A new Muppets short-form series called Muppets Now will premiere on Disney+ in 2020. For some, it's probably easy to forget Kermit the Frog and friends fall under the Mouse House's giant umbrella, largely due to their mixed track record under Disney. Unlike Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar, the Muppets have struggled to find much success. The film series fizzled out following the lukewarm response to 2014's Muppets Most Wanted, and a TV show on ABC that was cancelled after one season.
Despite those results, nobody thought the Muppets were going to remain on the shelf for long. The property has endured for decades and remains a popular staple of family entertainment. With Disney about to launch their new Disney+ streaming service, it looked like the Muppets might have the perfect platform for another shot at a revival. And, as it turns out, that's exactly what's in the cards.
During the Disney+ Showcase panel at D23 2019 last night, Muppets Now was officially announced. According to a post from the official Muppets Twitter account, the show will be unscripted, include celebrity guest stars, and debut in 2020. Check out the tweet in the space below:
Further details are unavailable at the time, something cheekily played up by the Muppets' redacted statement that had to be approved by Joe the Legal Weasel. At first glance, it sounds like the series will harken back to the original Muppet Show that aired during the property's heyday from 1976-1981. That program was renowned for being a prime example of organized chaos, and it sounds like Muppets Now will be tapping into that aspect with its "unscripted" nature. Each episode of the old Muppet Show also featured a different guest, so it'll be exciting to see who Disney taps to appear alongside Kermit and the gang. All in all, it seems like this show is the perfect outlet for the Muppets' established brand of humor, delivering heart and laughs in small bites. Hopefully it works and the Muppets have newfound success on Disney+.
Disney's approach here will be key. The ABC show was criticized for deviating too far from the traditional formula, with even Muppet legend Frank Oz voicing his displeasure. Of course, Muppets Now will likely look to modernize The Muppets a bit for today's audiences, but it'll be vital to make sure the spirit and essence of the franchise is accurately conveyed. The Muppets have always been known for wholesome comedy, good-natured pop culture parodies, and perfectly balancing its trademark humor with touching moments of poignancy. If Muppets Now is able to pull that off, then Disney+ will have a definite winner.
Source: The Muppets