ABC Renews The Muppets But With a New Format and Showrunner


Surprising few, a new report says ABC’s The Muppets will get a second season but also a complete reboot.

When I first heard of the Office-like Muppets show I wasn’t thrilled with the idea but hoped for the best. After watching a few episodes and feeling vaguely uncomfortable throughout, I realized it wasn’t working for me at all. It seems like it wasn’t working for many others as well.

Deadline says, “Gone is co-creator, executive producer and showrunner Bob Kushell. Kristin Newman (Galavant) is in negotiations to succeed him as new showrunner under her overall deal at ABC Studios, the studio that produces The Muppets. The move is part of a creative overhaul of the freshman comedy, which is expected to take a hiatus after finishing Episode 10 for a reboot. ”

But was this viewer related (The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “Critics have often found ABC’s new Muppets problematic as the more adult series has transformed Kermit and Piggy into unlikable characters.”) or behind-the-scenes issues?

Deadline notes ratings did drop after the premiere but also tension between Kushell and executive producer Bill Prady:

The Muppets was rushed to air by broadcast TV standards, filming a last-minute presentation in April and getting a slot on the fall schedule just a couple of weeks later — before its concept, style and tone had been fully formed. That added tension to the already stressed environment on the show, which faced a tight production schedule and a complicated shoot because of the seamless mix of real actors and puppets.

I hear there was a clash in styles and vision for the show between Kushell and Prady, which was exacerbated by Prady’s part-time participation, leading to swings in direction on scripts that had been already in progress. I hear Kushell was well-liked among the cast, crew and the producers, but the discord proved too taxing on everyone and was starting to show on the screen. It was getting harder for the show to go on with both Prady and Kushell, and a decision was made to let Kushell go, though I hear many wanted him to stay.

Have you been watching? Did you enjoy the different format? I definitely still want a Muppets show to be on air, just not this one necessarily.

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6 Responses to “ABC Renews The Muppets But With a New Format and Showrunner”

  1. Kryptoknight says:

    Am I the only on enjoying the current format? I mean, I’ll take my muppets however I can get them so a reboot isn’t awful but I’ve actually been liking the show so far.

  2. I think an overhaul could do this show some good. Maybe come back with a modernized version of the Muppet Show, this time in the vein of a television talk/variety show instead of the pastiche-of-the-Office-but-with-Muppets show that it now is.

    • That sounds good, though I’d also be happy to see them mix it up, rather than stick to the Office. I thought, at first, they’d be parodying a range of styles.

  3. Adam Lipkin says:

    Jill, where are you getting the news that it was renewed? Everything I’ve seen is just saying that it was picked up for a (short) full season, and that the reboot will take place on the back half of the season.