Every TV show needs a good pitch, no matter how big the stars. In the case of The Muppets, ABC picked up the new series after being shown a ten minute pitch video that set the tone for a show that's being sold as "The Muppets meet 30 Rock meets The Office," in essence.
That ten minutes of footage was screened at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 (where it somehow managed to avoid being leaked). Said pitch video has now been made available to the public - giving everyone a better idea of just what to expect when Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang return to television this Fall.
The Muppets series pitch reveals that, per usual, Miss Piggy is the one holding out on a Muppet reunion. It’s tough, being such a huge international star, plus being in a relationship with Topher Grace, but it seems the lure of her Muppet family, and one frog in particular, is too hard to resist. Meanwhile, although Kermit has now moved on from Miss Piggy (yeah, right), he is dating Stephanie... another pig. (“What can I say?” he sighs. “I’m attracted to pigs.”)
Created by Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory) and Bob Kushell (Anger Management), ABC is billing the Muppets' return to primetime as a more adult-orientated series, and that much is apparent from the latest Muppets footage released (as well as from the official trailer, which condenses material from the series pitch video). After all, Fozzy is dating a girl (a human one at that), and her parents express their concerns for her “being intimate” with the wildlife, while Kermit is cracking wise about the (ahem) "recreational habits" of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem.
The new Muppets series may be filmed in a mockumentary style (with plenty of cutaways to the Muppets speaking directly to camera), but the title characters' self-referential humor remains intact all the same. Indeed, this new Muppets show may well have the potential to be a return to form for the Muppets property (even with Gonzo’s disapproval of the techniques used).
After the 2011 The Muppets did so well both critically and commercially, Muppets Most Wanted paled in comparison. Disney seemed unsure of how best to market our beloved Muppets; whether to try and make them appeal to a whole new generation or just to tap into original fans nostalgia. ABC is going for the latter, resulting in a show that looks to be full of all the great characters we know so well, just with a slightly blue tint to it all. Of course, The Muppets TV series is still going to be family viewing material; it’s just that some jokes will fly over the heads of the younger audience. It’s time to light the lights...
The Muppets premieres on Tuesday, September 22nd on ABC at 8pm.