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Muppet's MIA

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by darkrock17, Jun 1, 2016.

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Should The Muppet's Stay with Disney?

Poll closed Jun 22, 2016.
  1. Yes

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  2. No

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  3. Indifferent/No Opinon

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  4. "ANIMAL"

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Supporting Actor

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    This September is The Muppet Show's 40th Anniversary, seeing as that is just three months away the likelihood that anything is being planed for this occasion is very doubtful unfortunately.

    When Disney acquired The Muppet's back in the early 2000's they had full blown Muppet Mania, but in the last few years that seems to have died down quite a bit, Muppet's Most Wanted did well at the box office which lead to the Muppet's return to T.V. just last September, since 1996's underrated Muppet's Tonight. But now that the Muppet's latest T.V. series has been cancelled. I feel that Disney wouldn't want do anything further with The Muppet's right now.

    It's been 8 years since Season 3 came out though, I know The Muppet Show has extensive musical numbers that have to be cleared and sometime's that's not easy and they have to be cut. However by now this classic series should of been finished with DVD's and now getting last minute touches for a Blu-ray debut for it's 40th Anniversary.

    Why did Disney just give up with The Muppet's? If Disney is done with them, The Jim Henson Company should retain the rights back and go to another studio/company to distribute the rest of The Muppet's library.
     
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  2. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    It would be a miracle if seasons 4, and 5 were released on dvd at this point. There were plenty of opportunities for them to be released, especially around the time of the 2011 'The Muppets' movie.
    Season 4 is probably my favorite season, so I am really upset with the whole situation. I have given up on it.
     
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  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Although I agree that the remaining DVDs should have been released by now, there's no way this show would be put on DVD. It was shot on standard-definition PAL format videotape (yes, PAL, not NTSC. This show was made in England). The episodes could never be presented in high definition. Any such blu-ray release would just be an upscaled picture, so not a great selling point.
     
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  4. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Actually, ABC cancelled the show, not Disney. Yes, ABC is a Disney subsidiary, but I doubt Disney wanted them to cancel it. I'm sure they would have preferred a renewal.
     
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  5. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Disney is not phasing the Muppets out of the theme parks. The area around Muppet Vision 3D in Hollywood Studios is being renamed Muppets Courtyard.

    However, the cancellation of the show does make any DVD release seem less likely, even if seasons 1-3 were supposed to be reissued this year.
     
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  6. Mick Tees

    Mick Tees Second Unit

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    Here we are in 2018... I still have Muppet fever. How about you?
     
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  7. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    I thought Muppet Fever was what Dr. Teeth caught from the groupies back in the late-70s.
     
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  8. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I still think the biggest issues surrounding the absence have less to do with the ABC show's cancellation and more to do with music rights. The use of Star Wars is a non-issue if Columbia/TriStar managed to do that episode on DVD and Disney owns it and will soon own the studio that actually distributed it.

    Also, that season 5 Chris Langham episode where he filled in for Richard Pryor has become Retroactively Problematic™ because of Langham's child porn conviction, incarceration, and probation that is only now coming to a close. So even if Disney were to eat all the costs of licensing and mastering and finish the show just for the sake of finishing it and honoring the memory and legacy of Jim Henson, they would still be faced with a conundrum: omit the episode and face the wrath of completists or include it and face criticism from certain circles.
     
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  9. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Supporting Actor

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    If the Disney deal is approved, then this would mean that Muppet Babies could be released since Disney already owns Lucasfilms and that would clear the rights of use of Indiana Jones footage that Muppet Babies used a lot of along with Star Wars as well.

    If that particular episode could be what makes or breaks a complete series release then Disney could just add that episode as part of the special features or the other thing they could do is release all episodes in tact as they originally aired and place a disclaimer on the front or the back that says "The Muppet Show is intended for the adult collector and may not be suitable for children." this would be true as the series was aimed at adults when it originally aired.
     
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  10. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    Yes, it could be, but if past history is any indication, Disney simply doesn't roll that way.

    My guess is, the Chris Langham episode would simply be omitted in any related season/series release, and without any overt public explanation, either.

    CHEERS! :)
     
  11. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That's true, but what about things like Family Ties that other studios besides Fox* still own and that weren't in the Lucasfilm deal? Those still need clearance. This would be WKRP-level of money needed or possibly greater. I'm not sure I would watch it as much as I did when I was a kid**, but it would still be interesting to see if it could be done. I also wonder if anyone will ever release any of the other short-run shows like The Jim Henson Hour or Muppets Tonight, but that's also debatable if The Muppet Show proper is still stalled. But as for that, that season 1 set, of course, had some episodes edited in ways the S1 episodes released by Columbia weren't. That may have turned people off. Seasons 2 and 3, released after Eisner's very timely adieu from the company, didn't have that problem, but first seasons tend to sell the best regardless of whether they were the best season.

    And I think Disney's attitude towards physical media itself seems changing. Don't forget they have to eat the costs of discs that don't sell. Maybe that streaming service they want to do will have the remaining seasons of The Muppet Show the more obscure and esoteric stuff, and things with historical value but too many legal hurdles to clear under the current licensing system.

    On paper, that's what they should do. And you are correct that the material is not aimed at children exclusively. Still, Disney seems more motivated by perception than by reality, though these days they're not really in any place to be pointing fingers anymore.

    Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. They tend to try for the path of least resistance, but that often blows up in their faces. Chris Langham didn't just guest star when Richard Pryor was hospitalized, he wrote for the show for three years and came back to do the Jim Henson Hour. His involvement was not skin-deep.

    Disney also had a kerfuffle in the 1990s over Powder because of something similar Victor Salva did. But unlike Polanski, he did his time and so has Langham, and that movie is still available.

    *No, William Fox and Michael J. Fox are not related.
    **My predilection towards CBS cartoons must be similar to my mother's predilection towards CBS soap operas, although for me it wasn't exclusively so; for her, it was shocking to me when she started watching All My Children in the late 1990s, only after Disney took over ABC.
     
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  12. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    I don't think the Chris Langham episode would be much of a problem as far as a US release is concerned (only a few Americans like myself even know who he is), but it could potentially be a problem for a UK release, as companies tend to err a little too much (IMO) on the side of caution with these things (even vague references to Bruce Forsyth edited out of programmes now, let alone actual appearances by the man), and in the of this show, if a UK release happens first, the US release will likely just be a standards conversion of the UK one.

    Also, I don't think it's fair to say that the Muppet Show was aimed at adults back in the day of its original broadcast. I think it's far safer to say it was aimed at a family audience: something the entire family could watch together and be entertained by, with some of the content perhaps appealing more to the kiddies, and some stuff thrown in for the adults, too. Unlike the new ABC show, which I think we can all agree was aimed at a teen-to-adult audience rather than the Sesame Street crowd.
     
  13. The Obsolete Man

    The Obsolete Man Cinematographer

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    Unless something came up very recently that didn't pop up on a quick Google search, I think you mean it's Jimmy Savile, not Bruce Forsyth, who is being edited out of old footage.
     
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  14. Tony Bensley

    Tony Bensley Producer

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    True. A lot of the TOP OF THE POPS episodes have been quite affected, I believe. Thankfully, Savile never made any appearances with the Muppets that I know of.

    CHEERS! :)
     
  15. Ferdinand Hudson

    Ferdinand Hudson Stunt Coordinator

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    The fever's got my rubber duckie
     
  16. Bryan^H

    Bryan^H Producer

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    If Shout Factory could get their hands on this, it would be perfectly suited for their pop culture tastes. A complete series set would be great from them, but I know it is just wishful thinking on my part.
     
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  17. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    d'Oh! I was thinking 'Sir' (sic) Jimmy and put Sir Brucie instead!
     
  18. rmw650

    rmw650 Stunt Coordinator

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    I would just like to see the last two seasons of Muppet Show finally come out, no matter now who puts it out as it just makes sense to complete it in the proper format for all to see once again as it's been almost a decade since Season 3 was released.
     
  19. 19 Jan 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
    MatthewA

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    I'm glad it wasn't Bruce Forsyth because then that would mean yet more cuts to Bedknobs and Broomsticks! And also he guest starred here in Season 1.

    Some of Disney's Touchstone/Hollywood singles-and-doubles that were at Mill Creek are now at Kino Lorber where they actually get extras now.


    If they're that committed to finishing Diff'rent Strokes, then the off-screen behavior of its cast is the least of their concerns.
     

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