Friday, April 29, 2005

Disney Working Hard to Relaunch the Muppets to the Top

The Muppets Holding Company said that it planned to “develop new content in all arenas, including television, feature films, music, stage plays and theme parks, and to enhance the Muppets’ global licensing and distribution presence”. Some more information on Kermit and the gang’s worldwide comeback has surfaced.

A new television series, destined for a prime-time slot, is in the very early developmental stages. Like the Muppet Show and Muppets Tonight, celebrity guests will again work with the Muppets in an all new format; proposed stars such as Jennifer Lopez to Ricky Gervais have invited to follow in the footsteps of such stars as Liza Minnelli and John Cleese. The project for a new Muppet TV show is in very earlier stages of development at the Muppet Holding Company -- so don’t expect to see it showing up on the new fall line up this year (and it probably won’t be ready by next year either). Information on this project, its format, title, cast, or production are not available at this time, and they are not estimated to be finalized for sometime either – but the Muppet Holding Company is currently working on developing something to get the Muppets back on regular TV again. It takes time to create a new TV show, and (depending on the networks' feelings) the show may never get past the planning stages. Only time will tell for sure but, fingers crossed, the Muppets may be back on regular TV by the end of the decade.

A Muppet stage musical is also in talks at Disney, along with Muppet expansion at Walt Disney World based around Jim Henson’s Muppet Vision 3D. No real information on what Disney is planning in this field yet. But multimedia is a vital part of the Muppets’ strategy. Mobile phone wallpaper and ringtones will be available online in the next month, and The Muppets’ website will be expanded and updated more in the coming month with all kinds of new information and goodies (Miss Piggy is working on writing her Sow in the City weblog right now).

Disney also hopes to collect on the home entertainment market when they release the first season of The Muppets Show is on DVD later this year – and they are working other getting other parts of the Muppet library onto the market. The Muppet Holding Company is working hard on other new merchandise concepts with the Muppets. The Disney Store is already preparing to sell special Christmas products featuring the Muppets; such products should be ready in time for the 2005 Holiday season.

Disney is working on getting the Muppets back in the spotlight full force! Right now they are in the early stages of many products and productions are being worked on. The coming year will be an exciting one for all Muppet fans – old and new. There are even rumblings of another Muppet movie (unsure if it'll be television or theatrical) going into the works after “Oz” airs later this month (May 20th at 8/7c on ABC). I’ll keep you posted as these projects develop! I will work to you your information as the Muppet Holding Company advances and finalizes on items. But rest asured that Disney is working full force to keep the Muppets alive and growing.


Anonymous said...

Disney will only work hard to re-launch the Muppets if "Oz" is a hit. Otherwise, expect our "friends of felt" to be placed on the Mouse's backburner.

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