Over the last few years, The Muppets have seen a resurgence in pop culture. With the success of The Muppets revival movie with Jason Segel and Amy Adams in 2011 and the moderate appeal of Muppets Most Wanted in 2014, Disney has been able to get Kermit the Frog and gang back into the spotlight.
At the beginning of the fall 2015 TV season, The Muppets Studio and Bill Prady Productions teamed up for a new Muppets TV series on ABC, which is owned by The Walt Disney Company. With minds such as producers Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory) and Bob Kushell (3rd Rock From The Sun) behind it, plus the Jim Henson Company, it’s no wonder audiences have begun to gravitate towards the new TV show – and now, fans will get to enjoy more from Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, and Gonzo.
According to THR, ABC is sticking with The Muppets, as the broadcast network ordered a full 16-episode season of the new TV comedy. The order came after The Muppets became the highest-rated new series among adults 18-49 on Tuesday nights for the network, which is also a vast improvement from previous years with the short-lived Selfie in 2014. In addition, ABC also plans to roll out a few midseason shows, including The Real O’Neals and the Uncle Buck reboot, which is why the full order is shorter than a traditional 22 episode season.
The new Muppets series offers a more mature version of the beloved characters, while it also went away from the variety show format of Muppet shows past to a current mockumentary style of TV show. The Muppets follows the behind-the-scenes of a late night talk show starring Miss Piggy with Kermit as the show’s executive producer. The pair must learn to work together and keep the show afloat after their unexpected breakup, which was one of the reasons why people started to tune in after Kermit and Piggy shared a long on-going relationship. Interestingly, ABC quickly picked up The Muppets to series after a short 10-minute pilot presentation earlier this year.
The Muppets‘ take on its title characters (making them more adult-minded and cynical in their nature) has turned some longtime Muppet fans off (see season 1’s 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes), but others have found the show to be inventive and creative – enough for the show to get a season 1 pickup, as it were. Although The Muppets have always hinted toward more adult themes, this is the first time that they are catering to an older audience, while still staying true to what people love about the Muppets in the first place. It is impressive that so many decades after Jim Henson created them, the Muppets are still making waves in new ways.
The Muppets airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.