New Muppet Pilot in Development by Randall Einhorn (The Office, Modern Family) for ABC

Muppet fan 123

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
3,656
Reaction score
1,488
I know it's not right to judge something before you see it, but I'm really optimistic about this project. For one thing, it's written by a great comedy writer. Also, it's being produced for ABC (and NOT Disney Channel)!
To be honest, I'd be happier with Netflix, but ABC could work too. Problem is the stakes are higher on network TV. Everybody cross your fingers that this gets picked up and is put on a Sunday evening timeslot, ideal for families. The ratings NEED to be good or it's a death sentence to the characters.
 

Iscah

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
112
Reaction score
57
I'd be wary at this point, just because it's close enough to April Fools' Day for fake information to be mistaken-for-fact and passed on...
 

jvcarroll

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
2,001
To be honest, I'd be happier with Netflix, but ABC could work too. Problem is the stakes are higher on network TV. Everybody cross your fingers that this gets picked up and is put on a Sunday evening timeslot, ideal for families. The ratings NEED to be good or it's a death sentence to the characters.
I agree. Netflix or Prime would be the best place for the Muppets these days. That's where all the good television is these days and there's less pressure to achieve and maintain the (now irrelevant) ratings numbers.

That said, Netflix usually has truncated seasons of ten to twelve episodes that are shot and released all at once. That would mean it could take a while to see any of them on that particular service. Still, Muppets began as innovators and they're best suited innovating on the small screen. Movies are icing on the cake.

I'm not sure where they'd fit on ABC. Could it be a summertime show? Would it be on Sundays? Could they fold it into the weekday schedule? However, please for the love of Frog, not on Fridays! Young people are usually out doing something on Fridays. It's the kiss of death slot best served for reruns of Matlock.

We were all so worried after the tepid box office for last year's MMW film. This does show renewed confidence on the part of Disney. People wondered what the heck they were doing with those goofy Disney Jr interstitials and the ESPN brackets ads. Those are Disney owned stations and advertising Muppets on them don't cost a thing. It's smart marketing and it shows they actually respect the brand.

And on the subject of MMW, so many films under-performed last year. How to Train Your Dragon 2 and the Penguins of Madagascar movies should have been slam dunks. Critics could claim that they weren't as good as they could have been or that they could have been better marketed, but none of that mattered much before now. The lackluster Shrek and Madagascar sequels fared very well. So what's different now? I don't think it has anything to do with the quality of the films or even ticket prices. People seem to have lost interest in the film experience itself. I think it might snap back after this year's Star Wars and Marvel offerings. However, I think those films are part of what's killing the film industry. Smaller films not connected to bigger extended worlds or based on young adult novels aren't that popular anymore. Let's hope that trend changes.

Anyway, back to the show. Seeing Lips with the band and the image of part of the Swinetrek set give me hope about the content. I just wonder how soon it will appear on TV? Will it have time for a fall premiere? This is usually when they film such pilots. Fingers crossed. Yaaaaaay! :smile:
 

Drtooth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2002
Messages
31,718
Reaction score
6,707
Streaming sites have come to the rescue for shows that networks refuse to touch. Inspector Gadget's new cartoon finds a home there, rather than no export to us like the last show. I'd say Nick and CN screwed Dreamworks out of their animated movie based programming (MVA was abruptly canned after one season, Riders of Berk just disappeared), but their Netflix deal seems to have them thriving (though I think they're only one season deals. Kinda disappointed that Turbo needs a few more episodes because of what they set up). And let's not forget Yahoo stream giving Community a new lease on life when NBC just hated Dan Harmon so much, they put "The Slap" on and thought people would watch that instead.

But it's still a massive tangle of sweetheart deals that see shows and movies disappearing all the time, some moving to other paysites because of better offers. It's very much unreliable. And if you want to watch everything, you're going to have to pay for each site. Granted, at least it's a better set up than refuses to go ala carte cable (No, I don't want the 5 religious channels and countless home shopping networks, I just want freaking XD... can't do that), but it's still going to cost you to see everything.

I'm not sure where they'd fit on ABC. Could it be a summertime show? Would it be on Sundays? Could they fold it into the weekday schedule? However, please for the love of Frog, not on Fridays! Young people are usually out doing something on Fridays. It's the kiss of death slot best served for reruns of Matlock.
ABC found itself with it's Wednesday Night sitcoms and Thursday Night dramas. They still have embarrassingly stale reality shows (really?!?! the Bachelor is still on?), and Friday Night awful Tim Allen shows. But I don't see them giving any Muppet vehicle a chance. There's no where to put it. Fridays or Sundays. Not really good time slots that MT once had. I don't think they'd get anything prime or competitive. ABC Family swears people are watching Mellisa and Joey... I don't see Muppets thriving on any of their other cable channels, either.


And on the subject of MMW, so many films under-performed last year. How to Train Your Dragon 2 and the Penguins of Madagascar movies should have been slam dunks. Critics could claim that they weren't as good as they could have been or that they could have been better marketed, but none of that mattered much before now. The lackluster Shrek and Madagascar sequels fared very well. So what's different now? I don't think it has anything to do with the quality of the films or even ticket prices. People seem to have lost interest in the film experience itself. I think it might snap back after this year's Star Wars and Marvel offerings. However, I think those films are part of what's killing the film industry. Smaller films not connected to bigger extended worlds or based on young adult novels aren't that popular anymore. Let's hope that trend changes.
Both HTTYD2 and Penguins were poorly timed. I'd say HTTYD 2 felt the same movie goer family burnout that Peabody and Sherman and MMW suffered. Penguins got it worse. That Thanksgiving Weekend isn't half as successful as they think it is. At least not any more. Dreamworks films released before that weekend of that Month tend to do much better. Penguins also faced TOUGH competition from Big Hero 6, so there's that too. And frankly, Dreamworks had a feeling POM wasn't going to make the insane amount of money Madagascar 3 did. I don't think they even had much faith in it since they randomly dumped it on that weekend because they didn't want Home to get a all or nothing weekend. And it WORKED! Home opened the strongest since The Croods. But the Penguins? Even the Happy Meal toys were recycled (from the TV show promotion 4 years ago). I've never seen them do that before ever. Something tells me not a single flipper was given.
 

charlietheowl

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Messages
2,752
Reaction score
1,810
Floored by this news, it's what I've been hoping for all these years! A pilot on ABC indicates that Disney is confident the Muppets can appeal to all ages, and while we don't know details yet, someone from The Office and Modern Family being behind it indicates a sitcom format, which would be a great step for the Muppets. I can't wait for more information to come out and am hoping for the best!
 

MUPPETFAN1976

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
328
Reaction score
282
I'm shocked by this news. I'm so excited!

First time I remember Kermit talking about this was at Barnes & Nobles in November of 2003.

Anything before this?
 
Top