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Whatever happened to Muppets Tonight?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by muppet_fan_1, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. muppet_fan_1

    muppet_fan_1 Well-Known Member

    It aired on ABC or NBC or something like that...then went to Disney where I watched every episode. Why did they take it off the air? Any ideas?
    Same with the Muppet Show
    I ordered the Best of The Muppet Show from A&E. and am loving it. but still would like there to be a series on TV. The one coming on Fox is predicted to be great. But I have my doubts....
    Any imformation would be helpful....
  2. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, Muppets Tonight was added to ABC's lineup at a time when the station was struggling and trying to find a strong identity...and in the process went through several management changes - each with their own ideas as to what they wanted the network to be. It was not uncommon for shows to debut with much fanfare and then to exit noiselessly not long after. Muppets Tonight fell in this category.

    When they were initially signed, the network brass was very supportive. However when it came time to air, the programmers started doing the things that they didn't want to happen when they came up with the idea - they promoted it more as a kid show and initially placed it in their Friday lineup geared towards tweenie sitcoms. Even though the show debuted with a publicity blitz, follow up episodes were barely promoted (it's not uncommon to meet Muppet fans who go "there was a Muppet Show on ABC in 1996?" Really?"). Despite this, ABC in its characteristic schizophrenia of the time , renewed the show for a second season and proceeded to look for a new time slot for the show (putting it on Sundays paired with America's Funniest Home Videos). but even then ordered only nine episodes for the enxt season instead of the original's thirteen. Finally the decision was made to not air the remaining episodes on ABC but rather on Disney Channel (both stations being under the same corporate umbrella).

    Disney at least seemed happy to have the show on its channel and aired all 22 episodes. But being on a cable channel and carrying a for-kids stigma probably didn't help.

    At least, Fox, though not without their faults - is usually committed to their shows and tries to give each of its programs a hip spin so if nothing else, the partnership with Fox should enable them to shake some of the public's Muppet=Kids Entertainment mindset.


    As to why The original Muppet Show ended, that was purely by Henson's choice. The show was syndicated and had a bit more freedom as to its longevity. All involved felt that after five years, they had reached their creative peak (originally they never even thought the series would last more than three years) and wanted to leave it while it was still at the top of its form instead of running into the ground. They also wanted to move on to more varied projects like specials and movies.
  3. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I have never heard a better summation of the MT wars! Perfectly said.
  4. muppet_fan_1

    muppet_fan_1 Well-Known Member

    WOW, Thank you so much. That certainly helped clear up the air a little bit.
    Thanx again.:p
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    RIGHT ON, MY BROTHER!!!! These are the same people who think that Wrestling is real, and Tom Green is funny! These are also the same people who draw those unfunny shock comics were Kermit is headlesss, or Bert is palling aroung with Osama Bin Ladin. The Muppets are pure Magic. Even more magical than Disney! These are the same alligations that Jim Henson wanted to fight! His work is not pathetic kids stuff. Now, Funniest Videos, Boy Meets WOrld and garbage like that IS the pathetic kids stuff. The Muppets are the best thing the entertainment industry has to offer right now. Okay, that was a little far, but this Henson= Kids Stuff is really frustrating.

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