The Jim Henson Co. Sells NBC a Sitcom That’s Potentially Next Year’s ‘ALF’

The Set

Are you like me? Were you looking forward to Wednesday's opening of the feature film "The Muppets" because it would mean the end of all the parody posters, parody trailers, and infiltration of grown-up shows by the titular Muppets? Well, it looks like the ironic/anachronistic Muppets renaissance isn't over yet: NBC has bought a sitcom from The Jim Henson Company.

According to Nellie Andreeva of, NBC has committed to buy a pilot for "The New Nabors," which will explore what happens when a family of humans has a family of puppets living next door. John Riggi, an executive producer on "30 Rock," will write it — which is less of a stretch if you've been watching "30 Rock" in syndication and recently caught the episode when we see the world through the eyes of Kenneth (Jack McBrayer), for whom everyone at "TGS" appears to be a puppet.

Andreeva notes the last two such puppet/human sitcoms: "Greg the Bunny," which had a short life on Fox, and "ALF," which was a big hit for NBC in the 1980s, when there were fewer choices on TV and audiences were less sophisticated. Granted, the Muppet sensibility has proved durably entertaining to adults, even when it's pitched at children — the clamor for this new movie has proven that about a thousandfold. So maybe no one on "The New Nabors" will eat cats and NBC viewers will like it more than they do "Whitney."