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Disney+ is taking another swing at a Muppets TV series.
The streamer, following a lengthy development process, has handed out a series order to comedy The Muppets Mayhem, with Lilly Singh set to star.
The comedy will follow the Electric Mayhem Band as it records its first-ever album. Singh will star as the human lead, Nora, the junior A&R executive who is tasked with managing and wrangling the band that originally debuted in the pilot for The Muppet Show in 1975. (Watch the band’s debut below.) Sources say the 10-episode comedy will begin filming in April.
The series — which will feature Dr. Teeth, Animal, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot and Lips — is described as a music-filled journey in which the 45-year-old band comes face to face with the current-day music scene as they attempt to go platinum. The Goldbergs creator Adam F. Goldberg, Bill Barretta and Jeff Yorkes developed the series based on characters created by Jim Henson. Barretta is best known for doing the puppetry and voices of Rowlf the Dog, the Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Bobo the Bear and Pepe the King Prawn, among others, after inheriting many of the roles following Henson’s passing. Goldberg, Barretta and Yorkes will serve as writers and produce alongside Michael Bostick and Chris Eber. The Muppets Studios’ David Lightbody and Leigh Slaughter will also exec produce.
“We are so excited to bring the story of the Electric Mayhem Band to the front and center of this new series. They’ve been entertaining audiences since The Muppet Show, which debuted 45 years ago, so it’s wonderful that these characters are finally getting to play lead rather than supporting roles,” said Lightbody, senior vp at Disney Live Entertainment and The Muppets Studios.
The Muppets Mayhem marks the latest series in the Henson-created franchise at Disney+. The streamer previously teamed with Barretta for Halloween special Muppets Haunted Mansion. The Electric Mayhem series is the second attempt by Disney+ to revive The Muppets as an ongoing series. The first attempt, Muppets Live Another Day, was scrapped after creators Adam Horowitz, Eddy Kitsis and Josh Gad walked away from the project after a months-long development process that resulted in creative differences following an executive change that installed Lightbody at the helm of Muppets Studios. Disney+ also is the home of shortform series Muppets Now.
The Muppets Mayhem hails from ABC Signature and marks the first series for Goldberg after he moved his overall deal from his longtime home at Sony Pictures Television to Disney’s ABC in 2019. “Adam F. Goldberg is our resident Muppet enthusiast at Signature and getting to play in the sandbox with Bill, a longtime Muppet performer, as well as these beloved characters was a dream come true for him, Bill and Jeff,” said ABC Signature president Jonnie Davis. “Their take is fresh, fun, musical and of course, hilarious. We couldn’t be happier to be the studio that is helping them get the band back together.”
The series, from Muppets Studios, is being overseen by Ayo Davis’ Disney Branded Television unit. “The Muppets are renowned for quality, creativity and unrivaled, fun storytelling for the whole family,” said Davis, Disney Branded Television president. “We are thrilled to have Adam, Bill and Jeff at the helm to bring all of these iconic and great new characters to life in fresh and dynamic ways.”
For her part, Singh previously hosted an NBC late night series, A Little Late With Lilly Singh. Muppets Mayhem marks her latest venture with ABC Signature after she had a recurring role in season two of the studio’s Hulu comedy Dollface. She is readying a Netflix show from Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and continues to have a first-look deal with NBCU’s alternative TV division.
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