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I know what you’re thinking: “How can ‘The Muppet Show’ be included in a website dedicated to the genres of ‘science fiction’ and ‘telefantasy’?”. Well, any series that features a talking frog, a pig with delusions of grandeur, a bear that tells jokes, a beaky-nosed alien-thingie, the inhabitants of the planet Koozebane, the cast of ‘Pigs in Space’, and a whole host of bizarre animals, monsters and strangeness, all of whom with their own brand of humour, surrealism and eccentricities, easily gets my vote for inclusion in the category of ‘out-of-the-ordinary’!

Created by puppeteering genius Jim Henson, the Muppets made their first network television appearance on ‘The Steve Allen Show’ on 11th October 1956. In 1963, Henson created his own production company together with master puppet builder Don Sahlin and Frank Oz, and the Muppets soon featured on ‘The Today Show’. However, it was their regular guest appearances on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ that sent the Muppets’ popularity rocketing sky-high. On 11th November 11 1969, ‘Sesame Street’, a production of the Children's Television Workshop, premiered on PBS; an educational show featuring the Muppets, the programme was years ahead of its time, and is still going strong today.

The success of the ‘Sesame Street’ led to the creation of ‘The Muppet Show’, a weekly-dose of Muppet mayhem in the form of a televised variety stage show. Recorded in England at the ATV Studios in Borehamwood, the show premiered on September 26, 1976 and was a massive hit, ensuring that Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the gang quickly became household names and cultural icons. The show won its first Emmy award in 1978, lasted for five seasons, and spawned two spin-off series, ‘Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies’ and ‘Muppets Tonight’, as well as dozens of specials and movies and other puppet shows such as ‘Fraggle Rock’, ‘The Storyteller’ and ‘The Secret Life of Toys’.

Jim Henson passed away on 16th May, 1990, but his son Brian took over the role of president of Jim Henson Productions in 1991. The Muppets continue to go from strength to strength, with more movies and specials, a stage show, record, books, videogames and even action figures being released. The show achieved its ultimate accolade on 15th November 2002, when Kermit the Frog was honoured with the 2,208th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In March 2002, an announcement was made stating that Jim Henson Television has partnered with producers Team Todd and Fox Broadcasting Co. to work on a new Muppet television series; some preliminary work was done, but the sale of the Henson company held things up. A pilot eventually got made in 2005, and the go-ahead was given for production of six episodes of a new Muppet series called ‘America’s Next Muppet’, a reality-TV spoof, in which Kermit and his friends set up a talent contest to find the newest member of the legendary Muppet troupe. Unfortunately, to date there has been no sign of any such programme…

But all was not lost, because as well as many guest appearances on other television shows, the Muppets were still appearing in films: in 2005, a made-for-TV movie called 'The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz', based on the original book not the 1939 theatrical movie, was transmitted. Then in 2011 the Muppets appeared in their first theatrical release in twelve years, a gloriously entertaining musical comedy film called simply ‘The Muppets’. And in 2013, our felt friends had another cinematic outing in ‘Muppets Most Wanted’. Here’s hoping there are even more Muppet movies to come!


The Muppet Show - Season 1-5
Jim Henson's Muppet Babies - Season 1-7
Muppets Tonight! - Season 1-2
The Muppet Specials
The Muppet Movies


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where you'll find guides to some of the best cult and classic science fiction and telefantasy programmes ever transmitted!


Credit Where It's Due Dept.: A big 'Thank You' to my good mate Nick Kirk, who tracked down the info on the various Muppet specials!

Legal Bit: 'Muppet' is a registered trademark of The Jim Henson Company. The 'Muppet' logos and all images from the television series and movies are copyright The Jim Henson Company unless otherwise stated; music is copyright the original composers and producers; no copyright infringement is intended. All specially created images and text are copyright © Clive Banks; please do not use these without my permission. All rights reserved. No profit is made from this website, and any revenue made from using the banner-links featured goes straight back into the costs of maintaining it, which comes out of my own pocket in the first place. No profit advertising is accepted. This website was created purely to entertain and amuse, and any references to persons living, dead, comatose, in suspended animation, not born yet, made of felt, or a figment of someone's imagination is purely coincidental. All opinions expressed are my own, so there...


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