Only a few short years have passed since The Muppets – the 2011 musical comedy that brought Jim Henson’s creations back to the big screen – and already Kermit the Frog and company are returning to their original launchpad: television. Under the watchful eye of Bill Prady – co-creator of The Big Bang Theory – and showrunner Bob Kushell (Anger Management), the Muppets are starring in a new mockumentary-style comedy series this Fall – and thus far, the new show has done a good job building up buzz.
News of Kermit’s breakup from longtime on-again/off-again love Miss Piggy has received significant coverage across the Web. Now, an update to that story gives us an idea what viewers of The Muppets can expect when the show hits the air later this month.
People has snagged our first look at a new character named Denise, who is reportedly dating Kermit just weeks after his split from Miss Piggy. Denise is head of marketing at ABC (according to reports) and no doubt, her relationship with Kermit will make for a complicated working environment on the set of the new Muppets series – one that chronicles backstage events behind the scenes of the program, as well as Piggy’s new late-night talk show, in the style of 30 Rock (but filmed using the fake documentary aesthetic of a show like The Office).
Here’s a photo of Denise and Kermit together from the new ABC series:
While longtime Muppet fans may be disheartened by the split between Miss Piggy and Kermit, the way ABC is marketing the new show is nothing short of brilliant. The gradual release of all these personal details happening in the lives of the Muppets effortlessly lays the groundwork for much of the conflict that will certainly be mined for comedic effect once the show premieres. Moreover, updates on the Kermit/Piggy relationship gently poke fun at our celebrity-obsessed culture – the kind of satire that the Muppets were born for.
Kermit himself even issued a statement via Twitter in regards to the reports regarding Denise (in a manner that likewise pokes fun at celebrity trends nowadays):
Sheesh. I can't believe I already have to do this again... Here is the official statement on my relationship status: pic.twitter.com/gRCyl3xbfz— Kermit the Frog (@KermitTheFrog) September 1, 2015
Old-school Muppet fans may find the show’s new approach and the accompanying media coverage an unfortunate sign that the characters have slowly been losing touch with the quirky sense of optimism that Henson intended. However, the truth is that the creative minds behind the Muppets are making the right choice in adopting a more modern sensibility for the characters and their projects – as a way of keeping the franchise alive and vital, in the eyes of the younger members of the YouTube generation.
The Muppets premieres on September 22nd, 2015 at 8pm on ABC.