On the eve of the new Muppets movie opening on Wednesday, the Jim Henson Co. has set up another hybrid human-puppet project, this time on primetime TV. NBC has closed a script deal for The New Nabors, a comedy about a human family and the repercussions they encounter living next door to a family of puppets. NBC, of course, had success in the human-puppet family sitcom arena with Alf in the late 1980s. Feature writer John Hoffman (Fox 2000’s Afterlife) and 30 Rock executive producer John Riggi will write the script for The New Nabors, which they developed with Lisa Henson and The Jim Henson Co. (I hear the spelling of the show’s title is an homage to actor-singer Jim Nabors.) Lisa Henson, Hoffman and Riggi are executive producing, with longtime Henson producer Alex Rockwell also attached. CAA-repped Hoffman and UTA-repped Riggi are managed by Anonymous. Puppets have been off the major broadcast networks for awhile, with Fox’s underrated single-camera comedy Greg The Bunny as the most recent example.
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