Later this month, The Muppets will make their long-awaited return to network prime time, with an all-new ABC sitcom. The show, simply called The Muppets, is said to be a more adult-focused entry than previous Muppets projects, as the series will take on a Modern Family-style mockumentary format that includes a fair amounts of showbiz satire. The original pitch, released at Comic-Con and later to the general public, served as an early introduction to how the series would offer up a fresh take on these well-known characters.
Early marketing for the show has been focused on Kermit the Frog’s “breakup” with Miss Piggy, and his subsequent “rebound” relationship with Denise, the felt-based “head of marketing at ABC.” After several weeks of the show putting so much emphasis on the ups and downs of Kermit and Piggy’s tumultuous love affair, ABC has decided it’s time to vary up the promos and give the audience a different look at what to expect from the new Muppets show.
And now, the network has released a series of new promos, on television and through its social media channels, featuring the Muppet characters interacting with stars of various other popular ABC shows. One of the first shows Kermit discussing the new series (as well as Miss Piggy) with Castle star Nathan Fillion:
Here, Gonzo and Wendi McClendon-Covey of The Goldbergs speak into a mirror:
In this one, Pepe the King Prawn tries to suss out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plot details from Clark Gregg:
And here’s Miss Piggy, at her diva best:
If you’re a Muppets fan, the promos probably work fairly well. They certainly allow ABC to talk up the new show and establish the tone viewers can expect from it. The added benefit of using ABC talent to promote The Muppets is it affords the network a not-so-subtle chance to remind those watching that there are plenty of new and returning shows about to premiere around the same time. This is nothing new, of course, interactions between the Muppets and human celebrities have been a huge part of the characters’ history since the very beginning.
There’s been a bit of backlash of late over the Kermit-Piggy “breakup,” from long-time shippers to those wondering why the media is covering this sitcom storyline as actual news. But the Muppet characters have decades of goodwill built up with generations of fans, so there’s certainly reason for optimism about the new Muppets show.
The Muppets premieres on ABC Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.