The creators of the formerly forthcoming Disney+ scripted Muppets series have left the prospective comedy, sources report. The show, set to be called Muppets Live Another Day, had never been formerly announced but had been in the works since February. Series creators Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis (Once Upon A Time) and Josh Gad (Frozen) had been preparing an eight-episode limited series (which they playfully referred to as Muppets 1984) set to take place after Muppets Take Manhattan. The series creators have dropped the project following reported creative differences following an executive change at Muppets Studios.
Josh Gad described the now-scrapped project, and the impetus behind it. Gad wrote:
“The project, with original songs by Bobby Lopez and Kristen Lopez was to be directed by the great Jason Moore, (director of Avenue Q and Pitch Perfect). It was meant to be a limited event series that picked up a year after Muppets Take Manhattan and was essentially about what happens after you’ve reached the end of the rainbow. It was going to be Muppets by way of Stranger Things and feel like a movie spread over 6-8 episodes. Part of the joy for us, by placing the Muppets in the middle of the 1980’s, was to subvert and comment on our current love for all things nostalgia while at the same time allowing the characters to tell a story that would ultimately lead to and end in present day, revealing some secrets along the way.”
Kitsis and Horowitz had been working with Muppets Studios vp Debbie McClellan on the forthcoming series before McClellan departed. Disney Parks Live Entertainment senior vp David Lightbody had been tapped by Disney CEO Bob Iger to take over Muppets Studios, but Lightbody reportedly had wanted a different take on the Muppets show that had so far been in development. While the creators had been offered the chance to take the Muppets show in Lightbody’s new direction, they refused (not wanting to throw away considerable work on a project they believed in). According to reports, they parted on good terms.
Muppet fans can still look forward to the unscripted shortform Muppets show announced at D23, Muppets Now, which will feature the Muppets alongside guests in a variety show format. The series is a reimagining of The Muppets Show, and it is set to debut on Disney+ in 2020.
Muppets Live Another Day is not the only scrapped project that could have joined the Disney+ lineup. Disney+ had ordered a pilot for the comedy series Four Dads which will not be moving forward on the service), and Disney+ has also recently decided not to move forward with Book of Enchantment, the adaptation of Serena Valentino’s Villains series (which had been in pre-production). Kids series Sulphur Springs, which had been a Disney Channel pilot, has also been passed on by the forthcoming streaming service.