Jim Henson’s Original Sales Pitch for The Muppet Show


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Back in the day, Jim Henson was already a household name with Sesame Street, but he wanted to break the Muppets out of children’s programming. He felt that all ages could enjoy the Muppets and made the effort to pitch an idea for a variety show with celebrity guests that we would come to know as The Muppet Show

Recently we got a look at the video he put together with a Muppet pitch man Leo trying to encourage CBS to green light his show, and apparently it worked.

Pimping the works of Jim Henson but pointing out the finer details of why CBS needs to buy this show, Leo brags about how famous they would become, how much money they can make and just how temperamental and difficult they will be to work with!

Clearly Henson realized how big this could be, and he was right! The Muppet Show ran 5 Seasons and spawned many spinoff films of both Sesame Street characters and Muppet Show stars alike.

To my recollection, Kermit the Frog was the only one to star in both The Muppet show and Sesame Street. Aside from some cameo appearances, can you think of any any regular characters that were in both?

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10 Responses to Jim Henson’s Original Sales Pitch for The Muppet Show

  1. Actually, the pitch reel didn't really work. Henson had to go to Lew Grade at ITV in England to produce The Muppet Show for syndication — though CBS agreed to pick up the show for its owned-and-operated stations to air in the 7:30 block.

    • Thanks for sharing the info. Maybe work on your delivery, though. After that reel, you can't really compare. Plus your three comments are very unpersonable. Are you a muppet robot, perhaps?

  2. That pitch alone is better than 90% of prime time shows, which is why I got rid of my TV and watch the internet. Much more enjoyable.

  3. From Kermit's Wikipedia, "Kermit is the only Muppet to be featured prominently on both The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. (Others like Miss Piggy and Dr. Teeth were shown in photographs hung on the walls of skits on Sesame Street, and Rowlf the Dog made a cameo appearance in one skit. A few Sesame Street characters, like Big Bird, and Ernie and Bert, made guest appearances on The Muppet Show.)"

  4. Ah, but there's the fabulous Muppet Family Christmas with all of them (plus the Fraggles). Let's just say the scene where the Swedish Chef is trying to find a pot big enough to roast Big Bird, wow. Fabulous. It's never been released on video or DVD, but there is a copy on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtgYDpvRCMI