The Muppets Reboot

Disney’s history with keeping The Muppets alive has been hit or miss. Their glory days were in the 1970s and 1980s when The Muppet Show was a hit television program that inspired successful hits like The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan. Though there have been bright spots since then, various attempts to keep the characters in the spotlight since then have never quite measured up to how good they were when Jim Henson was still alive. But Disney just doesn’t know how to quit them.

Word out of Hollywood is that Disney is keen on bringing the Muppets back yet again. But rather than bringing them to network television, the Muppets will get a new series on the forthcoming Disney streaming service that slated to launch in the fall of 2019.

The Hollywood Reporter has news of Disney’s desire for a Muppets reboot in the form of a new series on their streaming service. However, it sounds like the project is early in development, as they’re just now searching for a writer to script the series.

The Muppets attempted a television comeback on ABC in 2015 after being off the air for 17 years. Cleverly titled The Muppets, it was basically a documentary-style workplace comedy along the lines of The Office about the Muppets working on a late night program starring Miss Piggy. While the show certainly had its moments, there was something about it that never quite captured the essence of Jim Henson’s creations. That’s why audiences weren’t clamoring to tune in and the show was canceled after just one season.

The Muppets Reboot

Can The Muppets Recapture Their Glory Days?

The closest the Muppets have come to reliving the glory days of The Muppet Show came with the series Muppets Tonight in 1996. Critics were mixed on the show at the time, but personally, I think the series really captured the spirit of the original show’s iconic characters while introducing some fantastic new Muppets and bringing great guest stars to the table.

But perhaps even more successful was the big screen reboot The Muppets in 2011. Director James Bobin and writer Jason Segel really understood what made the characters tick and knew how to effectively bring their personalities to life on the big screen again. It felt in line with the best Muppet movies from the 1970s and 1980s, but all that goodwill went out the window with the massively disappointing Muppets Most Wanted in 2014.

The problem seems to be that everyone who has tackled the Muppets in a moderately successful way since the death of Jim Henson knows how to handle them for a short period of time, but then it all ends up going to hell in a handbasket. Maybe the Muppets don’t have the staying power that they used to without their creator.

The Muppets Reboot

Can Anyone Do The Muppets Right?

Is there anyone out there who can properly revive The Muppets without feeling like a flash in the pan? Something tells me that Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi could do something special with the Muppets, especially considering his work on several episodes of Flight of the Conchords (just like The Muppets director James Bobin). However, his talents are probably better served by sticking to feature films for the time being.

Maybe writer Brian Lynch could take a crack at it? As the writer of movies like Hop, Minions and The Secret Life of Pets, you might not think he would be good for the Muppets. And if you follow him on Twitter, you’ll see he’s had plenty of interesting pitches for beloved characters like The Looney Tunes that studio execs were too short-sighted to greenlight. Given the opportunity, I think Lynch might be able to work some magic with the Muppets.

We’ll see who Disney gets to bring back the gang soon enough, so stay tuned. If Muppet Babies is more your speed, don’t forget that show is coming back very soon, as in next month.

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