The Primitives were a line of puppets built in 1987, and initially conceived for the Inner Tube pilot. They appeared on screen once, at Jim Henson's 1987 induction into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. A single line was sung by one Primitive, performed by Dave Goelz, in the Muppet Workshop, while another appeared at the finale.
A 1987 New York Times article described the new puppets. According to the piece, the Primitives were the result of Jim Henson's visit to the primitive wing at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he realized "that there were ways of stylizing the human face that we weren't using." The Primitives began not as sketches, but as clay models, and fell into three basic groupings. Ed Christie designed one line, reminiscent of African figures. A set created by Tim Miller was described by Jim Henson as the kind that "you wouldn't know were inspired by primitives unless you were told. We'll either go abstract with the bodies, or else they'll become business men and women or modern husbands and wives." Jitka Exler built a third line, using a combination Scotfoam, foam latex, and aluminum wire, a collection of abstract figures who "look vaguely like some early Picasso."
Henson was quoted as saying that the line designed by Exler was being considered for an antidrug program for kids, while "the other two will probably gravitate toward Inner Tube." 
The Primitives were mentioned again in a 1988 issue of Channels, a magazine for the television industry:
|“||There's also Henson's new R&D project, set up last spring at his New York Muppet workshop to develop new characters, puppetry styles and techniques. One current focus at the workshop is the Primitives, a group of pre-characters strongly influenced by primitive art. On a workshop table there are a few puppets and more than 300 small sculptured heads, ranging from crocodiles to fanciful African goddesses. The Primitives are finished and waiting to be cast. ||”|
Ultimately, the Primitives did not appear in the Inner Tube pilot, or any other television project.