ask for DVD box sets of the “classic” material. Together we can relive, reexperience, and reintroduce ourselves to the Street of the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s. Together we have a voice – let’s have it be heard.

You can call them at: 212-595-3456

You can write them a letter at:
Sesame Workshop
1 Lincoln Plaza (Attention: Classic Sesame on DVD)
New York, NY 10023

You can send an e-mail using their online form: click here!
or send an e-mail to their general in-box at:

The more e-mails and letters, and phone calls they get with interest in “classic” releases the more likely they will do something in response. It takes 1 minute and can make all the difference. So send an e-mail, make a call, or write a letter. Let's get their attention and get the “old” Sesame Street on DVD.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Happy Birthday, Jim!

Happy Birthday,
Jim Henson!

September 24, 1936 - May 16, 1990

Muppet founder, a visionary,
a pioneer, an artist, and a friend.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Muppets Go Mobile

As announced earlier, the Muppets Holding Company has been working on launching new mobile services with the Muppets. Partnering up with a UK Mobile services company, the new site has been launched. The brand new Muppets Mobile website launched with a bunch of official ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers, and more for fans to Muppetize their phones. Along with many classic Muppet songs you can also pick some newly recorded tones with the Muppets saying things like "pick up the phone". There are also great animated screensavers, stunning wallpapers, and more. The features are not compatible with all phones, so be sure to check their list. Be sure to surf on over to the site and take a a look. If you aren't going to purchase (or your phone is not compatible), but you still wanted to see (and hear) all the new things featured, you can because everything can be previewed online for free. Take some time and check it all out here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Muppet Rockumentary!

It was stated by the Hollywood Reporter today, that a mock rock n' roll documentary (or mock rockumentary, if you will) featuring the Muppets is in the works. The Jim Henson Company is reportedly partnering up with Disney's Muppets Holding Co. on a project that sounds a lot like a Muppet takeoff on idea behind 1984's "This Is Spinal Tap". When the Muppets were first sold to Disney, it was stated that the Henson Company has a three-year deal to develop new movies and television projects for Disney - this appears to be one of the first. No information on if this is a TV-special, a feature film, a direct-to-video project, or what. There is no further information on this production at this time, however fans hope that this rocumentary (or should I say mockumentary) features the classic Muppet rock band "Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem. More on this story as it develops.

Henson plans for "Fraggle Rock" Feature Film

Several members of the press have started reporting that the Jim Henson Company’s is in the early stages of creating an all new “Fraggle Rock” feature film. The idea of returning to Fraggle Rock has been floating around ever since the show ended in the ‘80s, but now the Henson Company feels that it the right time to bring the Fraggle’s universe back to life and reintroduce the world to the funny little creatures known as Fraggles. This is exciting and intriguing news -- I did some follow-up with some friends at Henson, and have some information on this project that you may enjoy. Henson responded saying that early work on a Fraggle Rock film is underway.

Henson said in one report, that the project will find the Fraggles having to come out into “outer space” (a.k.a. the human world). The group will have a wild adventure as they find themselves in this weird and wild new world, far away from Fraggle Rock. Henson has also stressed that the story will be aimed at both children and young adults (as they hope to appeal to new young fans, and also the fans that grew up on the show). They also stated that the original Fraggle characters are planned to be the stars of the film. The early work on developing the project is underway within the Henson Company and they hope to start shooting sometime next year.

The company is working to bring back as many of the original Fraggle Rock cast and crew for this project. There is no exact information on who is “on board” at this time, however some rumblings say that Jerry Juhl, Jocelyn Stevenson, Brian Henson, Cheryl Henson, Lisa Henson (among others) have meet to discuss the project on several occasions. Henson states that they are aiming for a 2007 release, however at this point it could change. Henson is also hoping for to make this a theatrically released film; however the project could be reduced to TV-movie or direct-to-video status. No director, writers, or cast have been announced yet.

The idea for a “Fraggle Rock” movie is not a new one; Jim Henson had talked several times with Jerry Juhl about producing a film. However the plans never materialized. Many of the Fraggle creators, cast and crew are excited about the idea of revisiting the world, the themes, and the magic of the show. Although the idea for a Fraggle film is not new, the idea has gained much more support in the last year. Upon selling the Muppets characters to Disney, the Henson Company has been looking at ways to revive some of their other popular creations. In January 2005, Henson co-CEO, Brian Henson said that “the studio's now considering filming new "Fraggle" material”. Since January, internal support for the idea grew. Along with the large response for Fraggle products over the past year (including 6 new DVD releases, including the complete first season), Henson feels that now is a perfect time for a new production. Not only would it appeal to the fans (who are now able to rediscover the classic show on DVD), but a new production could be just the thing to really re-launch the Fraggles and draw in a new generation to the world of the Fraggles.

The company is already working strong to continue and revive many of their popular fantasy-world and sci-fi franchises; however they are also hoping to get back on top by reestablishing their power in children’s, and family entertainment. They hope that a “Fraggle Rock” feature film will be a good step in the right direction – thoughts of even creating a new Fraggle Rock television show have been mentioned (however, Henson wants to see how the response to a new movie is before they start over committing themselves).

I’ll keep you posted with more information on this project as it comes; but the watch out for the return of the rock with an all new “Fraggle Rock” feature film!

(For the full story, read my extended article at

Monday, September 19, 2005

Christmas and the Muppets

With half-a-dozen Christmas productions already under their belts, the Muppets plan to continue to the grand tradition with an all new television special planned to air this holiday season. The plans for an all new Muppet Christmas television special in was announced a few months ago by Chris Curtin, the vice president and general manager of the Muppets.

The special, which is tentatively titled “Kermit’s Christmas Capers”, is planned to air on TV later this year. The Muppets Holding Company is impressed on the overall response the past Muppet Christmas specials and films have gotten from viewers, and they want the Muppets to become part of families’ annual Christmas traditions. Christmas is one of the things the Muppets do best, and Christmas specials are things people love to watch year after year. The special will feature the regular wacky Muppet antics, a touching story, great jokes, heart-filled moments, the obligatory celebrity cameos, and holiday fun that all will enjoy. No further information or details on the production are available at this time. More information on the special, and its debut should be released by Disney later this fall.

The Muppets Holding Company has also been working with Walt Disney Records on a Christmas project. Plans for a Muppet holiday album are set for release this holiday season as well. The exact details and track listing of the album are atill unknown at this time, but many believe that the CD will be the Muppet’s greatest Holiday hits from their past Christmas specials, films, and productions. More details on this endeavor should be available later this fall as well.

(For the full story, read my extended article at

Friday, September 16, 2005

They're The Muppets, and You're Watching Disney Channel!

On Monday I reported that Gonzo was featured in a new Disney Channel identification promo. Since the time of that report some more Disney Channel promos featuring the Muppets have begun airing on Disney Channel. Disney Channel runs a series of channel identification promos featuring Disney stars proclaiming "I'm so-and-so, and you're watching Disney Channel". Then they wave a magical green wand, drawing the Disney Channel logo (the tilted Mickey Mouse Head). In addition to Gonzo, some newly spotted ads feature Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Pepe, and Animal.

As reported earlier, Gonzo's promo shows the weirdo saying, "Hi! I'm the Great Gonzo and You're Watching Disney Channel". He then draws the Disney Channel logo with the wand; soon the wand goes out of control and flies away (with Gonzo holding on) causing him to fly back and forth across the screen (and finally crashing into it). Kermit shows up in a promo for Disney Channel, saying "Hi ho, Kermit the Frog here! And you're watching Disney Channel!" he draws logo and inspects it proudly saying "Mm hmm, nice!". The next new promo features Miss Piggy. The diva declares "I am Miss Piggy, and you are watching Disney Channel!". She gracefully draws logo and then tops it off with her famous line of "Kissy kissy!"

Fozzie appears in a 10-second promo for the channel. He stated "Ahh! I'm Fozzie Bear! And you're watching Disney Channel!" He carefully draws the Disney Channel logo with the wand and rejoices with a classic “Wocka wocka!" Pepe takes the spotlight in the next 10-second promo, declaring, "Hola! My name is Pepe, and you are watching Disney Channel! Hokay?" Then Pepe draws the Disney Channel logo with the wand and laughs happily. The sixth promo ad features the wild Muppet Animal. Animal is shouts "DISNEY! DISNEY!" and just scribbles with the wand and scribbles soon morph into the Disney Channel logo, to which Animal exclaims "Mickey!". Then, in true Animal character, he starts eating the wand!

The promos are played regularly and lasts 10-seconds, predicting exactly when it will play next is impossible so keep your eye on Disney Channel for the Muppets to pop up. So keep your eyes peeled for Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Piggy, Pepe, and Animal telling you that you're watching Disney Channel.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Sesame goes French

Elmo and a new Muppet character named Nac are saying, “Bonjour!” to the children of France. An all new French co-production of Sesame Street is now underway. Co-produced by public broadcaster France 5 and production company Expand-Drama, "5 Rue Sésame" will launch as a daily series in October. Four other new Muppet characters have been developed specifically for the French series.

"5 Rue Sésame", initially comprising of 75 episodes, will feature Muppet, regionally produced live action, and animation segments, along with classic American segment reworked in French. The new Muppet characters include an energetic girl in a wheelchair named Griotte, who will be an active participant in all the fun on the street and will provide positive images of children with disabilities. More than 60 writers, puppeteers, actors, technicians and directors are working on the original French version of Sesame Street.

“France has always been a priority market for Sesame Workshop,” said Gary E. Knell, Sesame Workshop’s President and CEO. “We first provided local programming and licensed products in the 1970s, and have since seen the preschool media landscape evolve tremendously. We are excited to be re-entering the French deliver compelling educational television that serves the needs of today’s children.” American representatives from Sesame Workshop are overseeing the production and providing creative guidance for the series.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Season Two Too?: Part 2 (Fraggle Rock)

Yesterday, I talked about "The Muppet Show - Season 2" DVD, today I have some information on Fraggle Rock's future. It has been 8 days since the impressive “Fraggle Rock: Complete First Season” DVD box set hit store shelves, and already fans are asking “what’s up with season 2?”. The five disc set of the complete first season surpassed expectations of fans who have been campaigning for the show to get a proper DVD treatment for over three years. With such high demand pushing for the sets, HIT Entertainment finally decided to release the first season on DVD, it would seem obvious that if the fans “won” the battle for season 1, that season 2-5 would also eventually come too, right? I mean if their was enough demand for season 1, why wouldn’t there be enough for seasons 2-5? Although season 1 got the DVD treatment, season 2’s fate is harder to predict (even for HIT).

HIT wants to see if all the people who signed the petitions, wrote letters, made calls, and sent e-mail are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Instead of making the decision based on how many people ask for a season set, they can now make it based on how many people actually buy a season set. So the best way to insure that season 2 gets released is to buy season 1…now! Buy copies for friends, buy copies as gifts or collectors items, get friends to buy the season 1 set, help boost sales. The better season 1 does the better HIT will feel about making more season sets.

You are probably wondering how season one is doing. I don’t know for sure, and being that’s it only been out for a little over a week, it’s still hard to tell. But it did rank as high as 31 on’s top selling DVD list - this is a record high for a HIT Entertainment DVD release. And there have been some reports of stores selling out of copies. The set is doing fairly well so far (especially given the overall lack of promotion and press). I think the set will do well, but will it do well enough for HIT to want to do it again with season 2?

HIT has never released a season box set before. This is their first; they are still just getting their feet wet. They don’t want to make a mistake and pump money into a big release like “Season 2” only to see it tank. They want to make sure if they make it, people will buy it (and enough people to justify the costs of production). So give them some time to make up their mind on what they are going to do.

The Jim Henson Company is reportedly backing HIT with the series, and says they hope the other seasons are released in such sets. But HIT is still saying “there is nothing to report yet”, “no decision has been made”, and “it is under consideration”. The producers are really feeling out the market for the season sets.

It took HIT about 9-months to put together the season 1 set, and depending on when they make the decision to move on with the series, and depending on how much additional work has to go into the next season, it could take longer (the earliest season 2 would probably should up would be May/June 2006, but that is being very optimistic).

Aside from “when”, everyone else wants to know “what”; “what will be on the season 2 set?” I don’t know; HIT doesn’t know; no one really knows, because they haven’t started work on the next set yet. However I hope that there are more all-new cast and crew interviews and other goodies placed on there for the fans. There are a ton of other topics they can discuss (from the theme song, to individual episodes, to details looks at the different characters, to the international versions, and everything in between). There are also a ton of related material they can provide to entertain us (from the sing-along videos, to the reworked international Uncle Matt segments, to the alternate openings, concept sketches, and even the animated show). The producers put a lot of work into season 1, let’s hope they continue the treatment when they decide to do season 2.

More information may become available in January - after HIT releases the single-disc Fraggle release “Down in Fraggle Rock” (maybe news will come with the DVD – similar to how the news of season 1 came along with “Live by the Rule of the Rock”). Only time will tell, but for now HIT is just “considering” season 2. With such a big product for HIT (a company that normally releases small single-disc DVDs) they are going to not want to over extend themselves (and they will want to “milk” the big collectors’ item for all they can). They do not want to rush. HIT has the distribution rights to Fraggle Rock until 2009 (and they may end up extending the contract with Henson), so even at a season set per year they could still get the whole show out (season 1 in fall 2005, season 2 in fall 2006, season 3 in fall 2007, season 4 in fall 2008, and season 5 in fall 2009 – plus seasons 4 and 5 are half the size of the other seasons, so a “complete 4th & 5th seasons” set might be how the series ends instead of two separate sets). Only time will tell, but HIT producers say that they don’t want to rush into it and just pump out the next season right away (so don’t expect to see it along with “Down in Fraggle Rock” in January) - maybe next spring/summer, or even next fall.

So, to summarize everything here: HIT is thinking about the subsequent seasons; but there are not set plans yet. When they will make the final decision is unknown. What all the features will be is unknown. I’ll keep you all posted and let you know as soon as I hear anything more about this (and any other) Fraggle title. Until then, just be patient, enjoy season 1, get others to buy the set, and show HIT that they made the right decision (show them that the consumers who demanded season 1 are really there). As Leon the Muppet would say “Buy this Show! Buy! Buy! Buy!” As soon as I hear anything more I’ll let you all know, but there is not much more to report on the subject now – I’ll keep you posted, until then feel free to give HIT a little nudge by sending a letter or e-mail asking for season 2 (it couldn’t hurt).

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Season Two Too?: Part 1 (The Muppet Show)

It has been just 35 days since “The Muppet Show – Season 1: Special Edition” DVD box set hit store shelves, and already fans are asking “what’s up with season 2?”. The four disc set of the complete first season became an instant best seller and surpassed expectations of fans and set producers alike. With such high sales (many stores reportedly sold out of their initial orders half-way through its premiere date, causing Disney not only to scramble to ship more, but also to print more), it would seem obvious that Disney would want to invest in the production of the next season set. I’ve been told by some of the people working on the DVDs that planning and work is underway on “The Muppet Sow –Season 2: Special Edition” DVD box set.

You are probably wondering when we will see such a product, and the simple answer is “we don’t know for sure”. In fact, Disney does not know for sure yet. The producers do not want to rush the release – not only to protect the quality of the sets but also to sustain the market. They do not want the market will become over flooded in new Muppet DVDs; this would not only overwhelm fans and consumers (two came out in August, and four more will be out in November), and they would practically end up competing with themselves. Plus they want to make sure everyone who wants season 1 has a chance to get it and enjoy it before shooting season 2 out at them.

On the other hand, they don’t want to wait too long. The producers are aware that they should “strike while the iron is hot” and keep the sets coming. They don’t want people who bought season one to lose interest in the show, and they know that there is a great demand for more of this show now. With Kermit’s 50th anniversary celebration (which the season 1 set kicked-off) it would only be natural for them to want to ship out another season (or two) in conjunction with big birthday celebration (i.e. sometime in 2006).

So when will season two be released? Well, it is not 100% locked in yet, and until Disney makes an official announcement (which is normally just 2 or 3 months before the actual release of the product) anything could change (heck, they could take all the subsequent seasons off the table completely, if they really wanted). I’ve been told that the goal is to have Season 2 out around the spring of 2006, (March/April/May-ish). However, they may decide to move even later (depending on the overall marketing plan for the series and The Muppets’ work on DVD).

The producers are really feeling out the market for this show, getting feedback on what worked and what needs improvement in the DVD line. Also being that they are doing remastering/restoring along with creating bonus features (Muppet Morsels and whatnot) the sets may take longer than BuenaVista’s other bare minimum slap-it-together season sets (which usually range between 3 to 13 month between sets).

So right now they are predicting a spring release for season 2 (and hopefully season 3 will be here in the fall of ’06; season 6 for Easter ’07; and whole series wrapped-up in time for Christmas ‘07). However this could all change. Nothing is set in stone yet! Nothing has been officially announced or formally released on the subject, this is just their current plan. This could all change!

Aside from “when”, everyone else wants to know “what”; “what will be on the season 2 set?”. Although nothing has been completely locked-in or announced, I have been able to get some information on what is in the works. The producers are remastering and restoring all the episodes (like they did for season 1). So expect a beautiful transfer of video and audio (with UK skits, original openings, ect). I have also been told that they are writing more “Muppet Morsels” (the pop-up triva track), so each episode in season 2 should have a fun flowing stream of information and tidbits for you to enjoy. Rumor has it that the second pilot episode (“The Valentines Show”) and an all new “Jim Henson Retrospective” are under consideration for inclusion too, however this can not be confirmed for sure yet. Also based on form, one would assume that the season 2 promo reel would be included (like the season 1 reel was), however, this is not known for sure. There may be other tricks (and treats) up the producers’ sleeves too, only time will tell what will be on the set for sure. And, as you saw with Season 1, we’ll have to wait until closer to the release for any more solid information.

As many fans will tell you, the season 1 set contained some edits due to legal issues with the music. It is next to impossible to predict what (if anything) would be cut for the subsequent seasons. Disney has stated that they hope to release the show uncut, but in the end some things are just not plausible. Disney does not want to cut the sets, they were upset when they had to do it to season 1 - but it was the only option left. I was insured that they are doing their best to make season 2 uncut, but in the end a lot of stuff is out of their control. Trying to predict if any thing will be cut is impossible (even for Disney) - the final calls on what has to be cut are one of the last decisions made. It would be pointless to start guessing (or even thinking about) what will or will not be cut. But they are working to keep them all uncut (and since season 1 was a success, they may be able to justify a bigger budget to get the other seasons’ needed rights).

So, to summarize everything here: Disney is working on the subsequent seasons; they are coming (eventually). When they will be here for sure is unknown. What all the features will be is unknown at such an early stage. But what we do know is that season 2 is in the works, and the producers are working to give the set the same kind of care, attention, and treatment that Season 1 got (if not better). I’ll keep you all posted and let you know as soon as I hear anything more about this (and any other) Muppet release. Until then, just be patient, and enjoy season 1. As soon as I hear anything more I’ll let you all know, but as of now there is not much more to report on the subject – I’ll keep you posted.

I'll be back tomorrow with "Season Two Too?: Part 2 (Fraggle Rock)".

Monday, September 12, 2005

"I'm the Great Gonzo, and You're Watching Disney Channel"

The Disney Channel runs a series of channel identification promos featuring Disney stars proclaiming "I'm so-and-so, and you're watching Disney Channel". Then they wave a green wand, drawing the Disney Channel logo (the tilted Mickey Mouse Head). The 10-second promos run regularly throughout the day, maybe you’ve seen them. One of the newest additions in the promo series is of Gonzo. The famous Muppet weirdo says, "Hi! I'm the Great Gonzo and You're Watching Disney Channel". He then draws the logo with the wand. But soon the wand goes out of control and flies away (with Gonzo holding on) causing him to fly back and forth across the screen, finally crashing into the camera. The promo is played regularly and lasts about 10-seconds, predicting exactly when it will play next is impossible so keep your eye on Disney Channel for our favorite little whatever. It is unknown if any other Muppet promos were recorded, if any surface I’ll let you know.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jim Henson to be Honored at the Academy

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame honors people who have made outstanding contributions in the arts, sciences or management of television, based upon either cumulative contributions and achievements or a singular contribution or achievement. Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, has gain the honor of a beautiful wall sculpture in his honor that will be displayed at the Television Academy's Hall of Fame Plaza in North Hollywood.

A very handsome likeness of Jim Henson, surrounded by Kermit, Gonzo, Rowlf, and other Muppets will be unveiled in honor of the late Muppet pioneer later this month. The sculpture is said to be in the same style as the Hanna and Barbera presented earlier this year, perhaps even by the same sculptor, Richard Ellis (however the exact details of the sculpture are unknown at this time).

On Wednesday, September 28, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame will be dedicating the wall sculpture honoring Jim Henson. The event will take place at the Hall of Fame Plaza at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Many Henson and Muppet employees, friends, family, and even some characters are slatted to appear to dedicate the sculpture at the unveiling.

This September is full of events honoring Jim Henson. Commemorative US Postage stamps in honor of Jim and the Muppets will be released on September 29, 2005. And on September 14, a book full of Henson’s wisdom and spirit, “It’s not Easy Being Green: and Other Things to Contemplate”, will be released; it is sure to be a lovely tribute to Jim. September is the month of Jim’s Birthday (September 24). Jim would have been 69 in September. 2005 marks the 15th anniversary of his death on May 16.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"America's Next Muppet" mini-series in development

Chris Curtin, vice president and general manager of the Muppets, became a major backer for the idea of a Muppet reality-TV spoof special. A “reality” show pilot pitch was filmed in Los Angeles during the summer of 2004, and shared around the Disney Company. The pilot, which was produced by the Jim Henson Company and reportedly directed by Muppeteer Bill Barretta, was a success with Disney executives.

After making several changes from the pilot’s concept, a deal was established to produce a Muppet mini-series that parodies current reality-TV while showcasing the Muppet magic and characters the world has come to love. According to Chris Curtin, ABC will bring the Muppets back to TV for an all new 6-episode series titled "America's Next Muppet”. The short-run reality-TV spoof is sure to be a fun and entertaining series that Muppet fans will enjoy. The reported premise is that Kermit and the other classic Muppet characters are setting up a talent contest to find the newest member of the legendary Muppet troupe. All kinds of new wacky Muppet characters and wild new Muppet acts will audition for the panel of judges (such as Kermit, Miss Piggy and Gonzo) who will be the reviewing the performances.

“America’s Next Muppet” will be used as a small assessment by The Muppet Holding Company and ABC to see if the Muppets can survive in today’s television market. If “America’s Next Muppet” attracts a crowd, the Muppets may be looking at another entirely new, full-time TV-show in the near future.

“America’s Next Muppet” is tentatively set to air on ABC sometime next year (probably the spring or summer of 2006) – however this could change. There is no further information on the series’ premiere or any further details available at this time.

(For the full story, read my extended article at