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It's a Jungle Out There!

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Curtis Jobling
Curtis Jobling

In the late 1990s, the Jim Henson Company worked with Curtis Jobling and Ian Culbard to develop a new television series, It's a Jungle Out There!

The show, while trying to re-capture the spirit of The Muppet Show, would feature a whole new cast of Muppet characters.

The show was heavily developed and Henson apparently loved the concept of the show. However around the time of development Jim Henson Television was beginning to pull away from big-budget television shows due the unstable production environment and market for such productions. After much development, the project was eventually abandoned and didn't move into further production.

Currently, there are no known plans to revive the concept.

Premise

A group of circus animals from New York City are taken by a gang of animal rights activists. They're stuck in a giant crate, flown across the ocean and dropped onto a remote jungle island by an enormous red and yellow striped parachute. While the plan was to liberate the animals, nobody asked the animals if they wanted to go.

These city animals now find themselves in "the wild". They don't speak the language (they all speak English). They don't like the food (they're used to burgers and fries not mangoes and bananas). They don't fit in; so they decide do the only thing they know how to do. They build the "Big Top Bar & Lounge", using the crate as the stage and the giant parachute for the big-top tent. With this new theater, the animals do what they love to do -- entertain.

Each week they put on, or at least try to put on, a variety show for the locals (predominantly wild monkeys) -- using a shipwrecked celebrity who washes up on the island as a guest star.

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