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Fact or Fiction: The Muppet Show DVD season sets

Season 1 is slated for release by the end of 2005

By Greg James
March 20, 2005

Last November word reached us that The Muppet Show was coming to DVD in complete season sets. It was at a New York Henson event that Craig Shemin first publicly mentioned that Disney was working on season by season box sets of The Muppet Show.

After talking with several insiders about the DVD sets, some information has been collected and gathered. Please remember that until there is an official announcement from Disney, anything listed can potentially change.

It was announced in November that the first set would be hitting stores in 2005. This estimate seemed optimistic to some, but has now been confirmed by several sources inside the Muppet Holding Company as a very likely option. “The Muppet Show – The Complete First Season” should be in stores by the end of the year.

The DVD's are scheduled for release, but since the street date has already changed a few times, any premature date could end up changing again. So we’ll just have to wait for an official announcement later this year to find out exactly when the first season will be out.

The video is reported to be transferred from their original British (PAL) tapes. Aside from working to get a beautiful transfer and mastering of the video, it is also said that the episodes will be unedited and will contain the UK skits. This goes to show how Disney is trying to create a collection of the episodes like never seen before.

Although at this point, the inclusion of the original season 1 opening sequence is still undetermined. Apparently there are strong arguments for including the original openings, and also powerful reasons for not including them. The answer of which it will be has flip-flopped back and forth throughout the set’s production and the final outcome is not available at this time.

There were two pilot episodes produced for The Muppet Show (“The Muppets Valentine Show” and “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence”). There were also some specials produced during the run of the show, including the great behind the scenes special “Of Muppets and Men”. Many fans wondered if these season sets would include any of the show’s pilots or specials. The answer to this is yes. Disney does plan on including several of the historic Muppet Show pilots and specials.

As many TV-DVD fans can attest, there are many other special features that could be included on such sets: such as audio commentaries, original promos, photo galleries, episode intros, cast/crew interviews, and much more. You can guess all you want, but until the official announcement (and maybe even not until the actual release) will the full and complete list of features be available.

Nonetheless, many Henson employees, performers, and fans have been interviewed on film for bonus material. These include: Craig Shemin, Jerry Juhl, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Carroll Spinney, and Michael Frith – just to name a few. It is not definite how these interviews will be used, but it probably means there will be a great collection of information on these sets.

One feature that has been confirmed is trivia and other factual information. This will expose all kinds of things about the show, the characters, the skits and songs, and much more (even the die-hard Muppet Show fans will learn something). The information, facts, and trivia for the sets was provided and created with the help of Michael Dixon (webmaster of Kermitage.com), Craig Shemin, Dave Goelz and Jerry Juhl. The information was gathered and provided by people who really know the Muppet Show inside and out, and really shows the dedication of Disney to produce quality sets.

Disney has stated that they want to make the best possible sets and it seems like they are. The project is not finished yet, but from talking with those involved, the work done will amaze, excite, and delight the fans. The DVD sets are being designed for DVD collectors, Muppet Show fans, and nostalgic viewers. So don’t worry about the show being watered down, or trying to appeal to an overly childish audience.

An official announcement of the season 1 DVD features, release date, retail price, and more should be released by The Muppet Holding Company and Disney Home Entertainment later this year. At the moment Disney is working to release all five seasons of the show in separate season sets. But as with everything, the release of the later seasons may depend on the earlier ones. Although Disney feels that this should not be a problem and the release of all five are pretty certain.

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