Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Muppets Assemble a Slate of Specials

Disney is planning a set of Muppets TV specials slated to air this fall, and a new holiday special for next Christmas – all leading up to an all-new theatrical film.

As previously reported, a second "Studio DC" special is already slated to air on the Disney Channel in October 2008. The special, a follow-up to last month's "Studio DC: Almost Live", is aimed at introducing teens and "tweens" to the Muppet characters by pairing the characters with such Disney Channel stars as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and the Cheetah Girls.

Now for the more grown-up fans, the Muppet are working on another television special which will focus on politics, patriotism and presidential polling. Muppet Studios is currently planning a prime-time Election Special starring the Muppets. This all-new television special will air in November 2008, just in time to coincide with the 2008 presidential election.

But that’s not all! Disney is also developing a brand-new Christmas Special starring the Muppets as well. The studio is planning this special for a Christmas 2009 release. While the details of this special are being kept under wraps (as release is over a year away), I have been told that Disney is hoping that this all-new holiday extravaganza will become an enduring holiday classic that families can enjoy year after year.

And remember all the rumblings of a new Muppet movie that surfaced this past spring? Well, I've been told that all these television projects are planned to lead up to the big theatrical event. Disney executives are currently looking at a 2010 release for the Muppets' next big screen adventure. The new film, written by Jason Segel and Nick Stoller, will feature the Muppets reuniting to put on a big show.

All of these projects are in various stages of development and production; and I will be sure to keep you all updated with more information on all of these exciting new projects as soon as more details become available.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, what I'VE heard is that the Disney DC special underperformed and that Disney is re-thinking its plans via the Muppets. The logic being: if Hannah Montana can't help them, who can? Whatever, but the Muppets must have one hell of a press agent filling your ear.

Anonymous said...

This is all wonderful news!, and I will believe all of it when I see it.

KINGCRAB1 said...

Well, what I'VE heard is that the Disney DC special underperformed and that Disney is re-thinking its plans via the Muppets. The logic being: if Hannah Montana can't help them, who can? Whatever, but the Muppets must have one hell of a press agent filling your ear.

Sorry Anonymous #1, but what you heard doggone wrong!

Anyway, I agree that this is all wonderful news...and a great time to be a Muppet fan, since they've really been getting busy again with all the new stuff that they've doing lately already (Studio DC, Muppets.com, the viral videos on YouTube, etc.)

Anonymous said...

What about the vampire TV show the Muppets are doing? Disney executives have been talking about it, but I can't lock down a release date.

Anonymous said...

**Well, what I'VE heard is that the Disney DC special underperformed and that Disney is re-thinking its plans via the Muppets. The logic being: if Hannah Montana can't help them, who can? Whatever, but the Muppets must have one hell of a press agent filling your ear.

Sorry Anonymous #1, but what you heard doggone wrong!**

And YOUR source is...?

Anonymous said...

And YOUR source is...?

And where is your source, Annonymous #1, for your first statement? I think that statement is just your feelings and not an actual source.

frogboy4 said...

A real special about the election coming this year, a new Christmas special next, Pepe's got a book, Piggy's got a book, the Muppets have a comic and there will likely be the final two Muppet Show DVD releases all leading up to a film in 2010. Disney is making firm plans with the Muppets and bringing them back to what they were and are supposed to be. The Studio DC "Muppet-mercials", although not designed or promoted to be ratings darlings, will help get the Disney tweens interested so that they fuel some of the budget for all these goodies.

I suppose the time when Disney bloggers reporting about the closing of Muppet Vision in the parks and disinterest in the Muppets in general is over. I had faith in the frog and still do!

dr-christine said...

Man, Segel's Muppet movie is going to kick ass. I can't wait.

Vaughn Michael said...

This all sounds great, I'm looking forward to it all but mostly the new movie!

Andrew T. Smith said...

If this does all come together things are starting to sound a lot more promising. That election special in particular sounds tantalizing as does the fact that they mention the word "timeless" in regards to the holiday special; I hope this means no flash in the pan guest stars!

dwmckim (who always posts by his name instead of hiding behind anonymous flames) said...

Now THIS is news i've been waiting for - not only signs of a firm commitment on Disney to market and fully utilize the Muppets but also news that they haven't just tucked them under the "Disney Channel tween fodder" files with plans of keeping them there - instead doing a wide variety of stuff to bring back (or bring new) fans to the fold of all types.

I'm particularly impressed that they're doing an election/politics based special. There's always been the old adage that the biggest way to get into trouble is to talk about politics or religion - and the Muppets are taking on politics! Sure they've done political humor before but this will be the theme of a whole special and you know that both sides of the political spectrum will be dissecting it under a microscope. But the cool thing is that (if done right) the Muppets are among the few entertainment troupes that CAN actually get away with a politics themes comedy special that will make both sides laugh and enjoy...Kermit and the rest are one of the elite few that could probably make appearances on Fox News and Air America Radio on the same day and be just as loved by each base.

Just PLEASE keep the hack writers/directors that did Studio DC away from the other projects!

Anonymous said...

My source is in programming at the Disney Channel. Can't name names. But Disney DEFINITELY expected the DC special to do better than it did.

kutty said...

The project slate my best very nice

regards
Hrithik Roshan

frogboy4 said...

>>My source is in programming at the Disney Channel. Can't name names. But Disney DEFINITELY expected the DC special to do better than it did.<<

I don't see how. Disney jerked around its time slot and barely promoted it just days before it aired. Except for a 20 second ET blip all the commercials were on the Disney Channel. The audience, Muppets or even the writers can be blamed for that. It is the fault of the people in programming. That's likely why your source is unpleased. The special performed better than it should have under those circumstances. Changing the timeslot alone can often be a total kiss of death and the Muppets persevered. They have a way of doing that. The special achieved what it needed to do. It wasn’t about the ratings as much as their audience’s perception of the characters.

The NBC special of 2003 did very well. I think Disney’s hoping the Muppets bring that magic to ABC for this fall’s special. It’s fantastic the Muppets are being given this chance!

Jesse L. said...

I heard that Segel's Muppet movie isn't anything more than an overexcited agent, and that there isn't a deal in the works.

Was I lied to?

KINGCRAB said...

Just PLEASE keep the hack writers/directors that did Studio DC away from the other projects!

Excuse me, but some of those "hack writers/directors" were actually Jim Lewis and Kirk Thatcher, both of whom I thought you folks loved...

All this Studio DC/Disney Channel-bashing is already old, annoying and needs to stop!

frogboy4 said...

>>Jesse L. said...
I heard that Segel's Muppet movie isn't anything more than an overexcited agent, and that there isn't a deal in the works. Was I lied to?<<


Rest assured the film will be happening and is slated for release in 2010 as has always been reported. If you "hear" of anything please cite your source.

>>KINGCRAB said(in reply to another post)...
Excuse me, but some of those "hack writers/directors" were actually Jim Lewis and Kirk Thatcher, both of whom I thought you folks loved...


All this Studio DC/Disney Channel-bashing is already old, annoying and needs to stop!<<
I believe Lewis and Thatcher were actually consultants more than credited writers of the program. The writing was rather wooden and not indicative of the Muppets best work, but I agree with you that the exaggeration of how “terrible” DC was has become tiresome. I would have preferred an entire hour-long special with a more linear cohesive structure, but that will hopefully come to ABC in November. The next DC special will help drum-up an audience for that.

Beauregard said...

Frogboy's already said everything I would have! So...here, I'll just say this, "Go Muppets!"

Steve S. said...

You're right, Mr. Lewis and Mr. Tatcher consulted on the project. I don't have any indication from either of them that they "wrote" it.

Jesse L. said...

>>Frogboy4 said
>>Jesse L. said...
I heard that Segel's Muppet movie isn't anything more than an overexcited agent, and that there isn't a deal in the works. Was I lied to?<<

Rest assured the film will be happening and is slated for release in 2010 as has always been reported. If you "hear" of anything please cite your source.<<

I didn't cite my source, because its a friend who knows a guy who is working for Disney on the Muppets. It is reliable, only in that I trust this friend, but nothing that I could cite on a term paper.

I didn't want to be that internet guy who says, "Nuh, Huh, I know a guy who knows a guy who knows more than you, so you are wrong." Particularly when I don't have any first hand info.

By the way, I would love to see a Segel Muppet movie, just heard that it wasn't happening, and wondered what the deal was.

Anonymous said...

Frogboy4, two of us here have actual contact with actual people involved with Disney, and have posted our info, such as it is. All you have done is flare and blare out a bunch of wishful thinking. But believe what you like. Whatever floats your boat.

frogboy4 said...

>>Anonymous said...
Frogboy4, two of us here have actual contact with actual people involved with Disney, and have posted our info, such as it is. All you have done is flare and blare out a bunch of wishful thinking. But believe what you like. Whatever floats your boat.<<

The forums are filled with anonymous folk with vague inside information. I can't say that it isn't true; however it's hard to tell the truth from the bunk. How high up was this source etc? Some folk don't care to know where any of their information comes from. There's an entire news network dedicated that very premise.

Segel has released so many statements that Disney has supported so far. The few sources I have are all crickets right now. Even internally everything else is gossip unless otherwise officially stated. Production companies tend to keep the official skinny on these things on a need-to-know basis.

Maybe Disney's testing the waters with these specials first before letting go of any money? It wouldn't be the first time. Much of the Muppet movie press statements have waned in recent weeks. There could be a number of factors, but I sincerely doubt anything has gotten the axe.

We knew the Team Todd Fox program was in jeopardy because of long silences and lack of Muppets, this feels different. Ultimately everything is "flare and blare" until the final word is released from the top. Nothing of that sort appears to be happening now or in the future. If anything Disney's actions reflect a bright future for the Muppets. If you want to punch a vague second or third hand hole in that boat go ahead. I've got spackle.

dwmckim said...

Sorry, but when one can't even sign their own name much less provide a source for a claim, any people who knows an insider basically has the same validity as a five year old saying "I'm having a party and not inviting you" and is taken just as seriously.

As per Lewis/Thatcher, they were in the credits as producers but the writers/director were people that never worked with the Muppets before and i suspect were culled from the staff of the various Disney Channel sitcoms. Not saying that Lewis or Thatcher aren't capable of bad stuff but even then i would never call them "hacks" (but i would call them out on a subpar endeavor)

Anonymous said...

*ISorry, but when one can't even sign their own name much less provide a source for a claim, any people who knows an insider basically has the same validity as a five year old saying "I'm having a party and not inviting you" and is taken just as seriously*

As does anyone contradicting that claim just because they don't want it to be true.

frogboy4 said...

Sources shmourses. I would believe a self-professed "in the know" anonymous source here as much as I would believe one from notoriously hit-or-miss site imdb.com and they seem to think that Segel's Muppet movie will lead to another Muppet television series.

http://us.imdb.com/news/ni0557857/

There will always be "sources" always claiming overly positive or negative entertainment news. In the end, all I believe is that anything is possible at this point and the Muppet film is still on course unless publicly stated otherwise from the Walt Disney Company. Nothing more, nothing less.

Vaughn Michael said...

Yep I sure posted a real negative comment in this blog entry, someone should make a big stink about it. *rolls eyes*

frogboy4 said...

Vaughn Michael- Your post was positive here and even the times when I disagree with you - you still always sign your name to your statements. These Anonymous sources lend no track record of credibility or accountability to their posts, yet they expect to be taken seriously. If the tables were turned I doubt most of them would be so trusting. The point is, you never know. Most of us bloggers and forum members know one another and people in Muppedom to some degree. I welcome everyone and every bit of information I can get, but it all should be taken with a grain of salt. ;)

Vaughn Michael said...

I'm just making a point is all Frogboy :)