It has been uncovered that Disney’s forthcoming streaming service will include a Muppets TV series reboot. Since Disney’s acquisition of the Muppets brand in 2004, only one television series revival has been attempted - as an ABC primetime series in 2016.
News of a Disney owned and operated streaming service began to surface in August 2017, and posited that the service plans to begin operation in 2019. Initially, the news came with word that Disney would be pulling their movies from Netflix for use in their own service, not long after an agreement had been reached for Netflix to be the exclusive streaming home for Disney movies shortly after their exit from theaters. The addition of a Muppets series to the service is a logical step, following on the heels of news that Disney is planning other reboots and series to help launch the streaming service.
Disney has had mixed success in supporting The Muppets Studio since acquiring it in 2004. Two well received movies, The Muppets in 2011 and Muppets Most Wanted in 2014, revitalized the brand in theaters. Disney also had relative success in viral videos parodying pop culture and popular songs using Kermit and company. Apart from a couple TV specials, the big push on the small screen from Disney came via a television show called The Muppets. created by The Big Bang Theory’s Bill Prady. Taking on the mockumentary style popularized by The Office and Modern Family, the show revolved around the difficulties of the Muppets putting on a talk show hosted by Miss Piggy and ran just one season. Given its failure, a search for a new writer (and presumably a new format) is underway, according to THR.
It has also been reported that Disney has plans for shows based on Monsters, Inc. and High School Musical, along with multiple Star Wars live-action shows. A The Mighty Ducks series is also under consideration. Goldberg also reports sources indicating Disney films such as Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and The Parent Trap are being considered for potential film reboots on the service.
Disney’s Chief Strategy Officer Kevin Mayer has gone on record as saying they do not intend for their service to challenge Netflix. It is important, though, that Disney has a strong offering to support their own service. With the high profile acquisitions of properties with devoted followings over the last several years such as Marvel, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Planet of the Apes, and The Muppets among them, it is only sensible that Disney leverages their cultural weight in establishing a streaming home. Disney’s library of films is strong, especially after taking on the library of former rival Fox, but it is the properly executed expansion and guidance of their franchises that will position themselves as a player in the increasingly crowded streaming market.