As you must know, The Muppets are back, starting in theaters this Wednesday, Nov. 23. Whether anyone expected the world to get this excited over their return is hard to say, but there's no denying now that Jim Henson's theatrical clan is a force that inspires a great deal of enthusiasm. At least NBC realizes this, and they've thrown their hat into the ring for a new sitcom: The New Nabors. It's a potential series that would star a family of average humans who live next door to a family of puppets.
Now, they're not exactly Muppets, but they are puppets, and they are created by a Henson. Jim's daughter Lisa -acting CEO of the Jim Henson Company - is executive producing the new show. Writing the project are Afterlife writer John Hoffman and 30 Rock writer John Riggi.
It's natural to be skeptical about this sort of thing, however. Part of the magic of The Muppets comes from how much of an anomaly they are. We've seen attempts at puppet/human series before, and not always to great success. Think of My Cousin Skeeter. Think of Greg the Bunny. Yeah, you probably can't really think of these things; they weren't around for too long.
But having the Henson name behind it is without a doubt a promising factor. If we do get to see this project take form, we'll have to pay it a bit more scrutiny. It's risky, but so were The Muppets I'm sure. And they amounted to something inspirational (and celebrational).