The time has finally come. With two recent successful movies under their belts and the marketing might of Disney behind them, the Muppets are finally returning to TV. ABC has announced that it’s filming a pilot episode of a revamped version of The Muppet Show, the cult classic variety show which went off the air way back in 1981. Despite the cancellation of the show, the Muppets have had a fairly lively career since, then featuring in a number of projects including the animated Muppet Babies and 11 feature films.
The two most recent of those films were produced by the Muppet’s current owner the Walt Disney Corporation, which clearly believes that there’s far more life in Gonzo, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang. The show is expected to take the same form as the original Muppet Show, a work place comedy that centers on a variety show. Most of the action takes place backstage as Kermit and company struggle to pull together a weekly program. The pilot will reportedly share the same meta take on show business, with familiar members of the Muppets gang taking a meeting at ABC studios to discuss reviving the show. The original show was well known for its over the top musical numbers and comedy bits, as well as for its impressive slate of celebrity guests.
Disney has tapped Bill Prady, co-creator of The Big Bang Theory, as lead writer for the Muppet project. This isn’t Prady’s first time at the Muppet rodeo — he won an Emmy in 1991 for The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson, a posthumous tribute to the iconic Muppets creator. The Muppet Show is a beloved favorite and the biggest surprise in its revival is that it’s taken Disney this long to get around to it. Many of the original Muppets performers will be returning for the show and we can only imagine that guest stars will be lining up to appear on the revived classic once it goes to series.
The Muppets is only the latest show to get a second chance at life in what is quickly becoming a golden age of television nostalgia. Earlier this week Netflix announced that it would produce a continuation of the beloved family sit-com Full House, allowing fans to catch up with the Tanner family almost 20 years later. Not to be left out, NBC has ordered 13 episodes of the well-liked Craig T. Nelson sitcom Coach, which went off the air back in 1997. No one is sure where the nostalgia train will stop, but one thing is certain. It’s very likely that the Muppets have aged much better over the last several decades than any other returning cast.