Disney+ has been a game changer since day one not because of all the original content that the Mouse House has created, but the fact that it has one of the most extensive, and popular libraries in all of media. Every Star Wars movie is there. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is there. 80 years of Walt Disney Animation Studios movies are there. However, there are a few pieces of classic television and film that are owned by Disney that haven't made the leap to the streaming service that fans have been waiting for. The wait will end for some of those fans next month, as Disney just announced that The Muppet Show will arrive on Disney+ February 19. Not only that, but all five seasons will drop at once, so that includes the two seasons that were never released on DVD.
The announcement came via social media this morning, and as you can bet, Muppets fans are going slightly mad. The fact that The Muppet Show will join all the other great Muppets content on the service is great, but if you're a serious fan of Kermit and the gang you almost certainly already owned the first three seasons on DVD. However, season four and five were never released in any sort of home format, which means even the biggest fan hasn't seen those episodes in decades.
Most of the Muppets big screen adventures have been available on Disney+ since launch. Only the The Muppets Take Manhattan has been missing. The recent attempt at reviving the Muppets on TV, simply called The Muppets, has also been around. and the Muppets even have their own Disney+ original series in Muppets Now, but without The Muppet Show, there's been a gapping hole in Disney+ when it came to the creations of Jim Henson.
The reason for the final two seasons never making it to home media was almost certainly one of rights. Because each episode had a celebrity guest star and most if not all had copyrighted music, Disney would need to get the rights to publish those episodes. When the original broadcast deals were made they didn't include things like home video or streaming because those options didn't exist, and so new deals would need to be made. Even when it came to the first three seasons of The Muppet Show that were released on DVD, odds are that more work was needed to get them up on Disney+.
There are some great guest stars in Seasons four and five of The Muppet Show. Mark Hamill appeared in Season 4, as did Christopher Reeve, who did a spot on Veterinarian's Hospital that I still remember being hilarious even though I haven't seen it in years. Season 5 gave us appearances by Carol Burnett, Johnny Cash, and Roger Moore among others.
Now, Muppet fans just need to wait a month and then all five seasons of The Muppet Show will be available to binge. Five seasons of bad Fozzy jokes. Five seasons of Stadler and Waldorf insults. The next month is going to be tough to weait through, but it's certainly better than wondering if The Muppet Show would ever appear on Disney+.