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 MuppetCentral.com)

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