The return of the Muppets, in any shape, size or form is never anything short of great news. Ever since Kermit the Frog leaped out of Jim Henson's imagination in the mid 1950s, The Muppets have been a near unstoppable cultural force, combining sly humour with a family friendly aethestic, The Muppets have been a chaotic stroke of genius that still hasn't had its creative flame extinguished. Long after making their debut on the Sam and Friends show, the Muppets got their own TV show in 1976. The Muppet Show was a variety show featuring the likes of Kermit, Rowlf, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo and, of course, Animal. It's brand of humour caught on quickly and boosted by a consistently strong line up of celebrity guests, the programme became immensely successful, being sold around the world and adored by hundreds of millions.
They went on to star in a number of films, including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, The Muppets Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, before returning to TV for a two year stint as 'Muppets Tonight' which returned the characters to their variety roots for big laughs alongside stars like Vincent Price and Prince.
By the early 2000s, The Muppets were largely out of the picture, and it wasn't until long after Disney's 2004 buyout of the Henson Company that the company began reintroducing the characters to the public through YouTube skits in 2008. By 2011, the team were ready to star in a new films, titled simply The Muppets. With Jason Segal, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Flight of the Conchords member Bret McKenzie as music supervisor. That team, along with the hilarious script, helped the film reach a huge audience, get fantastic reviews and even pick up an Academy Award for Best Original Song (the fantastic 'Man or Muppet'). That success spurred Disney on to make another Muppets feature, this time called Muppets Most Wanted, which was released in 2014.
Clearly then, Disney have a lot of time for the Muppets at the moment, and as such, they've given the green light for an all new series of The Muppets, but they're back in a way we've never seen them before - documentary style! Shot in the same style as the US Office, for the first time ever, cameras will document the ups and downs of the Muppets’ day-to-day lives as they prepare to reunite for a new TV series. Bill Prady of The Big Bang Theory and Bob Kushell of Anger Management are co-writing and serving as exec producers.
The programme is due to air in the US on the 22nd of September and Sky have picked up the exclusive rights to broadcast it in the UK, though no date has been set for its airing over here. It's excellent news for Sky One, who by picking up this deal have ensured that they won't need to give out free one day passes to keep customers excited about the future.
Adam MacDonald, Director of Sky 1 commented: “Get ready to see the Muppets like you’ve never seen them before – with no-holds-barred access as they prepare for their big reunion, The Muppets promises a candid look at what goes on before and after they start the music and light the lights!”
Dayna Donaldson, General Manager, Media Distribution, Disney UK and Ireland commented: “The addition of The Muppets to Sky’s schedule builds on our long, successful relationship with the UK broadcaster. We are delighted to bring the much-loved characters and universally cheeky storylines to Sky’s already powerful slate of Disney content across the Sky portfolio, including Sky Movies Disney and ABC Studios’ Scandal and Criminal Minds.”
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