After being off the air for 17 years, The Muppets attempted a television comeback on ABC in 2015. The series, titled The Muppets, was a documentary-style workplace comedy along the lines of The Office about the Muppets working on a late night program starring Miss Piggy. But audiences weren’t too keen on the series, and it was canceled after a single season. But don’t count The Muppets out yet.
Nearly a full year ago, we learned that Disney was interested in reviving The Muppets for a new series on the upcoming streaming service Disney+. Now some details on who’s developing the show have come to light, and it’s a crew who already has a comfortable relationship with The House of Mouse. Could this be the big 2019 surprise that Kermit was teasing recently?
The Splash Report (who is usually pretty reliable when it comes to scoops) has learned that Frozen voice actor Josh Gad is working with ABC’s Once Upon a Time creators Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz on The Muppets show. As of now, the project is going by the title Muppets Live Another Day, which sounds like a great name for a series that promises to give Jim Henson’s beloved creations new life. And it also seems to be taking a cue from recent franchise reboots.
Rather than being a modern day story with The Muppets, this new show is said to take place immediately following the events of The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984. The gang is disbanded by Kermit for some reason, but they all must come back together following the mysterious disappearance of Rowlf.
This sounds like it has some potential, almost like something akin to the Sesame Street movie Follow That Bird but featuring Kermit the Frog and the rest of the Muppets gang instead. Plus, setting it in the 1980s might give the Muppets some of the magic back that a lot of their modern projects have been missing (something Muppet puppeteer and voice Frank Oz has pointed out before). After all, only The Muppets movie from 2011 really lived up to the legacy of our felt friends.
As for the creative talent behind the series, this sounds promising. Josh Gad has executive produced some hilarious TV shows that unfortunately didn’t stick around long. Both 1600 Penn on NBC and The Comedians on FX were outstanding, but unfortunately they didn’t find a big enough audience to last more than a season each. Gad has the right amount of reverence for the classic Muppets, and he’s a great comic actor too. He’s been teasing some kind of exciting secret project as of late, and this might be it:
Meanwhile, Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz turned Once Upon a Time into a kind of cult hit on ABC. Bringing together the various worlds of Disney movies into a fantasy series was no easy task, but the two made something that fans enjoyed. If they have the same kind of respect for the old school Muppets as the biggest fans of Jim Henson’s characters, then we’re in for a treat.
As of now, the series is expected to arrive on Disney+ in 2020. Hopefully we’ll get some official details soon.
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