Muppets get their own (parody) reality series America’s Next Muppet

As if the news about the Paradise Hotel DVD wasn’t the exciting enough, today we learn that the Muppets are getting their own reality series.

America’s Next Muppet will be a parody of contest-based reality series, but the outcome will be real, as the audience will select the next Muppet to join the cast.

According to Variety, “it appears that the new Muppet project would borrow from shows like ‘American Idol’ and ‘America’s Next Top Model’ as judges (Kermit? Statler and Waldorf? Animal?) comb through several new characters to select a major Muppet.”

The series will air on ABC, whose parent company Disney now owns the Muppets, and “has ordered a script and five script outlines” for the series. “Since acquiring rights to the Muppet characters in 2004, Disney has been pursuing various ways to relaunch the popular brand as part of an overall corporate goal,” Variety reports. This will be “the first Muppets TV program since “Muppets Tonight,” which briefly aired on ABC in 1996.”

Muppet Central reports that “a reality show pitch pilot was filmed in Los Angeles during the summer of 2004,” and says that the show “is tentatively set to air on ABC sometime next year (probably the spring or summer of 2006).”

Muppets pull strings at ABC [Variety]
Muppet reality pilot taped last summer and “America’s Next Muppet” mini-series in development [Muppet Central]
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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.