It’s Time to Play the Music Again: ABC Developing a Reboot of ‘The Muppet Show’

By April 3, 2015

It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights. It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight…again.

TV Line reports ABC is developing a reboot of “The Muppet Show,” the classic television program that brought Jim Henson’s signature puppet creations into families homes from 1976 to 1981. Bill Prady, creator of “The Big Bang Theory,” is working with Bob Kushell (“Anger Management” and “3rd Rock from the Sun”) to write and executive produce the latest return of the Muppets to the small screen with the latter also serving as showrunner.

In addition, Production Weekly has also learned that Randall Einhorn, who has directed episodes of series like “Parks & Recreation” and  “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelpha” will direct and produce the pilot. Here’s what the opening to the original iteration of “The Muppet Show” looked like:

“The Muppet Show” was briefly recreated in The Muppets when Kermit the Frog and company returned to the big screen in 2011, but this will be the first time the show has been directly rebooted for the small screen. However, in the 90s, there was another Muppet television program on ABC called “Muppets Tonight” that followed a very similar format to the original program.

As for this new show, it doesn’t sound entirely different. TV Line says the show follows the Muppets as they excitedly gather at ABC for a meeting about the new Muppet Show. However, the show will not move forward unless Miss Piggy signs on. The meta nature of the program itself isn’t surprising and has always been a staple of their adventures.

Deadline actually gets a little more specific with details as they say it will be set behind the scenes of a late-night talk show. I wonder if that means they’ll bring Clifford (the purple guy with dreadlocks on the right below) back from “Muppets Tonight” or just have Kermit lead the way again.

Muppets Tonight

Anyway, this is all pretty exciting. Even if you’re not a fan of “The Big Bang Theory,” Prady has written for several of the Muppet shows and specials over the years, and he actually tried to get a pilot presentation for a different Muppet series off the ground back in 2007, but it didn’t work out.

The revival of the Muppets on the big screen seems to have sparked new interest in Jim Henson’s legendary characters, and a TV show seems to be the next logical step, especially since Muppets Most Wanted didn’t really measure up to the greatness of The Muppets back in 2013. It’s pretty early in development right now, but hopefully we’ll see this show come together so the Muppets can make a triumphant return to TV.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.