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The Muppets have never been afraid of taking down boundaries and breaking the fourth wall, from the variety show antics of The Muppet Show to the show-within-a-show of The Muppet Movie. And it sounds like ABC’s upcoming Muppets revival is going to go even further by presenting things in the oh-so-prevalent mock-documentary style that networks somehow can’t get enough of. What’s more, this new approach will apparently be more adult-oriented than past projects. Yippee [expletive] skippee!
Put together by The Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady and Anger Management writer-producer Bob Kushell, this new Muppets pilot presentation again sees the iconic felt-faced characters putting together a TV show, but this version will focus more on the behind-the-scenes “drama” involved. This kind of sounds like the mid-1990s show Muppets Tonight that introduced Pepe the King Prawn and Bobo the Bear, only with a more modern sensibility.
According to EW, the mockumentary aesthetic will feel like Arrested Development and The Office, with a story angle that is reminiscent of 30 Rock. Tina Fey starred in Muppets Most Wanted, and Sesame Street did a 30 Rock spoof, so that’s a nice circle of life in my book. Here’s how the ABC logline puts it.
The Muppets return to prime time with a contemporary, documentary-style show that—for the first time ever—will explore the Muppets’ personal lives and relationships, both at home and at work, as well as romances, break-ups, achievements, disappointments, wants and desires; a more adult Muppet show, for kids of all ages.
All of this news will undoubtedly enrage some fans, while making others more excited about the primetime project. While James Bobin’s 2011 film was a fun romp, it took the focus off of the Muppets themselves, and Muppets Most Wanted separated the group from Kermit for most of the film. If anything, this new series should be great simply for getting the gang back together and keeping them together, even if the break-ups and disappointments make things humorously testy.
I’m guessing Kermit and Miss Piggy’s relationship will play into the romance part more heavily than other characters, although it would be interesting to see Gonzo and Camilla’s lovelife hit the skids for some ridiculous reason. As long as I get more Bunson and Beaker in my life, I really don’t care what it takes. If Animal could move in with Charlie and Frank from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, that’d be cool, too.
ABC is considering giving this new Muppets show a straight-to-series order, so here’s hoping all the kinks get worked out by that time. Or maybe some more kinks should be added in, depending on how adult they’re willing to make this. Fifty Shades of Fozzie, anyone?