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5 September 1976 – 23 May 1981

The Muppet Show is a sketch comedy television series created by Jim Henson and featuring the Muppets. The series originated as two pilot episodes produced by Henson for ABC in 1974 and 1975, respectively. While neither episode was moved forward as a series and other networks in the United States rejected Henson's proposals, British producer Lew Grade expressed enthusiasm for the project and agreed to co-produce The Muppet Show for the British channel ATV. Five seasons, totalling 120 episodes, were broadcast on ATV and other ITV franchises in the United Kingdom and in later first-run syndication through CBS in the US from 1976 to 1981. The programme was produced and recorded at Elstree Studios, England.

The Muppet Show is presented as a variety show, featuring recurring sketches and musical numbers interspersed with plotlines taking place backstage and in other areas of the venue. Within its context, Kermit the Frog acts as showrunner and host, who tries to maintain control of the overwhelming antics of the other Muppet characters, as well as appease the rotating slate of guest stars. The Muppet Show is also known for its uniquely designed characters, burlesque nature, physical slapstick, sometimes absurdist and surreal humour, and parodies. As The Muppet Show became popular, many celebrities were eager to perform with the Muppets on television and in subsequent films.

The cast of performers over the course of the series consisted of Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Eren Özker, Louise Gold, Kathryn Mullen, Karen Prell, Brian Muehl, Bob Payne, and John Lovelady. Many of the performers also worked on Sesame Street, whose characters made sporadic appearances on The Muppet Show. Jack Burns served as the head writer for the first season, before Jerry Juhl became the head writer from the second season. The music was performed by Jack Parnell and his orchestra.

The Muppet Show was produced by ITC Entertainment and Henson Associates on September 5, 1976 and ended on May 23, 1981. The rights to the series are currently owned by The Muppets Studio (a division of The Walt Disney Company), having been acquired from The Jim Henson Company in February 17, 2004.

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