America's Next Muppet (lost test pilot of cancelled ABC reality parody show; 2006)
America's Next Muppet was a planned, but cancelled, parody series inspired by reality TV competition shows, which would have featured popular Muppet characters. A pilot for the show was produced but never aired, and no part of it has resurfaced.
The Muppets are an incredibly popular brand created by Jim Henson, and features a colorful cast of characters spanning across decades of TV shows, from The Muppet Show, to Sesame Street, to Fraggle Rock. One show that was planned to be added to that list was America's Next Muppet, a parody of reality TV shows like America's Got Talent or American Idol. The show had a pilot filmed in the summer of 2005 to pitch to Disney, and they loved it, so they made a deal to make a 5-episode miniseries to air on ABC.
The apparent plot of the show was Kermit and other classic Muppets setting up a talent show for a new Muppet to join the crew. New Muppets must perform in front of the judges, Kermit, Mrs Piggy and Gonzo. The judges would review the acts to see if the participants could be in their troupe. Other Muppets were apparently going to set up the challenges behind the scenes and keep the show afloat. The show was even planned to be interactive, where the viewers would vote for who they thought should win.
The show was never aired, and is assumed to be cancelled, as it was nowhere to be seen in ABC's summer 2006 lineup. It's not quite known what happened to the show, but most people assume it was simply scrapped during filming. No footage or images from the pilot have been seen, and Disney hasn't mentioned the series publicly, making it unlikely it would be found.
- Muppet Central article about the show. Retrieved 15 Apr '21
- Spokesman article about the show. Retrieved 15 Apr '21
- The Futon Critic article showing ABC's primetime lineup for the 2006-2007 season. Retrieved 15 Apr '21