It just goes to show that you can’t keep a good Muppet down. The team of colorful characters are as busy as ever and may finally be going back to the Muppet theatre.
If you recall, we discussed a new Muppet show pilot back in January. It’s unclear if that project is still in the works but TV Guide is reporting that a seemingly different project is currently in very secretive development. Reportedly the Jim Henson Studios is working on a “digitally enhanced” pilot for a new Muppet Show. A source close to the project said, “The show will have the original puppets but they’ll be able to walk around.” He added, “It’s going to be like the original variety show, not the cartoons that came out afterwards.”
According to one insider, Paul McCartney is involved as a guest star in the project and said, “He’s hilarious. The Muppets keep asking what it’s like to be a Beatle and he keeps telling them he has a new band now. They don’t care at all. They just want to hear about the Beatles.” Both McCartney’s publicist and Jim Henson Studios denied that the project was in the works but the source says this is due to the project still being top secret.
Coming a lot quicker in the pipeline is a new Muppet project for the Disney Channel. The folks at Disney (who now owns The Muppets) are working on a series of mini-movies intended to introduce young viewers to the Muppets characters and humor. The shorts will star the regular characters and will also include cameos by current popular Disney Channel stars.They’re expected to begin airing later this year.
For those who long for the good old days of the classic Muppet Show, season one has been released on DVD and season two will be available soon. On top of that, comic strip versions of the show have begun appearing in the Disney Adventures Magazine. (If you’re not familiar with the kids magazine, you’ll often find it at checkout stand of your local supermarket.) The new comic strips are being drawn and written by Roger Langridge and follow the tone and settings of the classic show. Thus far, the strip has revisited Pigs in Space and the large ballroom scenes from the series.
And, if you need immediate Muppet gratification, head on over to Movies.com. Balcony curmudgeons Waldorf and Statler review the latest movies via short videos called Statler & Waldorf: From the Balcony. The shorts recently won a Webby Award for Best Comedy: Long Form or Series, Online Film & Video.
You can also check out two excellent Muppet-related podcasts. The first is from the Henson.com and is made up of discussions with the creative folks behind their projects. The second is called The MuppetCast and is an excellent compilation of news and past Muppet material. Be sure to subscribe to both and stay tuned!