the muppets disney+ series

Turns out the Muppets won’t be living another day. Disney+ has scrapped the Muppets comedy series created by Once Upon a Time‘s Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis and Frozen actor Josh Gad. The scripted comedy series, called Muppets Live Another Day, was rumored to be in the works since early this year, but the creators have since exited the project, leading the House of Mouse to abandon the Muppets Disney+ series altogether.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis (Once Upon a Time) and Josh Gad (Frozen) have walked away from Muppets Live Another Day. The trio had been “quietly at work” on the scripted comedy series since at least February, but the “creative differences” reportedly arose after Muppets Studios, which was producing the series, recently changed executives. With its creators gone, Disney+ has opted to abandon work on the series.

Kitsis, Horowitz, and Gad had been prepping the eight-episode limited series they “playfully referred to” as Muppets 1984. The series would have taken place after the events of 1984’s Muppets Take Manhattan and followed the gang as they’re disbanded by Kermit, only to come back together following the mysterious disappearance of Rowlf.

Kitsis and Horowitz had been working directly with Muppets Studios vice president Debbie McClellan on the project. But this is where things get messy. McClellan recently departed Muppets Studios and was replaced by Disney Parks Live Entertainment senior vice president David Lightbody. Per THR:

Lightbody, sources say, wanted to do his own take on The Muppets, while Kitsis, Horowitz and Gad felt strongly about their vision for the show. Lightbody is said to have offered the trio the opportunity to move forward with The Muppets in a new way, but they opted to walk away from the show entirely rather than throw away months of work and a concept they believed in. Sources note that the parting was amicable.

Josh Gad released his own statement on the matter through Instagram, and it immediately makes us sad we won’t get to see this series come to fruition now. Here you go:

View this post on Instagram

Misinformation is my least favorite kind of information so I thought I’d take a minute to clarify some news that broke today. After a little over a year and a half of working on a project called “Muppets Live Another Day,” @adamhorowitzla #eddykitsis and I have decided, with a heavy heart, to walk away. Some times creative differences are just that. The project, with original songs by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Lopez was to be directed by the great Jason Moore, (director of “Avenue Q” and “Pitch Perfect”). It was meant to be a limited event series that picked up a year after “Muppets Take Manhattan” and was essentially about what happens after you’ve reached the end of the rainbow. It was going to be Muppets by way of Stranger Things and feel like a movie spread over 6-8 episodes. Part of the joy for us, by placing the Muppets in the middle of the 1980’s, was to subvert and comment on our current love for all things nostalgia while at the same time allowing the characters to tell a story that would ultimately lead to and end in present day, revealing some secrets along the way. It has been one of the great joys of all of our lives to write words for these iconic characters. We wish this franchise all the best and thank our partners at Disney+ and ABC Studios for the opportunity to develop something so fun and outside the box. They have been nothing but supportive and terrific and we can’t wait to play again in other sandboxes. While it is sad, I have no doubt this franchise, under its new leadership will find new and wonderful stories to tell. My only hope is that one day you can all hear the BRILLIANT music by Bobby and @kristenlopez5681 wrote for Kermit and company. The music is next level good. In the meantime, Adam, Eddy and I are already cooking up new fun ideas that we cannot wait to share. Until then, long live “The Muppets.” They have given us joy for over 40 years and I have no doubt they will continue to bring us joy for the next 40 years.

A post shared by Josh Gad (@joshgad) on

This is the latest Muppets scripted series to fail. ABC had rebooted the characters with Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady and Bob Kushell in 2015, but after strong buzz and a viral pilot, the series lost its steam and was canceled after one season. However, the scrapping of Muppets Live Again won’t affect the unscripted shortform series Muppets Now, which will feature beloved characters like Kermit and Miss Piggy alongside celebrity guests. So, in a sense, the Muppets will live again.

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