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Minor Unfinished Projects

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This is a list of minor Muppet projects that have not made it past the development stage, for which not enough information exists to constitute its own page.

Adventures of the Snerf-Poof from Planet Snee

Adventures of the Snerf-Poof from Planet Snee was a proposal for a surrealistic Muppet project made by Jim Henson in the late 1960s.[1]

ASTRO G.N.E.W.T.S.

ASTRO G.N.E.W.T.S. was a proposed concept for a 30-minute television special that could air as the second-half of an episode of The Jim Henson Hour. The special would have blended puppets with animation, computer graphics, and video effects.[2]

The Island of Lost Muppets

Proposed miniseries in the late 1980s that would have introduced new characters called the Orangs.[3] This special was originally going to be titled "Muppetamia". Initially planned to be a four-hour mini-series broadcast on CBS, the network later wanted it to become a two-hour made-for-TV movie before dropping support for the project.[4]

Kermit at the Smithsonian

An after-school special proposed by Jim around 1975 following the popularity of the Ernie and Bert puppets' stay at the Smithsonian.[5]

Kermit's Christmas Capers

Kermit's Christmas Capers was announced as a proposed television special for the 2005 holiday season; however, the project was cancelled before filming due to changes in management with the Muppets Holding Company.[6]

Made-for-TV Movie

Made-for-TV Movie was an idea pitched by Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl to ABC, which would have been a parody of network TV movie cliches. The pitch was discussed in an entry at Jim Henson's Red Book, which referred to Juhl's treatment as "certainly one of his silliest." According to Juhl, "The main action of the film takes place at a Malibu beach house, because independent research has shown that all Made-For-TV movies take place at Malibu beach houses."

This comedy mystery would star Kermit the Frog as a police detective, dealing with a houseguest's disappearance during a seance with a ouija board. As with previous specials and the later movies, the cast would be a mix of Muppets and live actors (as the other guests and household members, serving as suspects; and as the police commissioner who turns up near the end, and leads to some debate as to whether *he's* dead). An Egyptian sarcophagus would have beens a potential red herring or "McGuffin" (does it hold the vanished guest?) Several characters from past specials would have appeared (some of them Kermit's colleagues), including Thog, Taminella Grinderfall, King Rupert the Second, and Rufus (who would perform a harp solo).

According to Juhl's notes, about halfway through, “The spirit of a cranshaw melon possesses Butterfield [the antiques dealer played by Thog] who runs amok.... A mok is about a mile and three sixteenths."

Ultimately, the guest reappears and Kermit tries to take credit. As Juhl notes, "Through it all, Kermit tries his best to be the dignified, Made-For-TV detective. He also converses freely with the camera, commenting on the action and keeping careful notes on the number and lengths of commercial interruptions."[7]

Miss Piggy mystery books

A July, 1990 article in Publisher's Weekly described a merger between Muppet Press with Disney Press in "the impending acquisition of Henson Associates". The article mentioned that "plans are in the works for a line of Muppet Babies toddler books, a Miss Piggy mystery series and a biography of Henson by Louise Gikow."[8]

The Muppet Love Song Album

According to the Winter 1983 issue of Muppet Magazine, The Muppet Love Song Album was to be released by Warner Bros. Records shortly after Miss Piggy's Aerobique Exercise Workout Album.

Muppet Roast

A celebrity roast was pitched as an idea and sold to Disney in 2007 by Hugh Fink, Scott Ganz and Andrew Samson.[9]

MuppetMania

Proposed in the late 1980s for television.[3]

Muppets in Camelot

ABoyLikeThat

From The Muppet Show episode 305

Muppets in Camelot had been mentioned by the Jim Henson Company many times in the late 1990s, and was "kicked around" for several years for a potential feature film. A script outline was produced, but the film didn't move forward into production.[10]

The Muppets Leave Hollywood

The Muppets Leave Hollywood was an outside script bought by the Henson Company in February 1998. In the script, the Muppets (playing themselves) are living the high life in Hollywood until Kermit decides they've lost their purpose in this greedy world and takes them all back to the swamp.[10]

Board - Muppets on the Orient Express

The Muppets on the Orient Express

Project from the 1980s, for which John E. Barrett created concept photography featuring The Muppet Show cast in period costume as shifty, potential suspects at a train station. Concept photography went on display at The Muppets Say Cheese exhibit.

The Muppets' Run for President

Miss-piggy-life

1980 Life Magazine cover

An election special, intended to coincide with the 2008 Presidental election was written by Andrew Samson, Scott Ganz, and Hugh Fink for The Muppets Studio. The writing trio revealed the title and discussed the project, the inital pitch and its ultimate fate in the 89th episode of The MuppetCast.[11] The special followed Miss Piggy's run for the White House (previously the home of President Animal).

Noah's Ark Musical

Following the London musical Doctor Dolittle, the Jim Henson's Creature Shop was approached by the creator of Dolittle, Leslie Bricusse, on a musical based on the story of Noah's Ark. Preliminary work on the creatures was started, but the show was never produced.[12]

Picture-book specials

Following the 1986 airings of The Tale of the Bunny Picnic on HBO and The Christmas Toy on ABC, the cable channel considered producing more in the series of "picture-book specials". A 1988 article in Channels, a magazine for the television industry, revealed:

Henson has ten specials in development that he would like to place, including a Valentine's Day program called Puppy Love starring Muppet dogs, and a special called The Lizards for the summer. These will eventually be turned into a series of videocassettes distributed by HA. And the books, published by Henson's publishing division with Scholastic, will further the publishing aspirations of the company.[13]

Henson revived the idea of producing more picture-book specials in his original pitch for The Jim Henson Hour—wanting to produce monthly episodes with stories the vein of Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, The Christmas Toy and The Tale of the Bunny Picnic.

Pipe Dream

Pipe Dream is a lesser known Rodgers and Hammerstein musical which ran for 246 performances on Broadway in 1955, based on the novel Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck. A film version of the musical was proposed starring the Muppets.[14] Humans would play Doc and Suzy; Muppets would play the other roles—with Miss Piggy as Fauna, Kermit as Mac and Fozzie as Hazel.[15]

Read My Lips

"Read My Lips" was a pilot script for a comedy series co-written by Muppet performer Richard Hunt in the late 1980. The show was about puppets who come to life after they've been put away for the night.[16]

Screaming Edith

A 1993 Wall Street Journal article mentioned plans for a new Muppet project:

[Brian] Henson's record label will soon introduce "Screaming Edith", a new Muppets hard-rock band whose videos Henson wants shown on MTV.[17]

Untitled archaeological adventure

While brainstorming ideas for a fourth Muppet film, Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl seriously considered "taking them [the Muppets] on an archaeological adventure to discover their roots" before settling on the idea of The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made.[18]

Untitled superhero project

Superscooter

From The Muppet Show episode 419

In the early 2000s, around the time when superhero movies were making a comeback, Craig Shemin proposed a film involving the Muppets getting superpowers.[19]

Sources

  1. Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones (page 128)
  2. Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones (page 413)
  3. 3.0 3.1 MuppetZine #13, Summer 1995
  4. Jim's Red Book - 7/-/1983 – Taping for Please Don’t Eat the Pictures at the Met. For SS special – talk to Karl Katz during that – begin Muppetamia
  5. Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones, page 214.
  6. Muppet Central news September 17, 2005
  7. Jim Henson's Red Book - 10/-/1074 - VTR Out to Lunch with CTW for ABC
  8. Schnol, Janet. "Disney to Launch Book Division with Startups and an Acquisition", Publisher's Weekly. July 27, 1990.
  9. ToughPigs.com - My Day On a Muppet Movie Set
  10. 10.0 10.1 Muppet Central news June 5, 1998
  11. The MuppetCast episode #89 - December 21, 2008
  12. Live Design Online
  13. Loevy, Diana. "Inside the House That Henson Built", Channels. March, 1988.
  14. Mandelbaum, Ken. Not Since Carrie: 40 years of Broadway Musical Flops. New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 1992. p. 99.
  15. Mordden, Ethan. Rodgers & Hammerstein. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1992. [1]
  16. Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones (page 402)
  17. Cox, Meg. "Kermit's Keepers: Jim Henson Is Gone, But Muppets Thrive Under His Children", The Wall Street Journal. August 9, 1993.
  18. Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones (page 407)
  19. Personal communication, Scott Hanson and Craig Shemin

See also

Start a Discussion Discussions about Minor Unfinished Projects

  • Unfinished Muppet Projects

    2 messages
    • A copy of the 2004 Disney/Henson deal (which recently surfaced online) includes a listing of scripts, treatments and other in-development proje...
    • I wonder if the "Tom Martin Muppet Show" might be The Muppets Present, given the fact that Tom Martin was writing Muppet productions at the t...
  • Made-for-TV Movie

    3 messages
    • It definitely has the most detail of all the projects on the page, so I'd be in favor of making it its own page, though would we keep "Made for...
    • The Redbook says Juhl's working title *was* "Made-For-TV Movie" (something which also isn't as clear when it's stuck in a list like that, si...

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